Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
260 pages, Knopf

"'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?"

I've been reading all over the internet that Dash and Lily's Book of Dares is that perfect winter read leading up to the holidays. Though I did not read this book before Christmas, I made sure to read it while there was an abundance of snow on the ground. The only book I've read by David Levithan was another collaboration novel, Will Grayson, Will Grayson and I absolutely loved that, so I figured I would read Dash and Lily's Book of Dares.

The story begins with Dash's perspective written by David Levithan. Dash has divorced parents, a hatred for Christmas, and a love for books. He's quite cynical. He often visits a book store called The Strand, which is in NYC and has 18 miles of books (Why haven't I been there before?!?) and while visiting The Strand he finds a red moleskin notebook containing dares. And this is the part where Lily comes in. Lily is quite the opposite of Dash. She's an innocent goodie two shoes to say the least and she absolutely cherishes the holidays. But this specific Christmas doesn't go as she planned because her parents took a trip to Fiji and she's stuck with her lazy brother and his boyfriend. I really loved both Dash and Lily. I could see a little bit of myself in each of them. Like Dash, I have a dedication for books and like Lily, I'm cheery and a bit innocent. Their back and forth dares and messages to each other through the red moleskin notebook was incredibly adorable! I couldn't help but smile.

The plot is really the part that interested me, Levithan and Cohn did a terrific job! I felt as if there was a sufficient amount of dares and teasers up until the climax. What a climax that was, too. The ending was hilarious and I couldn't help laughing.

Which brings me to the writing. Both Levithan and Cohn are amazing writers. They had me laughing out loud and getting emotionally attached to the book. They didn't focus too much on descriptions or feelings or anything, there was an equal amount of all those things to make for an easy, light read.

The only drawbacks that I did find was that near the end of the book, Dash seemed a little too persnickety. He seemed to be correcting everything Lily said, yet he loved her, so I was a bit confused I guess you could say. Also, everything falls together perfectly. Call me a realist, but I did want something that wouldn't make everything flawlessly amazing in the end. Don't get me wrong, I adore happy, cliched endings, but this one sort of bugged me.

Other than those two attributes, I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, and while I highly recommend it during the winter or holiday season, you can read it anytime and still love it as much as I did. Dash and Lily's Book of Dares is definitely for fans of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and any lover of contemporary fiction.

Rating: 4 stars - I really liked it. Worth buying.

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