Book Review # 4: Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
Number of pages: 260
Copy: Trade Paperback
Date Published: October 26, 2010
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
“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 ofNick & 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 wanted to put off reading this book until the holidays but I just couldn’t. Have you seen that cover? that snowy cover that makes you think that the story may as well have happened in the next block in your neighborhood? And what about those lines that go: “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.” No, sir. I’m not putting it down, thank you.
There was just something quite intriguing about those words and who dare defies a possibly decent young adult/romance read? But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Was it that good?
It started with a dare (nothing too outlandish) inserted inside a book, a boy who thought he had nothing better to do, and a girl who like many young leads craved some sort of excitement in her life. That’s about it – two strangers in New York City exchanging words, letters, and dares in an effort to know the other and arrive at some unexpected but nonetheless satisfying ending. It is a battle of expectation vs. reality between the two but this supposed battle surprisingly creates favorable events for us readers.
I do not intend to sound too joyful or biased but you can pretty much tell that I loved the book. I adored the characters, especially Dash. I have always wanted to meet people who love reading as much as I do and Dash was just the perfect illustration. He was cool and level-headed, maybe a bit disengaged and probably plain bored at first but that’s hardly anything to be bothered about. He was far from perfect of course. He still had his head stuck in the past, occasionally. But all hail this young man for refusing to play the role of the nice guy and at the same time for not tailoring himself to some bad-ass character.
Then there’s Lily – Lily who labeled herself as plain, whose character emanates minimal hints of insecurity. There’s nothing exceptional about Lily. Her personality, her concerns – all just regular teen drama but do not be alarmed; I did not find her irritating at all.
Am I all praises about this book? I think so. It doesn’t try to insert events or characters to reach a certain number of pages. Dramatic twists? Nope, absolutely none of that but rest assured, this book definitely didn’t need any. I won’t beat around the bush. I think Levithan and Cohn did an amazing job at showering their readers with just the right amount of romance, humor, and fluff – yes, you read it right. After all, I cannot think of a word more fitting to describe the warm fuzzy feeling that this story managed to deliver.
Needless to say, this book kept me reading chapter after chapter without fail. Do get a copy if you fancy light romance reads. Oh, and I dare you to stay away from it until Christmas. Let me know how that goes.