Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
Authors: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Publisher: Mira Ink
Publication date: October 5th 2012
My rating: 4 stars
I've left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you dont, put the book back on the shelf, please.
Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions? Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.
Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares was a super cute and fun book which totally gets you in the mood for Christmas. Lily’s not in the mood for Christmas this year, her parents havwe gone to Fiji for their 25 year wedding anniversary, her grandpa has gone to Florida so Lily’s just stuck at home with her brother Langston and his boyfriend Benny. Lily feels like moping around but then her brother comes up with a plan; he puts some dares in a red moleskin notebook “from Lily” and leaves it in the Strand bookstore. Dash eventually finds the book and what results is Lily and Dash leaving several dares for each other over the Christmas period. Both are lonely and so what started off as a joke develops into a fun friendship with a stranger.
I really enjoyed anticipating what dares Dash and Lily would come up with and whether they would be able to fully go through with them, some of the situations easily brought a smile to my face, we had Dash who was dared to sit on Santa’s lap (you have to remember Dash is a fully grown teenager and was getting dirty looks from parents throughout) and get the notebook from Santa’s coat. (Imagine how that would look!). Lily had to sneak out to a club at 2 in the morning just so she could pass the notebook to the handsome gumshoe wearing the fedora hat. I adored how their dares often resulted in crossed wires and also tons of trouble. I also adored their nicknames; Lily had taken to calling Dash Snarl as whoever was the go between in and passing along the notebook said he was sort of snarly and Lily’s nickname of shrilly sort of reminded me of my younger self where I went through a similar phase.
What also took me by surprise in this book was Dash’s maturity, yes at times he was dorky and some of his lines resulted in me snort laughing, but then he would come up with some meaningful lines in the notebook that really tore at my heart. It made me want to give Dash a big hug.
“I want to believe there is someone out there just or me. I want to believe that I exist to be there for that somebody”
Dash and Lily were characters I could easily relate to, they were witty and sarcastic and I enjoyed getting to know them even more; their thoughts feelings and fears, through their notes left in their notebook. Dash and Lily’s book of Dares also had a great set of secondary characters. There were several family members and friends who were involved in passing the notebook along and their parts always brought a huge grin to my face; from Dash’s crazy but caring friend Boomer, Lily’s knowledgeable Great aunt Ida, Lily’s grandpa, Cousin Mark and the hilarious Edgar.
The only problem I had with this book was that it took me a while before I was able to adjust to the writing style, it was a bit wishy-washy and to me didn’t make sense in places. But if you’re willing to give this book a try, stick it out for the first few chapters and I promise you it will definitely be worth it.
Dash and Lily’s book of Dares was a charming story full of festive fun, adventure and memorable secondary characters. Reminding that sometimes we can find the most fun and carefree time in the places and with people we least expect.
I thought I’d leave you with this video of the Strand bookstore in New York where Dash and Lily’s adventure began. I so want to go there.