This one was just okay. Although the concept was cute and I was intrigued by the plot and characters at first, as I read on I realized that although the things may have been 'happening' nothing was really evolving or moving along. Dash and Lily were both interesting characters at first, but half way through the book I began to get really annoyed with Lily and Dash just didn't bring an zeal or life to the storyline. Lily was probably my biggest issue with this book and one of the reasons I ultimately decided to move on instead of finishing the story. She seemed very young for 16. Very innocent and naive and sheltered - this is all fine if written well. Instead for me, Lily was just irritating. Her penchant for preferring stuffed animals to human interactions, her whininess over her parents' decision to spend Christmas in Fiji to celebrate their anniversary, the fact that she snuck out to a club to accept one of Dash's dares and then ran off for no apparent reason before returning the notebook to him. It was all just too much and I was already bored with the storyline so when I found myself becoming increasingly aggravated by a heroine I could neither identify with or like I decided that enough was enough, I wouldn't be following this book through to the end.
The concept of finding a notebook on a random shelf in a bookshop and then exchanging correspondence with an unknown who seems to get where you're coming from was really intriguing at first, but the dares weren't really dares, more like annoying tasks that needed to be fulfilled. And the way that Dash and Lily expressed themselves in their own inner dialogue seemed forced and not at all adolescent at times. It also bothered me when I learned that it wasn't Lily who ultimately started the notebook in the bookstore idea, but her brother and his boyfriend who had come up with the idea and forced Lily to go along with it. I think that had it have been Lily's idea I would have maybe liked her a bit more. She would have seemed more unusual, willing to risk, unique. Instead, like I said before, she was just blah and increasingly irritating in her immaturity as the story moved on.
I think there are a lot of people who would really like this book, but ultimately it just wasn't for me.
I didn't hate it, but I got bored and never felt the urge to really pick it up and dive into the story. I'll give it points for a few moments of cuteness and the overall plot idea.
And yes, I did read a Christmas book in the middle of August.