Author: Rachel Cohn, David Levithan
Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?
The book was exactly how I anticipated it to be, yet there were some twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. In the book, we follow Lily, who is an adorably awkward teenage girl having the worst Christmas of her life. Her family have all made other Christmas plans, leaving her with her older brother who is more focused on his holiday romance than spending time with his kid sister. Dash on the other-hand isn’t a fan of all the holidays opting to spend Christmas alone. These two very different teens meet by fate, kind of, and embark on the cutest love-story.
This is a dual perspective story where we get to hear from Dash and Lily. And, I am happy to say that I enjoyed both sides of the story equally. Lily is a fun character to follow, because even though she isn’t having the merriest Christmas, she is determined to stay joyful. She is shy and socially awkward, which I found to be very relatable. Dash dared her to challenge herself and step out of her comfort zone. And, to not be so afraid to be seen by the world. I know that was swooning hard over Dash, so there is no question to why Lily fell for him.
Dash reminded me so much of Holden Caulfield. He is cynical, moody, and a bit of a know-it-all. He doesn’t let anyone see his soft side, and is scared to let anyone get too close. Dash is lonely and wants to find ‘his person’ but isn’t sure there’s someone out there for him. Lily changed his outlook on a lot of things, including the holidays. I think he realized that maybe Christmas isn’t so bad if you have someone to spend it with.
It was fun watching the story unfold, and I kept wondering what the next dare would be. For a large portion of the book, they only converse through a red notebook. There is something sweet about falling for someone by their words, not their looks. Which just so happens to be how I fell in love with my husband. Still, I couldn’t wait until they finally met in person.
“I want to believe there is a somebody out there just for me. I want to believe that I exist to be there for that somebody.”
The story does a good job of showcasing how we all place people on pedestals. This is especially true when we only have a mental image of someone. Dash and Lily both got to know one another, but they still had unrealistic expectations. No one will ever be exactly how you envisioned them, but that’s okay. The story demonstrated that we can, and should, overcome our preconceived notion of somebody, and to get to know the real them.
The story had some flaws, as most do. One being that Lily was very confusing at times. She wanted Dash, but didn’t mind pursuing someone that she didn’t even like. I understand that Dash was just the guy in the notebook, but I would think that all his attempts to break her out of her shell would make her more brave. I want her to go get the guy, and not settle.
Dash annoyed me at times, because he could be really stuck-up. Without spoiling anything, there was a scene close to the end of the book where Lily messed up big. Dash was unforgiving, and it made me slightly annoyed, considering they hadn’t even met at that point. Cut the girl some slack.
As for the ending, I think it was simple, and wrapped everything up with a nice bow. The story as a whole was exciting, cute, and it took place in New York City! Spending the holidays in The Big Apple, even through a book, is fabulous. If you have read the book, go ahead and leave your rating in the comments. Also, follow the blog – all the cool kids are doing it!
Until The Next Chapter,