10 August 2017

What I've Been Reading: July 2017

The first book I read in July was actually a Christmas book called 'The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily' by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. It's the sequel to 'Dash and Lily's Book of Dares' which was one of my favourite books as a teen. Why did you choose to read a Christmas book in July? I hear you ask. Well, it's been sat on my shelf for a few months and I couldn't wait until Christmas to see what happened to Dash and Lily (the anticipation was killing me). Before I start the review, I'd recommend re-reading the original story before starting this one; it's been years since I read the original and I found myself getting confused with some of the characters. The story follows Dash and Lily in the twelve days before Christmas. Dash can see that Lily is losing her love for Christmas; what with her family moving away, her brother moving out and her Grandpa being in the hospital, there's no festive twinkle in her eyes. But Dash is determined to make this a Christmas to remember and remind Lily why she loves the festive season so much. 

Overall, it was a really good book. It was nice to just dip into from time to time and I found it to be quite a slow read. Although the story was adorable, I didn't find myself hooked on it where I couldn't put it down. Instead, I just read it as and when I pleased, which was nice as sometimes books can be a little bit too intense. Dash and Lily are as cute as ever; Dash is hilarious but Lily annoyed me more than I remember her doing in the first book. I think her character over-reacted a lot and I remember thinking 'Calm down, Lily' a lot. 

The plot was brilliant; there were constant twists and I found myself not knowing what was going to happen next which was something that I really liked about the book. There's nothing I hate more than reading a story that is so predictable and you just know what's going to happen next. However, this story was one of those where I thought I knew what was going to happen but then things took a completely different turn. I found myself experiencing a mixture of different emotions; it made me cringe, laugh, cry and fall in love all over again. I now remember why I loved the first book so much. It was extremely well written and the perfect story to get you into the Christmas spirit (I think I'm going to re-read it when we get closer to the festive season!) 

The next book I read was 'A Night in with Audrey Hepburn' by Lucy Holliday. I found this book in a small bookshop in Southport, saw the word Audrey Hepburn and already knew that it was right up my street. If you didn't already know, Audrey Hepburn is one of my idols and I do everything I can to be like her. It's the first in the 'A Night in with...' series and if this is anything to go by, then I can't wait to read the rest. The story follows Libby, a young girl who's forced into the acting lifestyle by her mother. However, when she suffers an embarrassing incident on the set of her latest show, her day just goes from bad to worse. That is until Audrey Hepburn turns up on her sofa, a Fairy Godmother to help turn her wrongs into rights. 

If you're an Audrey Hepburn fan, then this is the story for you. It is absolutely brilliant. Libby is such a relatable character and the banter between her and Audrey is hilarious. I spent many nights laughing out loud at how funny they were together. It had a Bridget Jones vibe about it, I found myself laughing at Libby's expense with all the hilariously cringy things that happened to her but at the same time, I was rooting for her, it somehow felt like she was a friend. The imagery was so vivid and I could picture every character and every scenario they found themselves in; it was like a movie playing in my head. Dillon O'Hara was such a dreamboat. 

It's clear that a lot of research has gone into the story as the character of Audrey was so believable, from the way she spoke to the way dressed. I could see her sitting on the sofa, cutting Libby's hair and giving her a make over. The small reference to her at the end of the story almost brought me to tears, I'm not going to say anymore as I don't want to ruin it for you when you read it. There were so many subtle hints to Audrey throughout the story and it was so cleverly written by Holliday. I found that the story inspired me, I've found myself asking 'What would Audrey do?' when I find myself in a tricky situation or 'What would Audrey wear?' when I'm going out and I can find nothing in my wardrobe. I just wish she'd turn up on my sofa and be my BFF. 

However, the book did have some very minor faults. It's very clear that it needs editing as I spotted a lot of mistakes in printing and sometimes the story rambled on a little too much. The perks of reading as a writer. Despite this, I read the book in a week and I couldn't put it down. I loved the personal issues touch; the book was less about Audrey Hepburn and more about Libby's relationship with her Father. It had everything going on and I didn't find myself getting bored at all. It's definitely one of my new favourite books and I'd recommend it to everyone. 

'The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily' - Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Recommended: Yes
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Recommended: Yes
Rating: 4.5 Stars 

If you have any book recommendations then leave them in the comments!

Lots of Love,


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