Review: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Book: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan Series or Stand-Alone: Stand Alone Pages: 260 Genre: Young Adult Publication Date: October 26th, 2010 Description (From Goodreads): “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.
I have never read Cohn & Levithan's prized first novel, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, but like most of the world I am familiar with it. When I first discovered Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, I thought the premise sounded intriguing enough and I thought it sounded cute enough.
I was right on the money, because if I had to describe Dash&Lily in one word it would be “cute”. It is one of those stories that you plow through in a few hours. While it provided some wonderful rom-com moments and a few exquisite moments, I wouldn’t stay it made a great impact on me. Don’t get me wrong, I whole heartedly enjoyed watching Dash & Lily’s story unfold, but nothing in this book was exactly earth shattering.
The book is written from two POV’s; the narrative switches between both Dash and Lily. I thought this format was perfect for this type of book, especially when there are two different authors. All of Lily’s narratives were written by Cohn, while Dash’s were written by Levithan. That being said, I much preferred Dash’s sections. While I was reading the story I did not know how the writers divided the sections, but I was really drawn to the sections from Dash’s POV. All in all, I just found his narrative to be more entertaining; it was funny, honest and of course – snarky. He had a few different great lines and I was just simply taken with him.
Lily, for her part, was an alright character. She was sweet and quirky, but in my opinion, she did not stand out. I am not sure that I will remember much about her character in a few months – she just wasn’t interesting enough to me. Honestly, I just read the book a few days ago and all I can remember about her now is that she loved Christmas, she had a gay older brother and all of her family called Dash “snarly”.
However, even though I didn’t like Lily as much as Dash; the two together are a perfect match. Where he is snarky, a bit aloof and distant, Lily is in your face, loving and all consuming with her affection. They balance each other out marvelously – I would have loved to see more of their face to face relationship. At first I thought they were a bit too different, especially with their polar opposite reactions to Christmas. Dash couldn’t hate the holiday more, while it is Lily’s favorite time of the year. I especially loved seeing their different takes on those people who stand outside of stores and ring the charity bell.
Like I said before, this book to me is best described by the word “cute”. If you are looking for a quick, enjoyable teen romance then I would definitely give Dash & Lily a try. It was well written, entertaining and charming. Dash was a memorable character and Lily was quirky enough to keep your interest. Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares is an enjoyable read that will leave you with a smile.