Authors: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Publisher: Knopf Books For Young Readers
Release Date: October 26 2010
My Source: Library
My Rating: 4/5
“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.
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares is a fun story about two teenagers who leave clues for each other across New York City and get to know each other by writing in a read notebook. The story switches between the two characters perspectives, each which was written by a different author- Rachel Cohn wrote Lily's chapters and David Levithan wrote Dash's. These two authors have two books they've collaborated on in the past, but based on reviews I've read I wasn't interested in either (though Nick and Norah has been made into a movie). This one sounded different though, so I gave it a try since I'm sort of on a contemporary kick right now.
This book takes place at Christmastime, which I didn't even realize when I started the book. Even though it's Holiday-themed, it could easily be read any time of year (I read it in January, and still loved it!).
Dash and Lily were two very quirky characters, but I loved both of them. They were intelligent, cynical at times, and very unique. Not what you might typically find in a book, and they had their own similaries and differences between them that complemented really nicely. Lily is a misfit who doesn't fit in with other girls, loves her family and Christmastime, and has a really fun personality. Dash is bookish and snarky, but a loyal friend (and he hates Christmastime). Lily is very innocent and immature at times, but it didn't annoy me. Dash is more experienced in life in general. I really loved the characterization (if you can't tell). I think the real magic why the characters worked so well was Cohn and Levithan's writing. It flowed seamlessly, though the characters were different. Reading a book written by two different authors was a neat experience.
My biggest complaint- There isn't a whole lot of plot going on at all, except the dares in the notebook, which don't actually take up the whole book. A lot revolves around the dares, but I think most of Lily's parts were about her family, and Dash's more about his friends. (This was okay, though) A few of those times it felt like it was dragging a bit, so some readers who prefer action and plot might feel bored. I also wish the ending might've been a little better wrapped up... we never really figure out some things. I would've liked to see what their relationship turned into once the notebook adventures were over (we saw the beginning, but I'd love to see more). It was still a very cute and ending that fit the book well.
My only caution for younger readers would be that there was a fair amount of strong cursing, which, though it wasn't used often, the few times it popped up was very strong. Like I said, there wasn't very much though. Other than that it was generally appropriate for all ages.
If you like cute, contemporary (Holiday) stories, this is a book you have to look for. If you like romances told from both perspectives, this book is a superb example of that too.
Cover: 5/5 I LOVE this cover! I think I picked this book up because of the cover. It's so colorful and happy looking, and I think it's one of my favorites.