Monday, December 17, 2012

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

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Series: Standalone
Published: October 26th, 2010
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
260 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Contemporary young adult
Acquired this book: From the library
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Purchase this book: Book Depository || Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. 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. 

On the surface, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares seems like a fun read about what happens when a teenage boy and girl leave messages for each other in a red notebook and send each other on dares around New York City. While that aspect of the story was well done, a lot of fun, and often really funny, the book was about more than that - it was about possibilities, change, being open to things, taking risks, and learning some of the truths about life.

I’ll admit that at first I had mixed feelings about Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares. While I enjoyed the dares and the back-and-forth between the characters in the notebook, I had a little trouble getting past just how different Dash and Lily were from most characters. The way they talked, the way they thought, their behavior - it was so different, but I embraced it and them and ended up loving them.

Lily is overprotected, sheltered, and naïve. At times she seemed much younger than sixteen, while Dash often seemed much older. They appeared to be an unlikely pair, but they brought out the best in each other, even before they finally met. I connected with both of them more than I expected I would, and I also loved the secondary characters, particularly Great-aunt Ida and Boomer. They added a lot of humour and depth to the story. 

A quick, fun read that’s perfect for the holiday season - or any time of year - particularly if you enjoy books set in New York City, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares is sweet, funny, quirky, charming, and unexpectedly enchanting. 

Have you read Dash & Lily's Book of Dares? What did you think? If you found a red notebook in a bookstore and discovered it was full of dares, what would you do?


  1. I so want to read this. I've wanted to read everything of David's every since I read Every Day. I'm glad you liked this one!

  2. "It was about possibilities, change, being open to things, taking risks, and learning some of the truths about life."

    Want this book now...

    Um, if I found a red notebook full of dares, I'd probably freak out and run away. Lol. But I think that the premise of this may change my mind on that...


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