Wednesday, 5 October 2016

REVIEW INCLUDING COVER COMPARE COMMENTS - THE TWELVE DAYS OF DASH & LILY - DASH & LILY BY RACHEL COHN & DAVID LEVITHAN

Title: The Twelve Days Of Dash & Lily
Series: Dash & Lily
Authors: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Christmas, Romance
Publisher: Egmont Publishing
Release Date: 6th October 2016

BLURB from Goodreads
New York Times bestselling authors Rachel Cohn and David Levithan are back with a life-affirming Christmas romance starring Dash and Lily.

Dash and Lily have had a tough year since readers first watched the couple fall in love. Lily’s beloved grandfather suffered a heart attack, and his difficult road to recovery has taken a major toll on her typically sunny disposition.

With only twelve days left until Christmas—Lily’s favorite time of the year—Dash, Lily’s brother Langston, and their closest friends take Manhattan by storm to help Lily recapture the holiday magic of New York City in December.

Told in alternating chapters, The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily reunites two beloved characters and is bound to be a Christmas favorite, season after season.
 


PURCHASE LINKS

INITIAL THOUGHTS
I totally adored Dash & Lily's Book Of Dares.......I fell in love with book plot, the characters and the book even had me eagerly looking forward to Christmas! Will I love this one as much? I hadn't heard about this one coming out and had presumed the first book to be a standalone, but when I saw this one I knew I just had to read it. Then I became a bit worried as the "Book of Dares" played a really important and large part of Bk#1 and I wondered if this book could be as good without that element as the main focus.

THOUGHTS WHILST READING
To be totally honest I just kind of picked this one up and read and read but on reflection I did have a few moments when I was shouting at the book "Oh No!" There was also the odd occasion I wanted to shake both Dash and Lily and tell them to talk to each other more!

COVER COMPARE COMMENTS
                                              A                                                                B

So as you can see from the images above there are two cover versions for this book!

Cover A - has a light coloured background, with a snowy effect and twinkling festive lights. The main and most prominent feature on this cover are two Christmas trees. Could these tree's represent Dash and Lily. The book title is in what I would call a handwritten style, looking like it has been done with the sort of posh marker you may use to write your Christmas cards and present tags with. Both author names are printed at the top edge of the book cover and there is a reference underneath to the first book of the series and the fact the authors are New York bestsellers.
Would this cover make me pick the book up from a bookstore shelf? If I was in the mood for a totally festive type of read, which is what this cover says to me. . yes! I would certainly be curious enough to pick the book up to learn more about it by reading the blurb.

Cover B - has what I would describe as a dusty "mushy peas" green colour as it's background and has writing that forms the shape of ribbon wrapped around the book, rather like you would wrap ribbon round a gift for that special someone at Christmas time. The title is in a stark white which is in contrast to the rest of the cover, again the font is of what I'd call a simplistic handwriting style. the authors names are at the bottom of this cover and in a blue colour.
Would this cover make me pick the book up from a bookstore shelf? Yes, it's a simplistic cover and I'd want to know more about the book, so I would want to read the blurb.

Cover Sum Up - I do like both covers, my favourite parts of Cover A are the "posh marker style writing" and I love the two Christmas trees that perhaps represent Dash and Lily. The part of Cover B I love is the effect of the book cover being presented as a gift with a bow on it.
Would I combine the covers if I could? Maybe add the trees from Cover A to the gift wrap/gift with bow of Cover B.
If I had to choose just one of the covers which would I choose and why? It would have to be Cover B. It just feels more like Dash and Lily, more simplistic and practical. I think what I am trying to put into words is that Cover B suits the characters of Dash & Lily more. It could be a gift from one to the other and of course the present theme fits well with the whole holiday season setting of the book.

REVIEW
I downloaded an ecopy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion and review.
So as I have done a feature above on the two different covers I will go straight onto what is happening. At the beginning of this book we are catching up with the sweet couple that began their relationship almost a year ago. It had all begun with a book, and ended with the couple meeting each other but a year can change a lot of things. Dash and Lily are still "together" but are they merely slipping into being just friends that are going to see less and less of each other. 
A lot has been happening in Lily's life, her beloved Grandpa is taken ill, and when she phones Dash for his support he doesn't answer his phone. Luckily Grandpa survives and is sent home, where Lily becomes his caregiver. Lily even volunteers for a summer job at her Grandpa's rehabilitation centre so she can take him to all his appointments and be close by him when he is there for treatment. Though Lily and Langston's parents return from their work abroad, the majority of the caregiving is still left for Lily to do. So it's no wonder she isn't her usual, happy optimistic self. In book one we learnt that Lily was the one who loved all the holiday traditions so as Christmas is approaching surely she is happily planning and organising her families Christmas and everything that comes along with it? Last year Lily had even managed to teach the pessimistic Dash that Christmas was an enchanting holiday. This year it seems like the once optimistic Lily has become somewhat of a pessimist. . .and is completely ignoring all the little traditions on the lead up to the big event of Christmas. Langston can see the toll all the rushing around and caring for Grandpa is affecting Lily and he offers to take time off from college to help but Lily believes it is her responsibility to look after their Grandpa. As Grandpa's health improves and he regains a little of his mobility, he tries to shoo Lily away, to take some time for herself or for her and Dash to spend time together but as Christmas beckons nearer Dash and Lily's relationship seems to have more and more cracks appearing within it.
You know that things are in a desperate state when Langston (Lily's brother) call's Dash to arrange to meet and discuss Lily's lack of Christmas spirit! Whilst two of the important men in Lily's are quietly meeting up, they are much more used to verbally sparring with each other than getting together to actually talk "normally" to each other, but their mutual caring feelings for Lily means they overcome their initial awkwardness to discuss what they can do to coax the deeply hidden Christmas spirit out that they know Lily has.  Normally by this time Lily has bought a tree, decorated it and sent out handwritten invites to people to come round for the big switch on of the lights, but this year all Lily says is she just isn't feeling it. 
Langston & Dash come up with the idea of  giving Lily "The Twelve Days Of Christmas"so Langston immediately offers Dash money for him to go purchase a tree but Dash declines saying he knows a guy who he can get a tree from. That "guy" is non other than Boomer! In the end Boomer has to help Dash carry Oscar home as "he"  is too big for one person to lift! Oscar is what Boomer has named the tree. . ..you'll understand when you read the book lol! Boomer  also has a "significant other" in this book . . .it's Sophie! Yes, the same Sophie who is Dashiell's ex-girlfriend!! 
Lily is out with Grandpa when the tree arrives so Dash and Langston move it into place and Dash adds some rather quirky decorations to the tree in an effort to make Lily smile as he knows she will understand the meaning behind the decorations. Lily is surprised by the tree and yet a little disappointed by the actions of Dash. . .The tree is just Day One of the Twelve Days and eventually they do get more into the Christmas Spirit. Lily still feels like she has somehow lost who she wants to be and a visit to Staten Island gives her a chance to be whoever she can think up to be.
To say things don't go to plan for either Dash or Lily in this book is an understatement. If there is a chance, even the slightest chance of something going wrong it does go wrong.
Again this book is done from the point of view of Dash for one chapter, then Lily the next chapter etc.
I loved the new character of Missoula, the freelance baker and her interactions with Lily. In a way Missoula plays an important part in helping Lily find her Christmas "mo-jo". I also enjoyed the parts where we met Edgar and Benny both fairly important characters in one of the "last gifts." Some of the parts of the books I truly loved were when Lily was with her dog Boris, he is almost human like to her. I love his reaction to Lily swearing too. I had tears for more than one reason in this book, for the way Lily makes it her responsibility alone to care for Grandpa even when she is struggling, and for laughter at some of the funny way things don't go as planned.                                                                                                                                    
Did I enjoy the book? I thought it would be impossible for the second book to be as good as the first. . .but it really is as good, even better as you learn more about Dash and Lily's families in this book.
Would I recommend the book? Oh yes, if you read Bk1 you must read book two. . and if you haven't read book one yet? what are you waiting for! Read it now or a little nearer to Christmas to get yourself into the holiday mood/spirit.
Would I want to read another Dash & Lily book? Yes! as I have loved Bk1 & 2 so much. Or maybe we could have some spin off novella's where we learn more about Langston & Benny, Boomer & Sophie or even finding a girlfriend for Edgar?
Would I want to read another book be either or both authors of this one? I would always checkout any book by both or either of these authors. I loved their writing styles. They make you so eager to read more and find out more and more and before you know it the book is finished.     
                                                    
FINAL THOUGHTS
I honestly thought there was no way this book could be as good or even anywhere near as good as bk1 but I truly enjoyed this book just as much as the first one. When I wrote my review for book one, I said it had me getting out the Christmas tree etc. Well it's October at the moment so I haven't brought my Christmas tree out yet. . . .but I have started the Christmas shopping lol. Why not purchase a copy for the pessimist in your family? ....you know the one who is all "Bah humbug".



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