Review: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.
Publication Date: October 26, 2010
“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 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. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)
For me, anyway. Within the first few pages of Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, I was in love with the book. David Levithan is one of my favorite authors and he is definitely in full force in this book, with his humor and writing that is so beautiful, it’s ridiculous.
I thought the notebook and its clues were incredibly clever, and like the synopsis above states, I want to find my own notebook of dares (even though I’ve already got my own Dash). I liked both Dash and Lily, flaws and all, and was happy that this relationship had its issues, with each person failing to meet the other’s expectations and having their own expectations come crashing down at times. But that’s how relationships work. It’s not all butterflies and rainbows, and both parties have to put in time and effort for the relationship to work.
I also really enjoyed one part where a character talks about how men and women both get this idea of their perfect match inside their head, and everyone they meet gets measured up to that ideal, and they always fall short. But it’s when we take people as they are, with their flaws and their imperfections, that we can truly realize someone who is a perfect match for us.
I found myself laughing out loud several times, cringing at others, and marveling over tons of beautiful passages. I liked the Cinderella theme going on in the second half of the book, and I really enjoyed the banter between Dash and Lily’s great-aunt.
But Then The Spell Broke…
I’m not really sure what happened, but as I continued to read, I just didn’t love the book as much as I did at the beginning. I still enjoyed the story a lot, but although it started out looking like this book was going to become one of my favorites, something just changed that. It might be the fact that Lily called someone “Hermione Potter” at one point (I’m really hoping that was a typo), but I’m not really sure if that was it. My love for the book just kind of ebbed and although I still enjoyed it, I didn’t end up loving it. And that’s kind of disappointing.
Here are a few of my favorite lines from Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares:
I read this book as part of the Levithan Loveathon, hosted by my friend Courtney at Abducted by Books.