Friday, April 26, 2013

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

Title: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
Author: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Harlequin (UK) Ltd via NetGalley
Goodreads | The Book DepositoryAmazon

"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 bestselling authors of Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. Lily has 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.
Review by Nara

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.

If you found a book on a random shelf containing the passage above, would you be intrigued? Would you turn the page? To be honest, I probably wouldn't- I'd be likely to think that it's some sort of prank. But good thing Dash didn't think so, or there would be no story to read! Dash & Lily's Book of Dares was a very light, fun read. If I had to compare the writing style to another author, I'd say that it's quite a similar style to John Green's earlier novels, such as An Abundance of Katherines.

So here we are.
1. Let's start with French Pianism.
I don't really know what it is,
but I'm guessing
nobody's going to take it off the shelf.
Charles Timbrell's your man.

I found that the romance in this book was nicely built up. I mean, no instalove is always pretty awesome. I could slowly see the connection between Dash and Lily being formed, leading up to the inevitable scene where they would meet (which totally didn't play out the way I expected, by the way). Although I suppose it was slightly unrealistic- I mean, really, would you do "dares" that were written in some random notebook?- this didn't really affect my enjoyment of the "epistolary flirtation" at all.

2. Fat Hoochie Prom Queen.

One aspect of the novel I really enjoyed was the characterisation. It really was done incredibly well by both authors (I assume here that they each took one point of view). Both Dash and Lily were quite quirky, intelligent and atypical- they reminded me somewhat of Augustus and Hazel from The Fault in Our Stars (AND THAT IS HIGH PRAISE INDEED!). An aspect of the characterisation that I found rather interesting is that there was very little description of their physical attributes- I couldn't even necessarily tell whether they were particularly good looking or not. I feel that this is definitely a stand-out from other YA novels, where the love interest's "silky, smooth hair" or "deep blue eyes" are mentioned in every paragraph. I also liked how the voices of the characters sounded like teenagers- they weren't forced and seemed genuine.

I had really wanted to read this as I quite enjoyed David Levithan's book Every Day. While Dash and Lily's wasn't quite as thought provoking, I still enjoyed it as a light read. If in a similar vein, I think I would like to read their other collaborative works.

Liked it

Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3/5


  1. If I found a notebook I'd probably think it was a prank too, so you're not alone there! Still, it made for a cute, different story, and I loved how quirky Dash and Lily were. I liked this one much better than Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist by the same authors, but it's still worth a read in my opinion. Glad you enjoyed this one! :-)

    ~Marie @ Ramblings of a Daydreamer

    1. I'll have to have a read of Nick and Nora's when I feel like a quick, fun read then :)

  2. I enjoyed this but still felt a bit let down by it. I had seen great reviews and expecting something amazing that I didn't get. And yes I would have ignored the notes too! Fun, seasonal read though.

    BookishTrish from Between the Lines

    1. Definitely a fun read! Chantelle (my co-blogger) had warned me that it was just a really light read without much depth to it so, for me, it was pretty much exactly what I expected haha

  3. I read this last year, before I started reviewing, so my memory of it is a bit fuzzy. I read it at Christmas, though, and I do remember thinking that it was the perfect book for that time of year! Not only was it set at Christmastime, but like you said in your review, it was light and fun, but not overly sappy. You've really made me want to reread it now! Great review, Nara (and I love how you score different elements of the book)!

    1. Thanks Nikki!
      To be honest, it's only been a few months since I reviewed it, but I read so much that my memory of D&L's is already a bit fuzzy haha. But I do remember it being very fluffy and it would be a perfect Christmas read!