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The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Last year, Dash (kind of a Scrooge) and Lily (who possibly loves Christmas more than the elves) found each other and true love, thanks to a red Moleskine notebook in the Strand bookstore in New York City.

This year, Dash and Lily are coming up on their one year anniversary, and Lily isn’t so sure about anything any more.  Her beloved grandfather had a heart attack and a bad fall in the spring, Dash hasn’t said those three magic words back to her (can she be with a boy who maybe just likes her, even if it’s an awful lot, when she’s in love with him?), her older brother Langston is moving out of their family home to move in with his boyfriend, and it’s almost seventy degrees outside (thanks, global warming, for wrecking one more thing).

Dash, on the other hand, is absolutely sure that he has to save Christmas for Lily – and their relationship too.  He’s not sure why, but it feels like he’s losing her.  So he sets out to give Lily the most festively festive twelve days of Christmas – starting with the perfect Christmas tree for Lily’s annual friends and family tree lighting ceremony on December 13th.  All, however, does not go exactly, or even almost, according to plan.

What follows is twelve days of (unintentional) disasters, festivity, frozen hot chocolate, gingerbread lattes, misunderstandings, family drama and trauma, fights, kisses, ice skating parties besieged by glitter, wonderfully terrible Christmas movies, terribly wonderful Christmas sweaters, interfering family (some well-intentioned and some definitely not) and, of course true love.  If you loved Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares you definitely don’t want to miss this festive continuation of Dash & Lily’s love story – and if you haven’t, hurry up and check it out this holiday season!

What Light by Jay Asher

What Light by Jay Asher

9781595145512_p0_v3_s1200x630Every year, Sierra uproots from her Oregon Christmas tree farm the day before Thanksgiving, heading south with her parents to the family’s California tree lot to spend the holidays selling trees, wreaths, hot cocoa, and good cheer.  Sierra has such mixed feelings about her split life – she has no idea what it would be like to spend Christmas at home or with her best friends, Elizabeth and Rachel, but it also means she gets to hang out with her California bestie, Heather, and hike to the top of Cardinals Peak to check on her own tiny farm of six Oregon trees.

This year, though, is bittersweet.  The tree lot barely broke even last year – too many big box store lots to compete with – and Sierra’s parents are pretty sure that this year will be their last California Christmas.  Which means that Heather’s vow to find Sierra a boyfriend for the holidays is really, really not going to happen.  Why risk her dad’s overprotective, awkward hovering over a boy she’ll just have to say good-bye to in a few weeks?

But when Sierra meets Caleb, a boy with a complicated past, all her reservations about a holiday romance go right out the window with the appearance of his messy hair, his love for peppermint mochas, and his way-too-adorable dimples.  And when it turns out that the reason he keeps showing up at the tree lot is to buy and deliver trees for families who can’t afford them – with his own tip money (does it get any better than that? – her heart is pretty much a lost cause.  But can a tree lot girl from Oregon and a boy looking for redemption from California find a way to make love last past Christmas?

From the acclaimed author of Thirteen Reasons Why comes this absolutely delightful, frothy and sweet-as-hot chocolate confection of a novel just in time for the holidays.  Just the right mix of family, friendship, first love, hope, and Christmas sparkle, anyone who can’t wait for December to watch all their favorite Christmas movies definitely needs to add this to their to-read pile.  All you need to add is a decorated tree to curl up under and a mug of hot peppermint cocoa heaped with extra marshmallows to sip while you read.  Don’t wait for Santa to leave this under your tree – check it out at the library!