Friday, December 26, 2014


Title: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares
Authors: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Summary: "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 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 cosmic mismatch of disastrous proportions? 

Why I read it: I loved the movie adaptation of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, by the same authors, so I've had their three collaborative novels on my TBR for a while. Then I saw this at Half Price Books for super cheap, picked it up, and saved it for Christmastime, since that's when it takes place!

Thoughts: I wanted to love it.

I didn't love it.

This book read like an indie rom-com film. Two very quirky characters, a unique love story, and interesting timeline format, and an open ending. On the surface, it sounds like something I would very much enjoy. And I did. On the whole, I enjoyed this book.

But there were definitely aspects I didn't enjoy.

Lily is an adorable, somewhat naive girl whose notebook spurs the entire adventure. I loved Lily. She can be a little judgmental (like when her perception of Dash is diminished slightly when he curses,) but she is generally a nice, shy girl intrigued by Dash's clever directions and insightful words.

Dash, on the other hand, is a cynical, pretentious boy who partakes in the adventure, though he often finds things going in a direction he doesn't care for. And Dash is the major reason I didn't love this book.

Dash's pretension drove me crazy. I can't stand pretension in real life, so reading Dash's thoughts was grating on my nerves. He is also judgmental to a fault. When Lily's instructions lead him to Madam Tussaud's Wax Museum, he spends a considerable amount of time deriding the wax museum and the kind of people that go there.

I also didn't care much for the ending. I felt like the love story had so much potential, but the reader doesn't quite get to see it through. We're still left wondering how it's going to end up. (Indie romcom syndrome, once again.) There are also several plot threads that are unrelated to the love story that are left unresolved, like Dash's relationship with his parents and Lily's potential move across the world.

Overall, my problem with this book isn't so much based on bad writing or poor character development, but rather based on personal preference. While I did eventually grow to like Dash (never love,) it took me a large chunk of this rather small book to really get past the pretension to see the person underneath. For that reason, I have to say that this was just an okay book for me.

However, I still plan on reading Cohn and Levithan's other collaborations, in the hopes that I will like them better!

Rating: 3/5 stars

Tell me: if you've read this book, what were YOUR thoughts? Also, if you've read either of Levithan and Cohn's other collaborations, which one did you like the best? Let me know in the comments below! 

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