I first read Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares when I was 11. Back then Christmas was exciting to me, and I still thought I would grow up to be a teenager in a YA novel.
It was a Christmas romance about two misunderstood New York teenagers who fall in love through a notebook they share. That synopsis was like drugs for any pre-pubescent tween with an over-active imagination.
But by the time Netflix decided to turn the book by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan into a limited series, I’d largely forgotten what had attracted me to it in the first place.
That was the first Christmas after my dad passed away. He was the one I’d watch It’s a Wonderful Life with and it felt like a betrayal to hear Clarence get his wings without him.
So I had a dilemma. Either go through past Christmas favourites and remember times I’d watched them with him. Or find something new.
So begrudgingly I switched on Dash & Lily, an eight-part series starring Austin Abrams and Midori Francis. I tried to prepare myself for an embarrassing insight into my childhood mind. But instead, I binged it in one night.
Yet again, these pretentious rich kids had wormed their way into my watch list. But this time I didn’t let go.
Dash & Lily is so good because it never tries to be something that it isn’t. It leans into the romantic-comedy genre and embraces all the clichés that come with that title, while also making it its own.
Also, the two leads, Austin Abrams and Midori Francis have amazing chemistry despite spending much of the series apart.
Now every year, I take time out of stress-induced Christmas shopping to sit down and watch two teenagers innocently fall in love during the holidays. It’s easy, low stakes, and a tradition that is mine alone.
I let myself indulge my inner pre-teen. My Christmas may look a lot different from what she was used to but that’s okay. Christmas will continue to look a little different every single year but that doesn’t mean I’m betraying anyone.
Who knows, this year I may even be able to watch It’s a Wonderful Life as well.
Featured Image Credit: Netflix