Monday, 8, March, 2021

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Dash and Lily's challenge book is about enjoying the moments of life, reflecting on our fears, our bubbles. It's about getting to know us better and with the protagonists, secondary characters, unusual situations, the wonderful scenery ... It is a super recommended reading for anyone who wants to reflect and have fun in one shot! Good reading.

Review | Dash & Lily's Challenge Book

Recently, Netflix brought the series Dash and Lily which tells us the story of two teenagers who, while being very different from each other, also find many similarities between them. The book is published by Publisher Galera Record and this is the third book written in co-partnership between David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. We can enjoy an engaging story that gives us light and deep, tense and calm, funny and sad moments.

The protagonist Lily loves Christmas, she is a good girl, she is always in a good mood and even though she doesn't have many friends, she is happy with her life as it is. However, this year, with his parents traveling, his Christmas is ruined, were it not for his brother's idea of leaving a little red notebook in the most chaotic bookstore in New York City with a series of challenges for someone, possibly a boy who finds you, hoping to maybe find a boyfriend for Lily. Obviously, that she doesn't believe it very much, but joins in the fun and when Dash, the boy who finds his notebook, responds by challenging her too, she can't resist answering it either. This dynamic takes them on an incredible adventure through New York City, little by little they get to know each other better through the exchange of challenges that mark Christmas in a unique way in the life of each one of them and makes us dive into an exciting and reflective story.

Dash is the son of separate parents and does not have a good relationship with his father. By lying to his parents, telling his mother that he would spend Christmas with his father and vice versa, he manages to be alone in his New York home during the holiday season - which, by the way, he hates. Upon entering the most chaotic bookstore in New York, he discovers a notebook containing instructions for a challenge, which consists of testing those who accept it in order to select them to talk to an unknown girl. In this way, the two begin to talk through the notebook, without really knowing who the other one is talking to.

“There was nothing written on the spine of that particular notebook. I had to take it off the shelf to see the front, where there was a piece of masking tape with the words "YOU HAVE COURAGE" written in black permanent pen. When I opened the cover, I found a note on the front page. ” Dash, p. 10

At the same time that Dash and Lily are opposed - he hates Christmas, she loves it; he is quite sarcastic, she is gentle and sweet; he has problems with his family, since she is very connected to them - both are very similar, and not just to literary tastes. Like any teenager, they both look for something that, in a way, completes them, because they have a void within them. Dash has a hard time believing, having faith, having hope, and finding Lily - the girl who seems to approach his ideal and someone he identifies with without even having met - seems to give him a little optimism. Lily, for her part, needs to find out who she really is, to look beyond her stereotypes by which she defines herself. And it is Dash who helps her in this regard, as challenges encourage her to go further, to get out of the bubble itself. In fact, the rapprochement between them ends up being more than an encounter between two young people, but an encounter with each other's inner “I”.

The plot has a fluid and delicious narrative, easy to read and fall in love. A very important detail is that it is not possible to differentiate which author wrote which part, as both parts are perfectly combined. The proposal of the story focuses on the phase of discovering oneself, that is, the period of changes and choices that we all face. In a few pages the book makes us reflect, amid the ironies of the protagonists, about the changes that happen in our lives and that we must accept and learn from these experiences, always seeing the good side to take to life. And throughout the chapters we see the characters mature.

 “The important people in our lives leave marks. They may or may not stay on the physical plane, but they exist forever in the heart, because they helped to form it. You can't forget that. ” (p. 228)

The publisher's graphic work is divine and my only caveat is the white sheets. Now it remains to hope for the Galera Record to bring the continuation of the book to us soon, and I confess that I am very curious about the continuation, because it never hurts to have a dose of Dash and Lily and this cute romance full of messages to reflect on. Yes, I recommend reading, it's worth it.

The book gains its reflective air and there are many moments that exude truth between Dash and Lily, in which, when writing in the notebook, they reveal their souls, causing us to reflect on various situations that the protagonists reveal and address throughout the pages. . There is a lot of sensitivity in those moments, and there is also sincerity. Despite this, the book does not become dense or boring. With its light plot and its fun and unusual situations, it makes reading not lose its characteristics of a good Young Adult.

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