Mind the Gap, Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan


Rating: 3 out of 5.

What It’s About:

In Mind the Gap, Dash & Lily, we find that our favorite pair are in a good place. Dash was accepted to Oxford University and Lily took a gap year in order to grow her dog walking business (and become a dog-fluencer in the process). Things are finally looking good for the couple, that is until Dash announces that he won’t be coming home for Christmas. As a romantic gesture, Lily hops on a plane to give Dash a much needed holiday surprise. In true Dash & Lily form, however, things don’t go exactly as planned.

Let’s Talk About It:

You know, for a couple that is so sure they’re in love they do doubt each other’s love a lot. This is one of those stories that I wish had gone a different direction – the same way I had hoped that Rachel and David had taken The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily. Instead, they try to recapture the rom-com magic of the first book that it just feels trite and exhausting. But at least we get a change of scenery and are introduced to a new set of side characters, even though they are echoes of Dash and Lily’s American compatriots. 

I have little qualms about Dash’s situation — going to Oxford and finding that it wasn’t what he had anticipated seems pretty spot on with him. I just don’t see Lily as one who skips college to discover herself. And while it worked for the story, it just didn’t seem in character for her. I do love how her arc is wrapped in this story, but Dash’s becoming that intern with just two questions is eyebrow raising. 

My biggest beef is that Dash and Lily aren’t allowed to grow as characters on their own. This makes Sofia and Boomer’s relationship way more realistic, because while they seem like an oddball pairing (see my review for the last book), their relationship is put to the test as Boomer attends a college in Colorado while she stays in New York. Instead of pulling apart, as Dash and Lily fear what is happening to them, they grow closer together. And though we get zero context other than that bit of information, Sofia does state that she’s allowed to grow as a person outside of Boomer while still wanting to be with him.

But I guess you can’t have a Dash & Lily story if Dash and Lily are apart. But why not? 

I get that Rachel and David want to keep the magic of a Christmas romance, but am I alone that I was hoping this novel would end with a bittersweet, tearful goodbye? That way there would be more honest-to-god character growth, rather than two post-adolescent adults whining about how unfair life is? Jesus, have I really become that jaded?

And I’m not saying they cannot reunite during the events of the inevitable fourth book (c’mon, Rachel and David – we’ve made it this far), but at this point they’re beginning to feel a lot like Dewey and Gale at this point. They end at a good point only to open at a bad one. I’m just saying, open the next story with the two estranged, grown into their own aspect of adulthood, and let them find each other again. 

Maybe not with a red journal, though.

Tara Sands and Ryan Gesell reprise their narrations for the two characters for the audiobook, and, just like the two books before, they do a phenomenal job with their roles. They are two narrators that I have on my list to keep an eye out for.

Until next time, keep on huntin’. 

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