Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
MIRA Ink, October 5, 2012
Source: publisher via NetGalley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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Goodreads Summary: “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.
What else can I say about Lily and Dash that most people haven't said already? I loved this book and it was just what I needed at the moment: something cute, fun, entertaining, well-written...
Lily is a sixteen year old nerdy book worm who goes to an all-girl school. Since she is spending Christmas alone, her brother decides that she should get a boyfriend. And if there's a perfect guy for Lily, he is most likely to be found browsing old editions of Salinger's books. Lily places a red Moleskin journal with the first clues. But when Dash finds the journal and solves the first riddle, he doesn't end the game just yet, but decides that it takes two to play this game...
This book was hilariously funny and intellectually very satisfying. I mean, hello. You have two bookworms passing bookish clues back and forth. I don't even have to mention the number of lit references or Dash's annoyances over misspelled words, incorrect grammar or misplaced books and DVDs. As lit nerdy as it gets, and, as a character, I adored him. He is so wonderfully sarcastic, observant, a "snarly wannabee hipster", sometimes too smart for his own good. Lily's dares for him put him in the most hilarious situations. At places I was laughing so hard that my family gave me weird looks. Recall the scene with Santa. Still, at some point he lapses into a Werther-like state of self-pity and worldschmerz that was completely out of place. Luckily, that only lasted for a few pages.
I was not so much in love with Lily, though, and enjoyed her part less. If Dash feels too mature sometimes, she is too childish. As the baby in the family, she is overprotected, well-read too, but too sensitive. But despite Dash and Lily being so different, as a couple they are fantastic. I can see why these two opposites would attract each other. Similarly, I enjoyed Levithan's writing more than Cohn's.
I would recommend this book for the upcoming Christmas season. The setting and the atmosphere-New York at Christmas time-was enchanting. If you're looking for a cute contemporary teen romance with great writing and lots of humor...well, what are you waiting for?