The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

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3stars

“There will always be a part of us that’s on a chase, but there has to be another part that knows where our home base is.”

Title: The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily
Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Good things about this book: It’s set during the twelve days before Christmas in NYC.
Bad things about this book: The dreaded miscommunication.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it isn’t without flaws but it’s cute.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I have to admit, even if at first I read following the days written on the chapters, in the end I read it all in one afternoon. I just wanted to see how it was going to end. I like Dash very much. He is sweet, funny, a little shy and, even with all the issues he has with his parents, he is capable of care and love. Maybe it’s not the care and love that you see right away but it’s there. He is a precious boy and the way Lily treats him in this book bothered me quite a lot.

“It’s not fair to expect Dash to be psychic about what you really want from him.”

It’s only my humble opinion but I didn’t agree with almost any of Lily’s decisions in this book. She has been through a lot for months but that doesn’t excuse her for her behavior. I know I can’t compare how I face issues with how other people does it because it’s not fair but I can think of a least a million other ways Lily could have faced what was happening that didn’t involve treating Dash that badly. I may be exaggerating but I didn’t agree with her decisions. People don’t read our minds, Lily. If you want something to change or if you want to know something you have to ask, take action. Things aren’t easy. If you need to know something because it’s bothering you, you gather all the courage you can manage and ask!

“Are you going to be someone who takes charge of her feelings and her actions, even if the outcome might hurt, or someone who lets herself be unhappy simply because she won’t ask for what she wants?”

I would love to meet a guy like Dash. He is a calm presence and we could read together for hours. A silence that’s good and relaxing. Lily is the opposite, she has to know that but sometimes she forgets. They compensate each other and no matter the misunderstandings, and trust me this books has a lot of those, you know they are going to realize how good they actually are for each other. Dash’s character development is pretty nice; he goes from celebrating Christmas alone to celebrating it with so many different people (and loving it) from Lily’s big family and peculiar friends.

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether the story it’s true or not. What matters is the care that’s been put into the story. The love.”

All the character we know are here again and we get to see what they’ve been up to since the end of the first book. Boomer is one of a kind, the Christmas tree whisperer; he is full of surprises and full of energy. Oh, the youth, how I miss it!

New York City!! Like in Sex and the City, New York is also a character in this book. The places they go, the streets they cross, the parks Lily takes the dogs to, the High Line; everything is breathtaking. I can’t wait to go there again, maybe with someone who lives there so that they can show me around and make me discover the city hidden from tourists; the New York of New Yorkers.

Sometimes you make plans. Sometimes plans make themselves.

This is a nice story, maybe a little bit sadder than I’d expected it to be, but overall sweet and lovely. It put a smile on my face and it made me dream about a lot of things. So the rating of this book it’s not bad, it’s good because, even if I won’t read it again, I would not hesitate to recommend it.

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Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

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4stars

“I am a firm believer in serendipity – all the random pieces coming together in one wonderful moment, when suddenly you see what their purpose was all along.”

Title: Boy Meets Boy
Author: David Levithan
Why you should read this book: Because it’s all rainbows and sunshine and it gives you happiness!
Do I recommend it? Of course, if you need to smile then this is a book for you.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

After coming back from my wonderful trip I have been struggling. I had a new pokemon game I wanted to buy, tons of TV series to catch up and of course a lot of books I wanted to read. There’s not enough time in one day to do everything. There just isn’t and it’s not fair because I want to dedicate my time to all the things I love doing, without exceptions.

For these reasons and also because of my never-ending laziness, I was facing one big reading slump. I couldn’t decide on a book to read and I already have one big ebook and an anthology to finish. An idea came to my mind yesterday: I decided to pick a short book with a light plot to help me getting in the reading mood. Big books are discouraging, I kept turning pages, reading and reading and seeing only a few percentage going up after reading so much was making me want to give up.

But this book solved my problems. It is really short so I read it all in one afternoon with a few breaks and I liked it a lot. It was fun, easy to read and it had a lot of elements that will make you think. This book is fiction but more than fiction sometimes it can be see as fantasy since the world the characters live in is utopic, things are happy and unravel in easy ways. It’s overall a very optimistic book about love and friends. The town they live in reminds me of the world of Faking it, the TV show.

“When it comes to true dance, it’s not about how you look, it’s all about the joy you feel. ”

Paul has been in love many times, has had a few boyfriends, some he stayed friends with after breaking up and one that dumped him badmouthing him to everyone at school and hurting him deep inside. Kyle, that’s not cool. Hear me out: this Kyle was Paul’s boyfriend but one day he thought “maybe I don’t like boys after all, this guy tricked me with his gay artifices” so what to do? Dump him and tell horrible things about him to everyone. What was the point of everything, Kyle? It happens; you don’t always know what you like and who you are. You can experiment and then see what really makes you You.

“If you want to be loved, be a lovable. It’s a good place to start.”

Out of the blue comes Noah, a cute boy met by chance at the local bookstore. It’s nice how they hit it off immediately and you see how shy both are about the whole situation. You want them to be ok, to find love in each other and to make each other happy. But not everything is easy. Past loves comes crawling back, doubts appear inside your head, lots of what ifs, lots of I want but I don’t know if I deserve thoughts, busy schedules and life in general getting in the way. What appeared to be an easy “I fall for you and you for me” kind of love story, turned out to be a street with a few too many obstacles. I will tell you without really spoiling anything (because, come on! It’s obvious) that this book has a happy ending and you should read it knowing things can be ok in the end. This book gives you hope if you are in need of it.

“It’s a fine line between love and stalking. I decide to walk it.”

I didn’t always agree with how Paul faced his problems and I started having feelings of hate towards a couple of characters like Joni, Paul’s best friend. Joni behave really badly, blinded by this love that consumed her, a love that blocked her from seeing it was hurting the people he loved. Joni was a character I didn’t like from beginning to end and I won’t change my mind about her. Tony on the other hand, I liked a lot. How his sadness didn’t define him, how he was planning a way to tolerate his parents disapproval and be happy in his own little world. His strength is amazing, he deserves everything good the world has to offer and I think he will get it because he is great like that. The award for best character has to go to Infinite Darlene. She is the best and I love her with all my heart. Nothing I can write can do her justice, you have to read the book, it won’t take much of your time, trust me, but it’s worth it.

This story is very optimistic; it takes place in a utopic world we can all hope can become a reality as soon as possible. It doesn’t have to matter who you like and what genre was assigned to you when you were born. What matters is what kind of person you decide to be, what road you decide to take. If you care for people and don’t care for people at all, that’s up to you but nobody has the right to tell you whom you can or can’t care for. This world started looking a little bit better but now with everything that’s happened this past year I’m not so sure and it’s scary as hell. Let’s take these cute and funny stories and try to build ourselves little happy places to be in and share with the ones we love because we may not believe it but we can make a difference if we fight together. I will recommend this book to a few people I know will appreciate it.

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You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour & David Levithan

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“The heart is a treacherous beast.”
“But it means well.”

Title: You Know Me Well
Author: Nina LaCour & David Levithan
Why you should read this book: Because it’s a friendship at first sight and it tells a story that will make you happy and sad at the same time.

Summary from Goodreads:

Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is, until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other—and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

I hate that word. Straight. At the very least, those of us who are nonstraight should be called curvy. Or scenic. Actually, I like that: ‘Do you think she’s straight?’ ‘Oh no. She’s scenic.’

This story is about friendship. This story takes place about one week to high school graduation and it involved two persons who know each other but have never spoken to each other in the only class they share. They meet one night at a club during the first day of Pride Week in San Francisco and it’s friendship at first word, let’s say that. Mark is the perfect guy, beautiful and athletic, he is eternally in love with his best friend Ryan. They have fooled around since they were younger and Mark fell really hard for him but it seems that Ryan, forever in the closet, doesn’t think of their friendship in the same way. Mark struggles, his heart is full of one-sided love and it’s bad. He loves Ryan so much it hurts.

Would I fight for him? I have been fighting for him for years. And I’m losing. No matter what I do, I’m losing. But I have to fight anyway.

Kate is the art genius who has been in love with her best friend cousin she has never met. She loves Violet so much and has never spoken to her and now that she has the chance to meet her, she is freaking out. She also is struggling with life, love and the prospect of a future that has to thrill her but it doesn’t. She doesn’t really know what she wants and she seeks Mark’s help. Their sudden friendship helps them both to come to terms with the chaos that is their lives at the moment.

I’m trying to figure myself out. I keep failing.

In one week everything changes. Kate has to find out what she really wants and pursue it without losing the only person she wants in her life. She is also having problems with her best friend. She is questioning the nature of said friendship asking herself if they haven’t changed too much and maybe they can’t have what they’d had until that day. She needs to see her choices and her life in perspective and for that she needs Mark, an outsider that will become really important for her growth. And it will only take a week.

Also, I don’t want to be a best friend if I can’t also be a boy in his eyes. I don’t want to be a calendar if I’ll never get a date.

Mark needs to confess his overwhelming feelings to Ryan and move on because Ryan has met someone and Mark needs to understand that it’s not meant to be even if in his head them being together feels perfect. Ryan doesn’t want to lose his best friend but he can’t reciprocate his feelings because the love he feels is not the same love Mark feels and I think Mark knew that but didn’t want to see it because it hurt so much.

He’s not doing it to hurt me. I have to believe that. He’s doing it to make himself happy. Which just happens to hurt me.

One week to change their world and be happy. One week to see deep inside themselves, see what’s wrong and fix what’s fixable. One week isn’t much but for them it is enough and it will take them to where they are supposed to be. The future is not written, our choices change it but hope has to be there all the time or else giving up will be too tempting. Giving up is easy; too easy and belittling ourselves comes naturally. Just remember not to give up and if you don’t think you can do it alone find someone willing to help you; it’s never too late to change your life if you think it’s not the life you want.

Here we come – through hard days and good ones, through despair and through exhilaration, in love and out of love, for just now or for forever. Here we come. It’s our parade.

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Bonus quote:

“Ice cream? Is that really part of the coming-out process?”
“Hells, yes. Ben and Jerry have lasted so long together – they’re our role models.”

Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s adorable even with its heartbreaking parts, it’s worth your time.
Rate: 4/5

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Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan

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“We all just took the bookstore at its word, because if you couldn’t trust a bookstore, what could you trust?”

Title: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Why you should read this book: Because it’s set during Christmas time in New York so of course it’s going to be magical.

Summary from Goodreads:

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a cosmic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

“I was attempting to write the story of my life. It wasn’t so much about plot. It was much more about character.”

Is it Christmas yet? Is it not? Why? I love Christmas and I’m a little mad at myself for reading this book now and not back in December. I already had the book on my shelves (I’m almost positive of that) but I really didn’t remember it was a Christmas book. What a pity! When it’s December I will recommend it to everyone!

“I want to believe there is a somebody out there for me. I want to believe that I exist to be there for that somebody.”

This book is extremely adorable and fun. It’s a series of dares between two people who have never met before. Dash is snarly and a lone wolf, but he is honest and very straightforward. I like him a lot and I think I’d have fallen in love with him instantly. Hating Christmas, he tricked his divorced parents and he will be spending it alone in New York. He has no problems being alone, as his friend’s Boomer said, sometimes his best companion is himself and he doesn’t think there’s something wrong about it. I couldn’t agree more since there are so many times that I prefer being by myself, not because I hate company but because in those times the only company I need is myself.

“Dash swooned, with the palpable bliss of Homer Simpson exalting, “Mmmm…donuts.”

Lily is a petite, sweet, independent girl, always up for a challenge, be it in the form of dog walking or baking delicious cookies. She loves Christmas but this year her parents are out of the country and she won’t be celebrating it until New Year’s. Bummer, Christmas really is best and in New York, besides the billion tourists, it has to be amazing, for sure. I was in New York in March last year and I froze my butt off: so much snow but it was magical. Seeing white Central Park has to be one of the best experiences I’ve done in my entire life. It almost beats seeing Hugh Jackman…almost. Then again, nothing beats me falling ice skating in Rockefeller Center and fracturing my arm. Really “New York 2015” has to be the best winter vacation ever!

“This must be part of Mother Nature’s master plan – making these boys so irresistibly cute, in such a naughty way, that the purity of their intentions becomes irrelevant.”

When Christmas turns out to be pretty boring all you need is a fantastic brother who only wants to spend his time with his boyfriend to make everything better. How? He wants to be all lovey-dovey with said boyfriend so his sister needs to be out of the house. Lily’s brother takes a red moleskine notebook, writes a pretty interesting introduction and leaves it in a specific place in a library for the “chosen one” to find it.

“Dullness is the spice of life. Which is why we must always use other spices.”

Our young Dashiell, aka Dash, finds it and a series of really interesting dares start taking form and taking them really outside their comfort zones. The dares are really great; I would love to go on a treasure hunt in a big city, trying to find clues, meeting new people, completing tasks, just having an amazing time and forgetting about what made you sad in the first place. For example, I wanted to build myself a bear but those fluffy marvels were so expensive. Damn you, teddy bear, I wanted you so badly!

“Did Keanu Reeves ever stop by his own statue, just to remember when people cared?”

Of course, not everything can go smoothly, right? There are obstacles, the usual really, the annoying things only put there to make us angry. From the beginning I thought Lily and Dash had a chance to become friends and maybe something more. I saw how different yet similar they were. The side characters were as important as both of them. Boomer, the human Chihuahua, Langston, Lily’s brother, Lily’s grandfather, Lily’s aunt…well, Lily’s thousands of relatives involved in the dares or just side participants in the story.

“The important people in our lives leave imprints. They may stay or go in the physical realm, but they are always there in your heart, because they helped form your heart. There’s no getting over that.”

How can you not love the book if it makes you feel like you are inside the story yourself? Like you are running from north to south of Manhattan trying to find that damn red moleskine to see what’s written in it and to know where to go next? I love adventures and I’d love them more if I weren’t so shy and really bad at socializing! I envy Dash and Lily because they could live that adventure during the best time of the year in one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen.

“I’m told there’s no going back. So I’m choosing forward.”

Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s funny and really interesting.
Rate: 4/5

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