Dash has tricked his divorced parents and is spending Christmas alone in New York City. When he's browsing through the spectacular second-hand bookstore, the Strand, he comes across a red notebook. A girl named Lily challenges him to a series of dares. Of course, Dash accepts - and he writes back. In the days before Christmas, they swap dreams and dares in the notebook. They seem to be perfect for each other, but could their real-life selves possibly match up?
At times I felt the story dragged a bit, but at others I was literally laughing out loud, so overall I felt it averaged out to an above-average read. Also, the cover is lovely.
The premise was cute, the execution excellent, and the ending not nearly as cliche as you would expect from the summary.
Lily was a little obnoxious; I felt she was a little too starry-eyed and childish. But the others made up for her easily. Her extended family was hilarious. Dash was actually pretty appealing, for a long-word-using book nerd that is consistently described as "snarly." And of course, the militant mommies. An excellent cast.
I liked the subtle (and not-so-subtle) differences between the two authors' styles; it made the book fun to read.
End Result: four stars. A good book, definitely worth your time.