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Friday, 24 December 2010

Review: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares

Authors: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Release date: 26th October 2010 US
Genre: Romantic Comedy / Contemporary YA Fiction
Target audience: 12+
US Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf

Summary 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 favourite 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?


Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares is a happy, feel-good novel full of Christmas cheer, humour and the sweet tender taste of possibilities. I read it in one go, beginning to end, and loved every second of it.

Dash is sixteen and has manoeuvred his parents into letting him spend Christmas alone. He finds Lily’s red notebook nestled beside one of his favourite authors on the shelves of a New York bookstore and being an inquisitive literary type, he takes up the first challenge.

Lily is sweet sixteen. She has never been kiss. Worse, she has never had a day’s rebellion in her life. She is the ultimate goodie-two-shoes and always sticks to her curfew, adores every Christmas tradition and really should be employed by Santa as his head elf. But she writes in the notebook and when she gets a response from Dash the story of their very different but equally interesting lives in the Big Apple begins to unfold.

The narrative voices are distinct and I loved them both equally. At first Dash seems like a bit of a pompous over-inflated dictionary on legs but I soon got through that verbose flamboyancy, I developed a genuine affection for the guy. Of course, as a reader and lover of words I could relate to Dash. But I don’t share his cynicism about Christmas. I would never revel in spending it alone. My company is really not all that entertaining to me. Christmas is all about family.

Lily is an innocent-if-a-little-bizarre-but-completely-adorable-character. I love her Christmas wonderment and the fact that it has never lost its magic for her. I think if given the chance most people would love to keep the childlike belief in Christmas magic alive. I also love that she is one of those people who is genuinely nice. Yes, she hasn’t seen much of the world but still her heart is pure gold.

This novel is every bit the romantic comedy. The: will they? Won’t they? story. Are they too different to be right for each other? Is there even such a thing as being right for someone? Then there is the absolute laugh out loud moments: the crazy expressions that they both use, Boomer and his general boomonicness and the slapstick routines. I couldn’t fail but to love it. Considering my favourite film is You’ve Got Mail, I can’t help but feel this is the perfect Christmas read for me. New York just stepped off the page and waltzed into my living room.

To love this book as much as me, I think you need to be a hopeless romantic, a believer in the Christmas spirit and be in the mood for a novel that will leave you feeling happy, elated and ready to don your Christmas antlers. I think I may have found a book that I have to read every Christmas. It was just so festive and sweet!


Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

What a great, sweet review! It shows you love the book and the novel definitely sounds sweet. I would read it, as I am a hopeless romantic too. It's so cool you love You've Got Mail! I see it every year on Christmas day. Thanks for sharing! Lovely post!

The Book Bug said...

First of all, Merry Christmas Eve! :D

Great review - I probably wouldn't read, due to some exposure to a very bad Christmas 'Romance' Movie when I was younger, but your review is slowly, changing my mind. :3 Well, I'm glad that you enjoyed it. (And we all know that your a hopeless romantic, though. :D)

Darren @ Bart's Bookshelf said...

This one was just so much fun to read. So much so I'm thinking of reading it again over the break. :)

Great review!

Lori said...

Great review!! This wasn't my favorite by these two authors, but I did really enjoy it!

Lauren said...

I was hoping you'd love this one, so I'm super glad you did. It's funny, because I thought of You've Got Mail when I read it. I did think right at the beginning that Dash might be too pretentious for me (ha!) but that wasn't the case at all. 'Feel-good' is the perfect way to describe it. I have *so* much love for this book.

Christina/Book Addict said...

I love the sound of this one. I've had my eye on it. Maybe I will read it over my break- b/c it sounds like the perfect holiday read. I love that your favorite movie is You've Got Mail! I love that movie too!! Thanks for the great review and have a Merry Christmas!

Liz. R said...

Ooh, lovely review, I adore the cover of this book but it sounds like a really sweet, light-hearted read too. I'll definitely be reading it when I can. And happy holidays! Have a great Christmas and weekend :).

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Sounds marvelous. Thanks for the lovely review. Merry Christmas darling :)

Pisinat said...

This books sounds perfect for me :)

YA Book Lover said...

This looks like such a sweet book, can't wait to read it! Thanks for the great review.

prophecygirl said...

I feel like the odd one out with this book - I didn't like it as much as everyone else. Ahh well, that's the beauty of reading ;)

Luisa at Chicklish said...

I loved this too. I wanted to get my own review up before Christmas and I didn't manage it! Maybe next week. I loved reading your thoughts on it - thank you!

I Want To Read That said...

ooh I really want to read this one now! And I adore the cover! Great review:)

Caroline said...

Awww how adorable!!
I definitely need to read this book!!
And I *love* your " pompous over-inflated dictionary on legs" - it made me laugh out loud!
We read too many dark books, this one sounds like an amazing one to keep next to the bed for whenever we feel down!
Thanks for the great review :)

Clover said...

Oh what an absolutely lovely review! I was hoping to get this book for Christmas, but N didn't take ANY of my hints. Sounds like a perfect book to read at Christmas, and a fun, romantic read. Can't wait.