- Netflix’s romantic holiday series “Dash and Lily” premiered on Tuesday.
- The show is based on Rachel Cohn and David Levithan’s novel “Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares.”
- Many of the dares and subplots are totally different in the book.
- Unlike on the show, the book’s ending involves police officers and a giant dog.
- The show also gives Edgar and Sofia much bigger roles.
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Netflix’s holiday rom-com series “Dash and Lily” debuted on Tuesday, but its source material has been out for a decade.
Although the show kept the fun tone of the book and its perspective-switching format, it changed some main plotlines, character arcs, and other details.
Read on to learn about the major ways the series is different from the book.
Warning: Spoilers for the show and book ahead.
The original Strand dare and message didn’t involve Christmas or singing.
In the novel, Dash still finds the red notebook at The Strand in between copies of “Franny and Zooey,” but the actual messages and dares inside of it are different than what we see on the show.
The very first question is even changed.
On the show, the coded message from Lily asks, “Are you going to be lonely on Christmas?” In the book, the message is, “Are you going to be playing for the pure thrill of unreluctant desire?”
In the book, Dash doesn’t have to sing Joni Mitchell’s “River” as a clue, either.
Lily and Dash are younger in the book.
In the book, Dash and Lily seem to be a year younger than they are on the show.
Dash mentions being 16 years old in the book, and Lily is supposed to be the same age.
This would seem to make them juniors in high school, but the series shows them as seniors in high school.
The book’s timeline is a bit more sped up.
The first episode of the series takes place on December 17 and shows Dash’s perspective. The episode from Lily’s perspective takes place on December 18.
The book begins a bit later, as it starts on December 21. The later start date speeds up Lily and Dash’s romance, as the two then fall in love within days.
Lily’s caroling group has different members in the book.
In the book, Lily hangs up flyers to form her caroling group. The group consists of herself, her cousin Mark who works at The Strand, and five others.
Lily’s caroling group is still a part of the show, but the group’s members and origin are different.
Rather than hang up flyers, Lily creates her caroling group through a social-media post.
Her cousin is not part of the caroling group, and of the other five members, only Aryn and Roberta keep their distinct characteristics from the book.
In the book, Dash asks Lily to see a movie she hates as a dare.
Lily’s dislike of “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” is part of both the novel and the show.
On the show, she talks about it with Boomer after leaving the notebook next to the movie’s DVD at Two Boots.
In the book, she sees the movie after Dash leaves a ticket for her in the notebook, and she sees it again with Edgar later.
Lily enjoys baking in the book but she isn’t shown baking on the show.
Lily’s love of baking is frequently mentioned in the book.
She bakes cookies for Dash and leaves them with the notebook during one of their dares, which delights him and Boomer as they snack on eggnog, gingerbread, and pumpkin cookies.
The homemade dog treats Lily makes are still shown on the show, though the scene of Lily baking them is only found in the book.
The only real food preparation on the show is when Lily sends Dash to make mochi, a Japanese type of rice cake.
Boomer meets Lily quite a bit later in the book.
On the Netflix series, Lily meets Boomer during her very first dare when she returns the notebook to Two Boots. The two talk at the pizzeria a few times, and Lily calls him at one point as well.
They both keep the fact that they know each other a secret from Dash.
In the book, Lily meets Boomer much later during the dare where she makes her Snarl puppet. Dash also knows that they have met since he’s the one who sends Boomer to get the notebook.
Lily doesn’t make her own clothing in the book.
On the show, Lily mentions to Benny that she makes her own clothes, which isn’t a big part of the book.
Aside from knitting sweaters for her grandfather and Langston at Christmas and making her own hat in grade school, the book never mentions Lily making her own clothes.
Her sense of style is still unique and colourful in the books, though. One scene from the book describes her as wearing candy-cane stockings and a lime-green skirt with a reindeer on it.
The red boots have a different backstory in the book.
The red boot Lily leaves behind at the Hanukkah party helps Dash to track her down after she fails to leave the notebook with his friends.
On the show, these boots came from a costume-supply store and were rented by Lily’s aunt years ago.
In the book, the boots were Lily’s great-aunt’s majorette boots from high school. Lily finds them in her dress-up clothes trunk, adds gold tassels, and wears them to the party.
In the book, Dash doesn’t see “Collation” alone.
In the novel and on the show, “Collation” is an animated movie about office supplies that fall in love.
On the series, Dash watches “Collation” on Christmas and seems to be the only person in the theatre who went alone.
In the book, he sees it with Boomer before Christmas – and Boomer is really, really excited about it.
The dares in the book send Dash to more than one tourist attraction.
The dare that sends Dash to Madame Tussauds wax museum only appears in the book. He takes Boomer with him on this dare, and they run into Priya as well.
This is also where Dash meets Lily’s great-aunt for the first time – she works at Madame Tussauds and helps pass off the notebook.
Dash’s dream of owning a specific book is completely cut from the show.
In both the book and on the show, Dash and Lily ask each other what they want for Christmas.
In the book, Dash tells Lily that he wants an unabridged Oxford English Dictionary, a massive 20-volume set with the definition of every word in the English language.
Dash even has a nightly routine of flipping through his current dictionary to learn a new word.
His love of words and dictionaries is cut from the show, which also changes some details about their New Year’s Eve date.
The show never mentions Lily’s cruel nickname, which is heavily featured in the book.
The book gives Lily a nickname with a pretty gruesome backstory.
As a child, Lily’s gerbil is eaten by another pet at show-and-tell, which causes her to scream. Since she can’t stop screaming, the other kids nickname her “Shrilly.”
The show instead has Edgar call Lily “weird” in an incident involving handmade bracelets.
Snarl was a larger part of the book.
Lily makes a puppet version of what she thinks “Notebook Boy” looks like, and she names it Snarl since all of the notebook messengers have described Dash as snarly.
On the show, Lily makes Snarl at a Break Bar pop-up – but in the book, Dash sends her to FAO Schwarz to make a puppet.
In the novel, Lily gives Snarl to Boomer with the notebook, and Dash brings Snarl to the house in Dyker Heights that she tells him to visit.
When Lily learns that Dash left Snarl behind, she takes this as a sign of rejection, and this, rather than seeing Dash with Sofia, is what sparks her to call Edgar.
Lily’s grandfather doesn’t have a cat on the show.
When Lily’s grandfather is in Florida in the book, Lily takes care of his cat, Grunt.
Lily describes him as the closest thing she has to her a pet since she’s not allowed to get her own. Her grandfather doesn’t have a cat on the show.
Dash never spends time with his dad in the book.
Sofia and Dash go out to dinner with Dash’s father and the father’s new girlfriend on the show.
In the book, neither of Dash’s parents ever interact with him outside of texts and phone calls. Dash’s dad does call him on Christmas, but the dinner with Sofia never happens.
Lily’s nightmare sequence only happens on the show.
Before she goes to see the Challah Back Boys, Lily has a nightmare about going to the show. Her nightmare features people in masks and neon colours who are all laughing at her.
In the book, she has a different dream before the show.
Lily dreams that Dash is holding up a notebook that has different possibilities of what his name might be written on it, while Eminem sings, “My Name Is” over and over again.
The first time Lily and Edgar run into each other in the book isn’t at the Hanukkah party.
On the show, Edgar and Lily run into each other at the Hanukkah party and then again at the dog park.
In the book, Edgar is never at the Challah Back Boys show, so the first time they see each other since grade school is when he sees her walking dogs in the park.
Dash and Lily don’t meet at Priya’s party in the book.
Priya’s party has a few big differences in the book.
First of all, in the book, Priya’s parents are around during the party, where there’s no alcohol. The party is also thrown the day after Christmas, rather than on Christmas Eve like on the show.
Edgar and Lily attend the party in the show, but in the book, Edgar invites her to the party and then takes her to see “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” instead.
Sofia doesn’t try to get back together with Dash in the book.
Although Sofia is still a part of the book and she does spend time with Dash, she never tries to get back together with him.
The two interact, but the entire Morgan Library date never happens.
In both the book and the movie, though, Sofia warns Dash about falling for the idea of Lily rather than who she really is.
Edgar and Lily never kiss in the book.
Edgar and Lily do go on a movie date together in the book but they don’t kiss.
When Lily gets drunk with her caroling group in the book, she passes out before she has the chance to kiss Edgar.
The Netflix version shows Lily getting drunk with her caroling group and kissing Edgar, which is witnessed by Dash.
Dash and Boomer don’t have a big argument in the book.
Like Sofia and Edgar, Boomer had a smaller role in the book.
After seeing Lily at the bar, Dash goes to Boomer’s house and blames his friend – who’d been helping him this whole time – for how badly things ended.
Boomer tries to invite Dash in to join his family for Christmas so they can talk things over, but he declines and insists that he doesn’t need his help anymore.
This argument is resolved when Dash apologizes to Boomer at a Jonas Brothers concert, but neither the argument nor the concert happens in the book.
The ManhattanMommies app in the show is an altered version of a mummy blog from the book, which posts about Dash.
Boomer downloads the app ManhattanMommies onto Dash’s phone on the show, which helps Dash find out where Lily is on Christmas.
In the book, Boomer instead tells Dash about the Washington Square Mommies blog.
During a snowball fight with kids in Washington Square Park, Dash accidentally hits a boy in the eye with a snowball. Mothers in the park use the mummy blog to share photos and accuse Dash of having intentionally hurt the kid.
Neither the snowball fight nor the post of Dash on the blog appears on the show.
In the book, Lily saves a baby’s life and ends up in police custody with Dash.
Toward the end of the book, Lily and Dash run into each other while Lily is walking a huge dog named Boris.
Boris drags the two of them to Washington Square Park and knocks a baby out of a stroller.
Lily catches the baby, but the Washington Square Mommies recognise Dash and accuse him and Lily of trying to kidnap the baby. Authorities arrive and take Dash, Lily, and Boris to an interrogation room while police review video footage from the park.
Though Dash and Lily aren’t charged with anything, the incident still makes the news, and Lily’s entire family finds out about it.
All of this is completely cut from the show, which also changes the next point.
In the book, Lily’s dream of getting a dog comes true.
Lily doesn’t have any pets of her own in the book or on the show, but both versions of the story make it clear that Lily loves animals and is a dog walker.
In the book, the situation with the baby and the police leads to Boris going home with Lily.
Boris’ original owner is Mark’s fellow Strand coworker (also absent from the show) who isn’t allowed to have pets in his apartment. After the news story with the baby breaks, he tells Lily she can keep his dog.
Dash and Lily’s New Year’s Eve date goes differently in the book.
On the show, Lily meets Dash at The Strand, where Dash has put up a tree with ornaments referencing their dares and a table full of the food they tried along the way.
Lily kisses him and the two watch New Year’s Eve fireworks from The Strand after realising they have accidentally locked themselves in.
In the book, Dash and Lily have a cooking date at Boomer’s famous aunt’s celebrity kitchen. They make Rice Krispies treats and then Lily gets them into The Strand.
There, she takes Dash into the basement to show him copies of the Oxford English Dictionary, which Dash had previously told her was his ideal Christmas gift.
They still get locked in the store and end up kissing, but the show never mentions the dictionary and the kitchen date doesn’t happen at all.
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