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!

Top Ten Tuesday: Author Duos That Should Write Books Together

As you all know by now, I mostly participate in the weekly meme Top Ten Tuesday created by The Broke and the BookishThis week’s theme is “Top Ten Author Duos You’d LOVE To See Write A Book Together” and while it’s definitely a topic that took some serious thinking, it’s a fantastic idea. I doubt that I’ll get to 10 but here we go!

top-ten-tuesday

1. Tahereh Mafi & Ransom Riggs

Can anybody else imagine the awesomeness of those two creating a story together? I think everyone of us picked them for their list. Whenever I see interviews with them, videos from their YouTube channel or their comments on social media -I just love them so much together and I think they could create something really special and unique. (Also, on a completely unrelated note, they make me believe in true love … just wanted to throw that in there. Has anyone seen their wedding pictures? Gorgeous!!!)

2. Nicholas Sparks & Cecelia Ahern

Do you want full blown romance with a touch of magic sprinkled on top every now and then? Because I think that’s exactly what those two could accomplish together (and maybe Cecelia could get Sparks to break out of his admittedly very well working but nonetheless repetitive theme).

3. Sarah J. Maas & Victoria Aveyard

I don’t know about you, but I think those two could create one heck of an amazing world with characters that you have to watch all the time, because you never know what’s really up with them.

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4. Rainbow Rowell & John Green

This would be the ultimate teen/YA book and we would all drown in all the feels we would feel! I can see it clearly ahead of me! Also, they talked about Firefly and I love that show.

5. Rachel Matson & E. Lockhart

I think that both of these authors are really good at depicting buddy-stories in their books and somehow I would like to see how they would work together. Maybe each one of them could write a certain POV of a character and it would just keep switching between the two? In my head they’d create an amazing friendship story.

6. David Levithan & Rachel Cohn

Putting this duo on the list is a little bit like cheating, because they have already written 3 books together – BUT I WANT MORE!

7. David Levithan & Nina LaCour

Those two have actually announced their collaboration sometime soon and I am super excited. They are both very important authors in the LGBTQIA community and I think whatever the result of their work together will be, is going to be amazing.

I think that’s all I can come up with. Who are some authors you would like to see working together? Share links to your list below if you like!

Naomi & Ely’s No Kiss List (Movie Review)

A month or so ago I wrote about the trailer release of Naomi & Ely’s No Kiss List and I can’t believe it’s already time to talk about the movie itself. There are not really any Spoilers in the review itself, but as always, I can’t promise the same for the comments!

naomiNaomi and Ely are best friends and they are both into guys. The “No Kiss List” (a list of guys neither of them is allowed to hook up with) has been their insurance against a Naomi and Ely break-up for all their lives. Yet everything changes when Ely kisses Naomi’s boyfriend.

So let’s start with the basics:

Genre: Comedy/Drama/Romance
Length: 89  minutes
Cast: Victoria Justice, Pierson Fodé, Matthew Daddario, Monique Coleman, Ryan Ward, Danny Flaherty, …
Director: Kristin Hanggi

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I am just going to say it again: I have read the book of the same title written by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, but it’s been a while. I mostly remember a ton of emojis that replaced words and that confused me sometimes, but other than that I am not sure I could give the most accurate account of what happens in the book. However, I will try and mention things that were different if I noticed them.

So, now to the real review. I LOVED IT! I even liked it a whole lot more than the book. While the different POVs weren’t as balanced and more focused on Naomi, it just all felt right. I very much liked the casting (and not just because Matthew Daddario is absolutely swoon-worthy). While Naomi was never my favourite character, Victoria Justice really showed her development and there couldn’t have been a better Ely than Pierson Fodé. Bruce 2 was adorable and Ryan Ward looked exactly like the Bruce 2 in my head. I forgot everything about the Robins, and even though I would have liked to see them more, they were a great addition as well. The rest of the people from the apartment complex were just hilarious as well.

As any story written by Levithan and Cohn, it was a sort of love letter to New York City, showing off its quirks and awesomeness. The music was great and for real hardcore fans like me, take a closer look at the T-shirt of the drummer from Gabe’s band – he wears a “Where is Fluffy?”-shirt from Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. I wasn’t sure they’d connect the stories like they did in the books, but I almost shrieked when I saw it.

I think I hugged my pillow during the entire movie and really felt with the characters when their relationship seemed doomed. I don’t know why exactly, but it just touched me a whole lot more than it did in the book. It portrayed the complexity of friendships and that change is inevitable. Yet, it managed not to be heavy at all. If I could change one thing, I would want it to be longer. It would mean more time for the Naomi-Gabe-story to develop and maybe more glimpses at the adorable awkwardness of the Robins.

Fazit: I loved it! And while it may be short, it’s definitely sweet and worth a watch.

Have you read or watched Naomi & Ely’s No Kiss List as well? What were your thoughts?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Would Be On My Syllabus If I Taught Buddy Stories 101

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the BookishThis week’s topic is Top Ten books you would put on your syllabus if you thought a literature class and I chose the friendship theme, so thanks for enrolling to Buddy Stories 101. Class is about to start!

(Whenever I do these lists, I am never sure if the ranking is actually from 1 to 10 or just numbered to give an overview. I have a hard time picking favourites, so see it as more of way to count rather than rate. The books I picked all have great friendships and some of them even evolve or are sprinkled with a bit of romance. I tried to avoid the romantic parts mostly, but then I thought that being best friends with your partner is pretty amazing, so who cares?)

1. The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)NOTHING and I mean absolutely NOTHING is more powerful than a parabatai bond. It’s so much more than just friendship, it is even more than family or romantic love. It’s everything really. While I did enjoy Alec’s and Jace’s bond from TMI, I was even more fascinated with Will and Jem. Bring Tessa Gray into the mix and you’ve got ultimate friendship goals for me! So, the Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare it is!

2. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Since You've Been Gone

This is one of my favourite books portraying female friendship. Emily and Sloane are just complete opposites of each other and that makes them work so well together. I’m so happy this book wasn’t just about romance! Also, it wasn’t just a fun read, but really funny as well!

3. How to Be Bad by Lockhart, Myracle & Mlynowski

23629114Three girls on a road trip? There is no way it’s not going to be great. They all have their own problems, but they can only get through it with each other. Sometimes they may explode and fight, but in the end, they are happy to have each other and I am happy to have read about their friendship.

4. Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

23230I’ve talked about Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List a lot and while I do find the characters a bit annoying sometimes, they also have something special with each other. Their friendship changes a lot over the course of the book and is quite different in the end to what it was when you started reading. When one person develops romantic feelings, I think it is necessary to address this and deal with it instead of throwing the friendship away altogether.

5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

893136This is a sad book. There is no way around that, but it’s a book that’s really dear to my heart. Liesel and Rudi already have a really special relationship, but I am even more a fan of Liesel and Max. Some wanted them to end up together, but that’s not the point at all. Their bond over books is amazing and I am so glad that they had each other.

6. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

12700353Greg can call Earl his co-worker a gazillion more times, but it doesn’t change the fact that they are best friends and awesome together. ‘Nough said!

7. Love, Rosie/Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern

20706297Over how many years does this book span? A lifetime pretty much and while Rosie’s and Alex’ relationship certainly has it’s ups and downs their friendship survived somehow. This may be more on the romantic side than I’d like to admit, but they were friends first and that ever since they were really little. It has to count for something!

8. The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

23153016Bianca has her best friends Casey and Jessica and they are a good group of friends, but not the one I want to focus on. Only with Wesley Bianca can be herself and they have a sort of friends with benefits thing going on, even though Bianca would probably never admit to being friends with Wes. Still, I think they never were as open and trusting with anyone than they were with each other. Being able to be yourself, that’s what I think is important in a friendship.

9. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

18741152I like all the friendships in this book (and the sequels as well). Anna and Etienne are great, Etienne and Josh, the whole gang pretty much is just amazeballs. I would have loved to go to school with this group!!!

10. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

2836Jess and Leslie are pretty much inseparable. They create their own fantasy world and really just have the best of times. But I think that Jess’ friendship with Leslie opened his world to so much more than just that. This book is really tragic in so many ways, but I don’t think Jess ever regretted befriending Leslie.

 

 

I hope you’ve learned something and take away some good stories from this class 😉 As always, click on the covers if you want to know more about the books! What are some of you favourite literary friendships?

The Fandom Book Tag!

fandom

Cristina from My Tiny Obsessions has once again done me the honour and tagged me for a Book Tag. I am especially happy that it is The Fandom Book Tag (originally created by Fangirlfashionista) because I am part of so many of those fandoms myself. I’m geeking out just thinking about it! Prepare for awesomeness because this is going to be a loooong post!

DOCTOR WHO: A BOOK WITH A (MOSTLY) BLUE COVER

It’s not TARDIS-blue but Sapphire Blue (Ruby Red Trilogy #2) by Kerstin Gier

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MARVEL: A BOOK WITH A (MOSTLY) RED COVER

The Elite (The Selection Series #2) by Kiera Cass.

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THE SIMPSONS: A BOOK WITH A (MOSTLY) YELLOW COVER

Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord (note to self: should finally watch the movie!)

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Read More »

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the BookishI’ve never participated so far, but since this week’s motto is Top Ten Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From, I thought it’d be the perfect time to join in the meme-craziness. Let’s do this!

There are actually a couple of authors of whom I have several books, just because I have a 3-strike-rule with authors. After reading one of their books and liking it, they have two more chances to prove to me that they are not just a one-hit-wonder. That way I end up knowing if their future books are an insta-buy or not. Still, 3 is not that big a number and we’ll see how many people actually made it on the list with more than that!

  1. Lemony Snicket/Daniel Handler (16 books)
    I devoured the Series of Unfortunate Events books (13 books in total) when I was younger and couldn’t resist additionally buying a collection of poems called Horseradish, The Beatrice Letters and The Unauthorized Autobiography.
  2. Charlaine Harris (13 books)
    I don’t know how many books she’s written in total, but I barely made it through the entire Sookie Stackhouse Series, so I decided not to read another series of hers. It’s not that the Sookie Stackhouse books are bad, but they do tend to get repetitive after a while.
    http://www.charlaineharris.com/photos/Photo_Small.jpg
  3. Cassandra Clare (9 books)
    I’ve read the entire Mortal Instruments Series as well as the Infernal Devices Series and I loved them. I intend to get to the companion novellas and short stories at some point as well!
  4. Nicholas Sparks (7 books)
    I like cheesy romance … SO WHAT? I read The Longest Ride, The Best of Me, Safe Haven, The Lucky One, The Last Song, Dear John and A Walk to Remember. This pretty much means that I read most of the movie adaptations. I also own a copy of the Notebook, Message in a Bottle and Three Weeks with my Brother, but I haven’t gotten to those yet.
  5. David Levithan (6 books)
    Okay, so three of the books were co-written with Rachel Cohn, but nonetheless, I really like his books. The co-written ones were more fun to be honest and consist of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Naomi & Ely’s No Kiss List and Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares. The books I’ve read that were written by Levithan alone were still good books, but didn’t excite me as much: Every Day, The Realm of Possibility and Wide Awake.
  6. Cornelia Funke (5 books)
    I adored her books! I will never get over the awesomeness that is the Thief Lord and the Inkheart Trilogy was basically a book series about fictional characters coming to life. (Dustfinger will always be my hero!) I also read Potilla, but that book was rather forgettable.
  7. Stephenie Meyer (5 books)
    Read the Twilight Series as well as The Host. I liked the books at the time, but I am not sure how I feel about them now. I remember that it took me forever to get into The Host, but I actually remember more about it than I do about the Twilight books. There are supposed to sequels to the Host, but I’m not sure I’d read them now. I think it’s been too long.
  8. Tahereh Mafi (4 books)
    I very much enjoyed the Shatter Me series, so I also read the companion novella Unite Me.
  9. John Green (4 books)
    I have read pretty much the standard books: The Fault In Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns and An Abundance of Katherines.
  10. Eden Maguire (4 books)
    Eden Maguire’s series the Beautiful Dead is rather unknown as far as I know and I think the ratings aren’t that high from what I can remember. Still, I loved reading it at the time and like thinking back to it. Click here to read the Goodreads synopsis!

Turns out there are a lot more people of whom I’ve read 4 books, such as Georgia Byng, George R.R. Martin, Kiera Cass, L. J. Smith and many more. This list would go on for a while though if I continued like this. By clicking on the author’s pictures, you’ll be redirected to their Goodreads page where you’ll be able to see their entire bibliography. What are some of your most read authors? Any recommendations?

Naomi & Ely’s No Kiss List Trailer Release

I love Rachel Cohn‘s and David Levithan‘s books, especially the ones they co-write. All the books are sort of interconnected with each other and just major fun! Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares is among my all time favourite Christmas-themed books and I just love the book as well as the movie adaptation of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist starring Michael Cera and Kat Dennings. I’m still listening to that soundtrack from time to time!

Now, they’ve made Naomi & Ely’s No Kiss List into a movie with Victoria Justice as Naomi, Pierson Fodé as Ely and the ever so dreamy Matthew Daddario (soon to be seen as Alec in Shadowhunters) as Gabriel. I think the Trailer below is pretty self-explanatory, but here’s a little summary nonetheless:

Naomi and Ely are best friends and they are both into guys. In order to avoid possible conflict they have a No Kiss List and guys on that list are taboo for both of them. When Naomi and Ely each develop feelings for someone they shouldn’t, their friendship is majorly on the brink of getting destroyed.

It’s, to be honest, been a while since I read the book, but I remember maaaany emojis and finding them confusing at times. I’m guessing I won’t have the problem this time around. Cast looks great to me and I cannot wait for the release of the film. It’s already been shown at the Outfest in Los Angeles, but it will take some time until it gets into cinemas. Until then, they have this thing called the No Kiss Club where you can join, earn points and win stuff. It’s not really necessary for the full movie experience, but I am so looking forward to this that I thought, “Why not?”. I’m not going to win because there are already people with thousands and thousands of points, but it never hurts to support a movie you genuinely care about. So, if you want to join as well, it’d be great if you just follow the link below and the rest will be explained on site.

http://sot.ag/487ps

What are your thoughts?

I dare you to read this book!

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares is one of my most favorite teen novels out there. It is written by the amazing authors Rachel Cohn and David Levithan,who brought us Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

ImageThe book is fresh, sassy, hilarious and beautiful all in one; but let me start by telling you what it’s about: The story starts out with Dash finding a red Moleskin notebook in a bookstore in New York. A few instructions written in it, lead him on a bookish treasure hunt until he finds himself entering into correspondance with Lily, the author of the book. Shortly after that, Lily and Dash start sending each other messages via the notebook, and send each other on an adventure around the whole city. If they meet and what they actually mean to each other, that’s something you’ll only find out by reading the book.

I can recommend this book with all my heart (particularly if you’re looking for a good read during Christmas time)! It is brilliantly written, and I especially liked the change of point of view between the two main characters throughout the whole book. You have to know that the two authors didn’t write the book with each other in the traditional way. They each took a turn in writing a chapter by themself and then sent it to the other person, so, that they wouldn’t know what to expect when they had to continue writing.

Just like Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (starring Michael Cera and Kat Dennings), they are planning on making it into a movie. It is not really certain when it will come out, but I seriously can’t wait.

Have you read the book as well? What do you think about it?