This is the first year I’ve strayed into the world of Christmas novels. Usually, I’m strictly a movies person, but I thought I’d switch it up and see what the publishers had to offer me. I must say, so far, I’m pretty disappointed. My first Christmassy review was a total bust (I haven’t disliked a book that much in a while!), at least my latest trial was a little more bearable.
For those of you who are considering reading it, The 12 Days of Dash and Lily is actually a sequel – a fact that I was unaware of until around chapter 3. Safe to say, I haven’t read the first one, and in this case, I think that would have been a very useful thing to do. It wasn’t that the story didn’t make sense, it did, but I don’t think I was as connected to the story as I could have been – but maybe that just gives me an interesting perspective?
I suppose the backbone of this story is Dash and Lily’s relationship, so let’s take a look. This is one of the aspects that I did actually quite enjoy in this novel. I liked seeing the post-honeymoon phase of their story, it’s rare in YA and I found it a lot more relatable to my current situation than other novels. I was a particular fan of the ‘blink’ theory, I’m going to have to remember that one the next time I feel weird about my long distance relationship.
As a character, Dash is ridiculously pretentious! But he’s funny enough that I let him away with it. In this case, I actually found him really funny, he was definitely my favourite character (Dear authors, this is not a green light to create stupidly pretentious characters – you have been warned!)
Lily, on the other hand, I’m not such a big fan of. She was such an angsty teen it hurt. I remember this phase, I’m only 20, but the angst just seemed out of place in the character profile they were trying to create. I especially took umbrage when she started yelling at Dash at Mrs Basil E’s party, it was totally uncalled for and I felt like it was just there to add drama.
Then, there’s the weirdness that is the families in this book. Obviously, Dash is messed up because his Dad is horrible and his mum is essentially a flighty bird. But Lily’s are wacko too, her parents lived in Italy or Africa or wherever and left their two kids alone? Yes, okay they’re teenagers, but still – that just seems like a fundamentally bad idea. I can’t decide if they were supposed to be presented as an ideal couple, an explanation for Lily’s own anxiety or just a mixture of things that wasn’t really thought through. Just bizarre.
Now on to my biggest issue, it was so repetitive… it was only a short book, so I should actually give credit to the fact that they managed to make it so repetitive! They were together, and then they’re felt like they couldn’t talk to each other, and then they were together, and then Lily got mad at Dash, so Dash planned a big elaborate declaration, and then they were together, and then Lily planned a big elaborate declaration, and then they felt like they couldn’t talk to each other, and then Lily planned another elaborate declaration, and then Lily got made, and then they were together and…. can you see what I mean? Repetitive!
As a festive tale, it wasn’t bad. Yes, it’s super frilly, but it did get me into the Christmas spirit – kudos for that.
Overall, I gave it 3/5 stars – not terrible, but not groundbreaking either, definitely the best I’ve read so far (not that that’s saying much). I would be interested to read the first book (now it’ll be more like a prequel for me, but oh well), I’d like to see the beginning of their story.
Please leave me some Christmassy suggestions, I’m really hoping I can give at least a 4/5 to a holiday book!