Mind the Gap, Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn/David Levithan (eARC Review, Dash & Lily #3)

Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Page Count
: 256

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

CW: depiction of anxiety/panic attacks

I’ve currently really been on a roll when it comes to Dash & Lily, reigniting my love for the characters by binging the Netflix show (several times) and following it up by reading the sequel and now this book that places them in London. It’s as if the authors allow you to watch them grow up a little more with each book and I appreciated that the most in Mind the Gap.

There was much I loved, but also a couple things that bothered me. A lot of it came down to one of my biggest pet peeves – bad communication. Despite being miles and miles apart, Dash and Lily really make the long distance thing work. They seemed so solid in their relationship that their troubles once they reunited felt … strange to me. Obviously, they were busy living their lives and struggling or thriving (depending on who you’re looking at) and didn’t talk about every little detail that happened while they were apart. Where Dash got disappointed by his own ambitions, Lily was turning into a little dog mogul without her family or friends noticing. All of that is understandable and just warrants a bit of time to talk it all out, catch up on the things you missed, but what does Lily Bear do? Once again she runs away. I was so frustrated with her, because poor Dashiell was just too overwhelmed.

Lily went to London surprising Dash without his knowledge. While he was glad to see her (because he is always glad to see her), it was also really bad timing. He didn’t want her to see him in this state of despair he found himself in. Oxford had drained him to the last drop and only his previously estranged grandmother, Gem, could raise his spirits. Instead of being glad that Dash had finally found a family member to connect with, Lily was jealous. She was legit jealous of Dash’ grandmother, a woman who is basically a slightly British version of Mrs. Basil E.

But once they got over those initial hick-ups, however annoying I might have found them, especially on Lily’s part, the book was really fantastic. I felt Dash’ state of being lost to the core. The way his world seemed to close in on him and he just did not know what to do now that what he had always envisioned for himself wasn’t as fulfilling as he thought it would be. I think that’s something a lot of young adults have to face. Their expectations of college/university aren’t always going to match up with reality and it takes a whole lot of strength to muster up the courage to find a new path.

Simultaneously, you have Lily’s own struggle with what the future holds. I think I found it a bit harder to connect to her here, because she is so much larger than life sometimes. Where Dash is relatable in his quiet despair, Lily has suddenly made mountains of cash (without her very meddling family knowing?) and has become a dog influencer who is even recognised on the street outside of New York City. I always knew her happy demeanor was contagious, but she basically had become a celebrity without the people in her life realising it. Maybe because she didn’t communicate clearly what she was doing and just how successful she was with it, her family kept pressuring her to go down a more traditional academic route. I enjoyed that she stood her ground in the end, but I never really had to worry about her not being okay. She was doing great for herself, Dash was much more worrisome.

The book ended with their relationship stronger than ever. While the story as a whole was not as fluffy and cutesy as the previous ones, it still filled my heart with a certain warmth that only Dash and Lily can provide. Those kids are not kids anymore and you just know they’re going to find their way.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars! It was lovely to see them grow up like this.


Do you want to continue on with Dash and Lily’s epic love story? Does it convey the holiday spirit to you as well? Let’s talk!

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn/David Levithan (Book Review, Dash & Lily #2)

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Page Count
: 226

**This is the second book in the Dash & Lily series. Please proceed with caution if you haven’t read the first one yet!**

I feel like I should start this review with a little disclaimer. I have read almost every single Rachel Cohn-David Levithan-collaboration there is. Honestly, I think there’s only one book missing, and I have enjoyed all of them. However, Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares was always my very favourite one. Now that Netflix released it’s series adaptation of the material, I realised just how much I had forgotten about the book though. I watched and I adored the show, but I couldn’t remember much more than the general premise it turned out. Still, I wanted more, so, I turned to this little sequel, that I never actually intended to read, because I was quite fond of whatever the first book gave me. So, what I am trying to say is, my knowledge from the first book is basically non-existent at this point (am I getting old?) and I completely based off my feelings for the characters etc. on what I had seen on the show.

Here’s a look at what Netflix has done. I can really only recommend it to get you into the spirit:

Now on to the actual bookish thoughts for The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily!

When I learned what the sequel was going to be about, I actually thought it sounded like a neat idea. Adding an element of angst that would lead to the characters having to grow up a bit as well as giving them a chance to repeat the formula from the previous book sounded promising, but it wasn’t delivered in the right.

I feel like the book could have been a lot more clear cut in its timeline. Albeit maybe a bit formulaic, I would have loved to actually see them embrace the twelve days of Christmas theme, but it was abandoned after day one in favour of lots and lots of miscommunication and sulking. Dash and Lily were on the brink of breaking up so many times that, at some point, I actually wanted them to take a break in order to see clearly again. While I do understand that they are teens and maybe have some misconstrued ideas about love, it was ridiculous how Lily expected Dash to read her mind and say all the right things, when everyone else could see that he was trying his very best to DO the right thing at all times.

The grand gestures felt a bit strangely placed this time around and often ended in disaster, but I will give them that they really made it work in the end. The message came through clear and that’s something that saved the book for me. It was right then that I felt like we were finally at a place that was interesting and where the characters were more themselves again, but that’s also right when the story ended. (And how cruel it did end, they are SUCH a tease!) Dash and Lily really do have that annoying habit of making you want more of their cutesy love, so, on to Mind the Gap I go.

Rating: 2.5/5 stars! The ideas were all there, but the execution wasn’t it for me.


Have you read this sequel? Do you want to? How about watching the show? Feel free to chat in the comments!

You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour/David Levithan (Book Review)

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Publisher: St. Martins Griffin
Page Count
: 250

I got this book because I won it at a giveaway (my FIRST giveaway win!) from Aila who is blogging at One Way or an Author AND Happy Indulgence. She’s currently on hiatus, but I still cannot thank her enough for hosting the giveaway and letting me choose this amazing book! THANK YOU!

I don’t know if you remember, but a while back there was this TTT topic of author duos you wish were real, and I totally called for a Levithan-LaCour-pairing AND IT HAPPENED! Not because I said it, since they were already working on You Know Me Well by then, but I didn’t know that … so, I like to pretend my wishful thinking made it come true! I just knew that combined, they would make a beautiful LGBT+ novel and I was right! It would have been the perfect read for Pride month, but you should celebrate pride all year round, so I am not that disappointed I didn’t get to it in June.

This is not a book about teens coming out (although there may or may not be a character in the story who still needs to come to terms with his sexuality), but rather it is about finding that one person you feel comfortable with. Where you are not afraid to be yourself around and who you are ready to be there for and share everything with – a true friend. Kate and Mark have been in school with each other for years but they weren’t among the same group of people, until one fateful night brings them together. I definitely don’t believe in insta-love, but I do think that insta-friendship can be real.

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Sometimes you just click with a person and that’s what happened here and it’s 100% platonic and there is no indication of romancing between Kate and Mark whatsoever, which is just perfect (and the way it should be since they both aren’t into the other gender). They were comfortable with their sexuality and so were their surroundings. I am not saying that they didn’t have to face problems in their life because of it at some point, but I was so happy to see them in an accepting environment, that simply took it all as a given.

As much as it was about friendship, it was also about changing relationships, heartbreak, wrong expectations, fear of the future and the fact that everyone needs to figure out their path all by themselves at some point in their life. I loved that, because I could relate to so much of it. But first and foremost, I adored how good it made me feel. I was on the verge of crying and it wasn’t because it made me sad, but because it was so precious.

Lastly, I remain of the opinion that Levithan does his best work when he is having a co-author to par with and I am glad this one worked out so well. It all took place during the course of a week, but I didn’t even need 24 hours to finish it, which means it was way too short for me. I could read about the adventures of Mark and Kate forever!

Fazit: 5/5 rainbows! Light, beautiful and really fun! Perfect (but not only) for Pride month!

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Have you read You Know Me Well? What do you think? Do you want to read it?