Thursday, 4 October 2012

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

Title: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares
Author: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Publisher: Mira Ink
Release Date: 5th October 2012
Read In: September 2012

Goodreads - - Book Depository

*I received this book for review from the publisher*
I've left some clues for you. If you want them, turn the page. If you dont, put the book back on the shelf, please.

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.

I went into this book expecting a sweet fun festive read. And it was a sweet fun festive read. However it had something more. It is not the same as the other members of the contemporary crowd. For me, it stood out.

‘You’re in your favourite bookstore, scanning the shelves. You get to the section where a favourite author’s books reside and there, nestled in comfortably between the incredibly familiar spines, sits a red notebook.
What do you do?
The choice, I think, is obvious.
You take down the red notebook and open it. And then you do whatever it tells you to do.’

The one thing that I noticed and loved straight away was the writing. I have never read anything by either Rachel Cohn or David Levithan before. After reading this, I will definitely checking them out. We get to know both Dash and Lily through a series of metaphors and funny one liners. There were many times where I went back and read the sentence again, even if it was not funny or moving. I just loved the way it was written. Both authors have an amazing way with words. You find out a lot about a character just by the way they describe situations. It was different. It wasn’t to the point but it wasn’t annoying either. 

I was smiling throughout most of this book. All of the characters made me smile. This book was funny. I started at a bus stop and within the first few chapters I was reading out witty lines to my housemate. The fact that it was set at Christmas time, my favourite holiday of the year, and how Christmas was weaved into the story just made me smile more. It is a dreary day in September and all I am thinking about is the festive season. 

My favourite couples are those where they seem completely different on the surface but underneath they are so similar. Both Dash and Lily are outsiders for different reasons. They are so cute. I love the way they bonded.  

In many books, the secondary characters don’t have anything unique going for them or they don’t stand out. Every single supporting character had a different personality. They had a different background. They weren’t just ‘the new guy’ or the ‘friend they have had since they were five’. Yes, they were in there but they had their own backgrounds. Secondary characters are not usually explained in this way. I loved that the world was bigger than the bubble of Dash, Lily and their red moleskin notebook. 

There are so many contemporaries out there. Sometimes it is hard to find a plot which stands out. The way Dash and Lily get to know each other was so original. I love discovering what they were going to do next and how they gradually got to know each other. I couldn’t wait for the eventual moment where they physically got to meet. 

This is not just another bog standard YA contemporary. It has something different, something unique. Not only is the plot different, with a slight focus (not always the case in romantic contemporaries) but it has amazing writing as well. Are you in the festive spirit, even though it isn’t necessarily December? Pick up Dash and Lily. 



  1. I agree, this book was great. Though I enjoyed Levithan's part more than Cohn's. My review is scheduled for tomorrow :)

  2. Oh YAY!
    This is exactly what Im needing right now, a great funny contemporary!!!!
    It sounds so good!!

    Thanks so much for the great review

  3. I've spotted this on the shelf at my library- definitely going to pick it up the next time I see it. Great review!

  4. I loved this book I've just reviewed it too!
    It really wasn't a bog standard book- so unique! I kinda wish I'd read it in December though :)
    Now I need to read thier other collabs!


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