Mini Reviews: What Light and The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily

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What LightWhat Light by Jay Asher

My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2/5)

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it’s a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other.

Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.

By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb’s past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

What Light is a love story that’s moving and life-affirming and completely unforgettable.

my-review

“I don’t know how to fully enjoy any of these moments without wondering if it’s the last.”

Truly a sweet and festive Christmas read perfect for the season. What Light is about Sierra, whose family owns a Christmas tree farm/lot, and she kinda lives a different life every Christmas season. This year might be her last Christmas in California due to financial issues her parents are dealing with, coincidentally it’s also the year she meets this boy Caleb—a Christmas tree giving nice-and-undeniably-cute-dimpled guy. But rumor has it that he’s that not nice of guy at all, and of course Sierra wants to know for herself.

I could have easily loved this book with all its warm fluffiness and cheesiness but I couldn’t and I really can’t pinpoint why. I’m kidding, here’s the bits that I didn’t like:

  • Was it insta-love? Meh, irdk. They didn’t get together super fast but everything intensified super fast. Like one day, Sierra saw Caleb for the first time and definitely attracted was to his dimple, I mean to him, then she was intrigued with his past. Then, a couple of chapters later she was battling his battles for him? I know that she means good by talking to Caleb’s ex-bestfriend about not being friends with him anymore because of what happened in the past but for me it kind of crossed a line? Slow down girl, you just got here a few weeks ago. Another thing was that by the end, they were already saying Iloveyous? Huh maybe I’m just being a Grinch but it didn’t work out for me.
  • How Sierra was towards her friends. First, she has Heather her bestfriend in California who she’s been missing for the whole year and can’t wait to spend time with—or so she says. Oddly though, when she got there the two didn’t spend a lot of time with each other. And when they did they either was with their boyfriends or talking about them. Second, Sierra with her other bestfriends back home. So one of her BFFs has this show that is super important to her and Sierra ditched her for a boy. And then, when she finally talks to her BFF it’s to ask help for boy problems. Well, Sierra you’re both not being a good friend and not passing the Bechdel test.
  • Each chapter is drama-induced. They seriously can’t get happy for a whole chapter, it’ll always end on a bad note and it seriously got to me. When Sierra and Caleb finally kissed, Sierra gets home all dreamy and giddy but then her Dad comes in and says that she should stop seeing Caleb because they’re growing to serious blah, blah, blah. Wow, thanks a lot Dad. Plus, most of the problems showed were a bit petty, just minor bumps if you think about it so I don’t get why they were so worked up with most of it.
  • The writing style was meh. I remember loving Thirteen Reasons Why, so I don’t know why this didn’t worked for me. It’s a short book but I would loved it be a lot shorter considering how nothing much really happened.

It actually pains me to write this review filled with negative things, the book clearly had some light to it. Like that it’s perfect for the holidays—wait I already said that. But it seriously is, it’s centered in Christmas, family, forgiveness, and seeing the good in people. Its romance was supposedly moving but it didn’t move me an inch but maybe you’ll enjoy it more. It’s a quick read and it has cookies plus peppermint mocha. Go give it a try, you may like it or not—it’s worth the shot I guess.


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The Twelve Days of Dash and LilyThe Twelve Days of Dash and Lily (Dash & Lily #2) by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan

My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5)

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Dash and Lily have had a tough year since they first fell in love among the shelves of their favorite bookstore. Lily’s beloved grandfather suffered a heart attack, and his difficult road to recovery has taken a major toll on her typically sunny disposition.

With only twelve days left until Christmas—Lily’s favorite time of the year—Dash, Lily’s brother Langston, and their closest friends must take Manhattan by storm to help Lily recapture the unique holiday magic of a glittering, snow-covered New York City in December.

my-review

“Because this is only going to get worse,” she said. “So we must buck up, put on a kind face, and get on with it.” “Get on with what?”

“Life. In all its bittersweet glory.”

I read Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares last year (also during Christmastime) and really enjoyed that one, and I think it’s kind of a nice coincidence that I read the sequel, which takes place a year after, also a year after.

Here’s some tips/warnings if you’re considering to read this book:

  • Uhm, it’s a sequel…so read the first book first?
  • If you didn’t enjoy the first book, then even bother with one.
  • This ain’t a book full of fluff and rainbows candy canes and snowflakes.
  • And if you did enjoy the first book but don’t want to ruin your Dash and Lily experience, again—don’t even bother.

I think that it’s established that this isn’t a happy book, but it does has its moments! I was kind of worried with reading this one especially because I personally was also feeling under the weather this season, and I wanted to read something jolly and all round Christmas-y.

But you know what, I happened to enjoy reading this despite all the negativity. I connected with Lily on an emotional level about not feeling the holiday cheer.

It was an odd feeling—still so much sadness to process, and yet this felt like the best Christmas of my life.

So we all know Lily loves Christmas but this year, with the weight of all the things that happened to her life, she just can’t. A lot of people may be put off by Lily’s behavior in this book, believe me there were times when she also annoyed me for being so ungrateful, but it was very realistic. We can’t always be a ball of smiles and sunshine, even the jolliest of us are allowed to have bad days.

This where Dash comes along, he tries to cheer up Lily on this festive season. Scratch that, he doesn’t just tries to cheer her up but he’s trying to find her back and save their relationship. And ohmygod, I swear I loved Dash even more in this book. He’s the sweetest and most caring ever even when Lily was being so un-Lily. There were times when I got so frustrated with Lily that I just wanted to steal Dash from her.

Typically when our main characters finally get together, it’s already the last chapter. So I love it when I get to read beyond their happily ever after. Dash and Lily’s relationship is almost a year old and it hasn’t been all sugary sweet, evidently throughout the book I was slightly anxious that they’ll break up. And there were times when I thought that they should probably break up for the better. I really enjoyed reading more about their relationship—struggles and sweet moments included.

Lily’s family was still big and mostly lovable, while Dash’s family was still…meh. Boomer has a few surprises up on his sleeve. We have another Pixar movie to look forward to. It’s a character-driven book and everything eventually comes together by the end, though it has some pretty random moments where I felt lost as to where they came from. 

I started off hoping this book will put me into a Christmas-y mood and I ended up accepting the fact that it’s okay that I’m not feeling all jolly this year. So if you want a fluffy and warm Christmas-y book don’t read this one. But do I recommend it? Yes. Definitely. Go give it a try.

What an idiot Santa is for flying around alone. Because who would want to travel the world without another person’s heartbeat beside him?


That’s all, thank you so much for reading. If you want to read more book reviews from this blog, just click here. And you could also find my reviews in Goodreads.

16 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: What Light and The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily

  1. I hate it when stories take the fast lane with romance or any relationship. Everything takes time, so it feels weird to see someone so invested in someone else after a couple of chapters. Also: girl friends only talking about guys? NO NO NO. Girls can have so many talks that don’t involve boys. I wish friendships were explored more that this.
    Great mini reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t read Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares yet so I skipped out on reading your second review, didn’t want to accidentally spoil anything for myself lol. But that sucks about What Light. I was pretty excited for it but now I think I’ll pass. I definitely don’t like books that have a lot of boy drama and friendships that revolve around boyfriends. Either way, great review! 💕😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Celebrating the Little Things Tag | geniereads

  4. Hahaha- I love your tip “This book is a sequel.” Fact. So many people I know read the second or third book in a series because it’s hyped and they don’t even realize it at first! Oops.
    It’s a shame that you didn’t connect to What Light, but there is nothing wrong with not connecting. I like reading critical reviews. It shows me that the reader thought about the book and has their own beliefs and opinions about what they enjoy. Great mini reviews!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I personally know someone who accidentally read a sequel. She talked about the sequel and said that she didn’t understand a lot of things then I had the unfortunate job of pointing that it was indeed a sequel. It was a funny moment, but now the series is ruined for her lol. I do believe that books are subjective and that the connection varies from reader to reader. Thank you so much, Jackie! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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