Allen & Unwin
You may recall that not long ago I reviewed Mind the Gap, Dash & Lily and totally fell in love with these characters, so I was super happy to receive this tie-in with the forthcoming Netflix series (woot! now that’s going to be fun!) and find out how it all began. This first outing with this lovely pair of characters is also set at Christmas time so it makes for great timing as a gift book for a teen in your circle.
Lily is a sweet unsophisticated 16 year old not very lucky with boys and decides, on an impulse, to take her brother’s advice about casting her net wider. She leaves a gorgeous red moleskine on a certain shelf in her favourite bookstore with some cryptic dares written in it, hoping that just the right guy will find it and take up her challenge. Dash (by name and nature) is the boy who picks up the book and rises to the adventure. The ensuing development of their relationship unfolds over various dares and clues left for each other as they share deep thoughts and dreams in the talisman notebook. It certainly seems they are falling in love – on paper at least – but can their budding relationship work in real time?
The path of true love doesn’t always run smoothly as we all know and there are some tricky hiccups along the way with an assortment of equally delightful secondary characters helping – or at times hindering – the pair as their quirky game roams all across New York City.
I had already talked the first one I reviewed up big time to my ChocLit kiddos and will certainly be doing the same with this one – although with the Netflix series coming out I will probably not have to do so much in the way of promotion to those kids at least! It will certainly help to engage some of my more reluctant readers however and that’s always a good thing.
There is some bad language (minimal) in this one and certainly some scenes with drinking – but these are handled with good taste and a good subliminal moral tacked on – but just so you are aware if putting it in your library collection – probably for your Year 9s upwards, in my opinion.
I would highly recommend adding these to your collection for older readers who love some romance blended with some witty and intelligent writing.