I have been in the Dash & Lily fan club since I read their story in 2014. I loved their crazy games and following clues. They were two lost souls that found each other and it was beautiful. I was over the moon excited to discover there was a continuation to their story! Sadly, I was let down by this book. This is not the loving and adorable story of Dash & Lily we have come to know and love.
When the story opens, Dash & Lily were coming up on their one year anniversary. They have been so happy dating each other, getting to know each others families, and make memories together. But not everything has been rainbows and sunshine for these two, Lily’s grandfather suffered a heart attack and his recovery has not been easy. Lily put it on herself to take care of him, along with everything else she insists she needs to do. Lily has become distant and short with everyone, Dash especially. Christmas is supposed to be Lily’s favorite time of the year so Dash makes a plan to help remind her how great the holidays really are. Twelve days before Christmas he puts his plan in to motion with the help of his good friends. Dash may be a little thick headed at times, but he knows one thing – his feelings for Lily are real and true and he is going to do whatever it takes to remind her that she is loved.
This entire story felt rushed. It did not feel thought out or substantial. It was not upbeat and cheerful, but instead one disaster after another. Lily is in a depressive state and refuses to let people help her, which will bring any reader down as well. I felt so sad for her throughout this entire story. Everything she or Dash tried to do to lift her spirits did not end well. The adventures that were planned in the first book that brought these two together are few and far between in this story. In fact, they are barely mentioned because they are overshadowed by traumatic events happening in Lily’s life. Reading a Christmas-time story with a heavy sad undertone is not as enjoyable as you would think.
The characters were still very much Lily & Dash, don’t get me wrong, but Lily is trying to be older than what she is. She is still a teenager that but she feels she needs to shoulder the weight of everything with her grandfather. She feel she needs to be his caregiver so he can stay at home simply because she cannot handle change. She felt immature in the fact that she didn’t want to accept that her grandfather is growing old, has serious health risks, and requires constant medical care. There is no way she could take care of all of that but she was in denial about it. I was frustrated with that character flaw. Would that be a flaw or more of an annoyance? Either way, it made me like her a little less.
Dash is not without his troubles but nothing like what Lily was going through. He had issues with his parents, as explained in book one. He was a little thick headed when it comes to dating someone, but it was so sweet and endearing. It felt genuine and real. I will forever cheer for Dash, but Lily seriously needed some professional medical help in this story.
The other thing that really bothered me about this story is the beat-you-over-the-head-nearly-every-page references to NYC. If you have not been there, you will not understand most of the references made. I recently visited NYC and have a general idea of the areas, but I feel bad for those readers that don’t know the area and cannot picture them. They are not described other than by name.
Overall, this story was not what I was hoping for. I have said it before – I wanted more. This story did not feel thought out or developed at all. It was all over the place, depressing, and it did not put me in the holiday spirit. I felt this was a 2.5 star read. Some of the humor is still there but do not expect to walk away feeling super warm fuzzies, there is too much seriousness that keeps the reader from feeling upbeat. After this story, I’m not sure I will continue with Dash & Lily on their adventures.