About the book
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares is a stand-alone young adult novel by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. It was published by Harlequin UK on 5th October and the book is 304 pages long. I received and e-book for review through Net Galley.
Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com)
“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.”
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?
What I thought
I’ve never read a Christmas book before. Normally I hate Christmas and I’m the Grinch. However, for some reason I love Christmas this year and I have wanted to read Dash & Lily's Book of Dares for ages now.
Set in New York, which has always seemed like a magical place to be at Christmas, the story is told through the dual narrative of Dash and Lily. While browsing in The Strand, a bookstore one day, Dash finds a red notebook on a shelf mixed in with the other books. There is no title on the spine which instantly intrigues Dash. After picking up the red notebook, he realises that someone placed it there specifically, giving a set of instructions about who could play the game contained within the book. Dash, being a straight teenage boy decides he does want to follow the clues, which send him on a hunt for certain books within the store.
The red notebook is passed between Dash and Lily, each of them giving a new set of instructions each time and leaving it where it was found, so the other person can pick it back up. I really loved the idea of this game and found it hilarious to read about. Some of the things that Dash and Lily get each other to do are really funny but they are done at the same as getting to know each other by asking questions about each other. It was nice to see each character get to have a bit of fun while letting the other know something personal about themselves.
The dares left in the red notebook stick mostly to a Christmas theme and it really did make me think about Christmas in a much more positive way than I normally would do. The setting is absolutely magical which helps with the Christmas feeling. There are many different things that Dash and Lily have to do, including going to some of the busiest shops a day before Christmas. Some of the places visited are very iconic regarding Christmas in New York and although I have films to thank for that, I could picture these places vividly.
Both Dash and Lily had very strong voices and they were both extremely likeable characters for different reasons, but also some of the same reasons. Both characters are slight outcasts, being a bit strange not much like their peers. They have very strong personalities and neither are afraid to say exactly what they are thinking. I loved that about these characters. Still though, they are teenagers and are prone to making mistakes which was a nice thing to see. Although in a surreal situation, the character’s faults made them real and this made it possible for others to relate to them.
The writing is also amazing. Dash’s chapters were written by David Levithan while Lily’s were written by Rachel Cohn. Their writing styles fit perfectly together and you couldn’t tell that the same person didn’t write the whole book. Both authors have the ability to write about real teenagers and give them real voices and problems while adding in a bit of something special and different at the same time. The plot of this book was very addictive, with me not wanting to put it down. I wanted to know what the next dare would be and I wanted to know more about the characters.
If you have put reading Dash & Lily's Book of Dares off for a while like me, this is the perfect time to pick it up. Although it has a Christmas setting, it is a book you can read all year round and enjoy thoroughly.