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

Book Title: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares

Author: Rachel Cohn, David Levithan

Publisher: Knoph Books for Young Readers

Original publication date: October 26 2010

Genre: Young Adult

Format/pages: Hardcover, 260 Pages

Format read: Kindle Edition

Date read: November 28 2010

Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

Summary from the publisher:

“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 New York Times 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.

My thoughts:

I picked up this book because I wanted to read something funny and romantic and set in the holiday season and this definitely fits the bill. Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares is a charming, witty and entertaining book that just happens to be set in New York during the week of Christmas.  Told in alternating chapters, Dash and Lily meet through a red moleskine notebook (the Book of Dares) she has placed on a shelf next to her favorite author’s books in The Strand bookstore. Dash and Lily are both spending the holidays alone and have a lot of fun creating dares for the other to complete.

The setting and the time frame really added to my enjoyment of the story. The authors did a great job of showing the positive and negative side of the holiday season in New York. Many New York landmarks such as The Strand bookstore play an important role in the storytelling. It really made me miss New York and want to go exploring the city with my own book of dares.

The alternating chapters worked very well and it was fun to get into both characters heads. Dash and Lily are both intelligent and funny characters and have amazing vocabularies for their age. Overall I think I preferred Dash’s chapters best. He is kind of a loner, clever, bookish and moody. The adjective snarly is used more than once to describe Dash when Lily asks about him. Lily certainly also has her charms, and is likeable and funny and sympathetic and I love her “Shrilly” stories. They balance each other perfectly.

Dash and Lily’s parents are both absent throughout the book. Lily lives with her brother and has a strong network of extended family looking out for her, and Dash has a small supportive group of friends. I loved all of the quirky characters sprinkled throughout the book. One of my favorites is Boomer, Dash’s sidekick friend who helps Dash out with the dares.

I read this book on my kindle aloud with my preteen daughter S. We both enjoyed it and were laughing throughout. At certain points she asked if we could stop reading, because she did not want the book to end. She really wants to go to New York now to all the places Dash & Lily visited. Wish there were more books like this we could read. Any suggestions?

Recommended for those looking for a great, witty, contemporary holiday read. Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares is a lot of fun.

For more information:

Rachel Cohn’s website / David Levithan’s website / Amazon / Goodreads


2 thoughts on “Review: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan

  1. Ashley says:

    I can’t wait to read this one! I’m waiting for my library to get it in, even though that will probably be after the holidays.

  2. […] Books set around winter holidays help me get into the holiday spirit. Some of my favorites are Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares and Let it Snow, and there are lots more I want to […]

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