Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Review: 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
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Date Published: October 26, 2010
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.
The third and most recent Cohn/ Levithan work. In chronological order, I LOVED Nick and Norah and didn’t really love Naomi and Ely, so Dash and Lily was supposed to be a tie breaker of sorts.

Let me start by saying the basic premise is fantastic! The idea of finding a journal in a bookstore, written for you to follow. Awesome! For about half or so of the book it keeps up this hide-and-go-seek kind of adventure where you can piece together the clues and marvel at the cuteness. And I must admit that I lived a little vicariously, this would be fantastically fun to do, though I’d be wary of who you could pick up in a bookstore in New York City. But the whole idea felt like a long blind date through a journal and the playing along of the friends and family made me ridiculously warm and fuzzy on the inside.

However, about halfway through the story started to drag a little, and then about 200 pages in, it got a little ridiculous. Like am-I-really-supposed-to-believe-this-is-reality? ridiculous. Maybe it was just me but it kinda tugged on my plausibility gauge. But the end was cute and wrapped it all up pretty nicely despite my doubts.

The characters were very engaging and learning about Dash and Lily through their personal confessions through the letters they wrote each other was probably the most amazing touch. Dash was sarcastic and snarly (might be a new favorite word of mine) while Lily was innocent, sweet and quite naive at times. Their voices are unique and both quite hilarious.

Out of all the Cohn/Levithan books, this was by far the sweetest. I have to say that by now I’ve really gotten a feel for how they set a plethora of other characters to help and hinder the main characters and every time I feel like I’ve really been immersed in some one’s life, not just a selected story from their life. Oh, and best moment ever? There’s a small little shoutout to Nick and Norah in this book and I just about screamed it made me so excited.

I have no idea if they are planning another cowrite, but I really hope they do, I’d love to see what they could come up with next!


  1. I really liked this one except for some of the over the top slap stick type of moments as you mentioned. Still worth reading though.

  2. Levithan really does create some ridiculous questions. I for one prefer not to overanalyze them and laugh the way they are.

  3. I've had my eye on this for a while. Looks so funky. Nice little review.

  4. Great review! I read this not too long ago and I agree that although it was a cute story sometimes I was just like "are you for real?"
    Leigh | Little Book Star