by Rachel Cohen and David Levithan
When Lily becomes sad and lonely during her Christmas break, her brother helps her set up a notebook of clues that will help her meet a boy. Dash finds the notebook in the bookstore. Intrigued and with nothing better to do, he follows up on the clues and then adds a few of his own. Over the next few days the two continue on dares that take them all around New York City. Throughout the time they are forced out of their comfort zones and end up sharing a great deal of themselves. They both start falling in love with their image of the other, but things get rocky when they finally meet.
I have somewhat mixed feelings on this book. I didn’t love it while I was reading it, but now looking back it seems better. I think the main problem is that I didn’t fully connect to the main characters. Dash is super moody and pessimistic. Or as the characters in the book describe him, “snarly.” Lily on the other hand is an enthusiastic ball of energy whose Christmas spirit blows me away. And I love Christmas time! I can’t decide if their extremes were annoying or funny. They did grow on me as I read so I will go with funny. For me, it was the supporting characters that saved the book. Lily’s extended family that popped up everywhere and Dash’s extremely odd and loyal friend Boomer cracked me up.
A really great thing about this book is that it has two authors. The chapters alternate between Lily and Dash’s points of view. David Levithan wrote the Dash chapters and Rachel Cohen wrote the Lily chapters. I think that is just cool. Plus they have very different writing styles, which makes the change in point of view very believable.
Warning: This is a Christmas book! The whole plot centers around Dash and Lily being left alone for Christmas and all of the dares are very Christmas-y themed. Somehow I didn’t realize this when I started reading it. I don’t think it says that anywhere in the description. Yes, there are snowflakes on the cover and maybe that should have warned me. But I truly thought they were just heart shaped white confetti. So now you are warned and have a book recommendation to get you in the Christmas spirit six months from now.