Friday, 2 November 2012

Review: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

 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.


  1. I think that was some of the best moments. The dares and the constant wondering, the surprises and the shocks. I lapped this book up like a vanilla cone on a sweaty day - no euphemisms intentional, btw xD It's always nice to hear someone loved a book like this, one of those happily confusing ones that make the day blissful!

  2. Oh, wow! Thus book sounds like so much fun! I'm definitely curious about the "wishy washiness". Thanks for a great review, Jasprit. I'm looking forward to read Dash & Lily!

  3. I loved the nick-names "Shrilly" and "Snarly"! This book had me totally cracking up in parts. Love the video Jasprit! I totally want to go there too! :)

  4. Wonderful review, dear! I've been on the fence about reading this one, but I definitely want to start it now. I think I'll wait till Christmas since that seems like the perfect time for such a sweet, cute, and adorable romance. I have yet to pick up anything by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn and since you enjoyed this so much, I'm sure I will too! Thanks for such a beautifully written and helpful review, Jasprit! :D

  5. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, I read it back in April and I couldn't really get into it. I loved the concept of the moleskin notebook full of dares but Levithan's writing bothered me for some reason in the story. I'm glad it worked out quite well for you though! Lovely review :)

  6. I've heard a lot of things but this book before. Like Keertana, I've been on the fence for this one but after reading your review, I think I might just need to read this soon ;) Dash & Lily both sound like awesome characters so I can't wait to meet them!

    Awesome review, Jasprit ♥ Glad you enjoyed it!

  7. I was a bit of a shrilly phase myself lol. This book sounds like great fun and I always enjoy wit and sarcasm :) Brilliant review Jaspirit.

  8. Beautiful review, makes me want to read the book myself. And thank you for the Strand bookstore video, it looks awesome. I wish I live in NY, or at least come to visit. I know where I would spend a lot of my time. :D

    Dragana @ Bookworm Dreams

  9. Awwwwwww this sounds SUPER cute and sweet<3 The last book I read about dares was a little disappointing, but hopefully this one will be better<3
    AND THAT QUOTE! Loveeeee it<3 Great review Jasprit! I'm so glad you liked it :D

  10. Lovely review, Jasprit! This is a book that I've had my eyes on for some time, but I never got to it for some reason. Your review makes me want to really read it! :)
    It sounds so super cute and Dash definitely seems crush-worthy!
    I'm glad that you enjoyed the book although it took you some time to get used to the writing! :)

  11. I absolutely loved this book! But I agree with the style of writing it takes a bit to get used to but that's then again, it's why I actually loved this book. And heck, who wouldn't love a boy who hangs out at second-hand bookstores? :)

    Great review, Jas.

  12. I'm really curious about this one Jasprit. I recently read Beta by Rachel Cohn and it was surprisingly dark and a bit disturbing, so I'm interested in seeing how she approaches this lighter story. Good to know about the writing up front, I don't think it will bother me now that I know I just need to stick with it through the opening chapters:) Looking forward to giving this book a try!

  13. I've seen this book around a lot and have been super curious about it. I might try to slip it in before Christmas as it sounds like a great read! I love that video at the end. I totally want to go there. :D

  14. This one sounds really good! I just recently got the audiobook for this because I thought it would be a good one for the holiday season. Good to know that you enjoyed it so much. :)

  15. Ohh, just this morning I read a contemporary romance based on Rachel's review/recommendation and really enjoyed it, and I'm still in the mood for sweet books like that (and this) one. It's weird that the prose is awkward and doesn't make sense at times, especially because Levithan is such an accomplished editor, but I guess it can be overlooked. :)
    Lovely review, my darling.

  16. Cute and fun? - Count me in. This book sounds great. I don't know why I thought it was a thriller for the longest time. I think that I was confusing the cover with another book cover from a thriller series, so I associated it with that for some reason, haha.

    Awesome review. Definitely have to add this one to my TBR list :)

  17. I've had this book for AGES unread. I keep waiting for the 'right' time to read it and I just haven't found that time yet...

  18. I read this one a couple of Christmases back and really enjoyed it too! Lovely review :) So glad it's being brought out in the UK there aren't enough YA festive books in my opinion!

  19. Oh, this one sounds really sweet, and I SO want to meet Dash and Lily. Perfect book to read before Christmas? Sold lady, sold. ;) It looks like one I can snuggle up with under a Christmas tree... *sigh* Splendid review, mate. :)

  20. I'm so glad you enjoy it! And thanks for the video, it makes me want to go to New York even more!!!! DX

  21. I got this out of the library in Aus last year, and I remember enjoying it, but not as much as I thought I would. I think I was just making comparisons with Nick and Norah, which I loved. I love their writing style and the strength of the two characters, but sometimes to story felt like it was ambling a bit and I just wanted it to get a move on!


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