Friday, April 29, 2011
Book Review: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Author(s): Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Author(s): Online: Rachel Twitter David Website Rachel Website
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 26, 2010
Format: Hardback, 260 pages
My Rating: 5/5
Buy It: Amazon Barns & Noble Book Depository
Summary:So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the New York Times 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?
You're in your favorite bookstore, scanning the shelves. You get to the section where your favorite author's books reside, and there, nestled in comfortably between the incredibly familiar spines, sits a red notebook.”
Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares has to be one of the best YA books I’ve read in a very long time, and that’s saying something!
Rachel Cohn and David Levithan are brilliant. There. I said it. I mean, they have to be to have come up with something this great, witty, funny, sweet, and very crazy, story.
It all started when Lily’s parents leave her and her older brother, Lanston, alone in Manhattan just a few days before Christmas, finally going on the honeymoon they never had when they first married. Lily plays it off as fine, but inside, she’s hurting. Christmas is her favorite time of the year, but what’s so great about it when your own family is so caught up in their own life that they completely forget about you? All Lily wants is to have a happy Christmas with her brother, walk some of the neighborhood dogs, and go Christmas caroling, but that’s easier said than done.
Her brother is completely ignoring her—too caught up in his new relationship with his new boyfriend to have time for Lily, so he comes to a simple conclusion: Lily needs a boyfriend. What sixteen year old girl doesn’t have a boyfriend? Lanston wonders. So, setting up the perfect way to find his little sister someone to call her own, he and his boyfriend put together a red notebook consisting of dares and instructions to the lucky finder of the book. He then leaves the notebook on a shelf in Lily’s favorite bookstore, the Strand, right in between her favorite author, J.D Salinger’s, famous novels.
Who else to find that very notebook but Dash?
Dash is a sly sixteen year old boy, and wanting to be alone this year for Christmas, he tells his mother that he will be staying at his father’s place, and tells his father he would like to stay at his mother’s this year. They’re divorced, they’ve both remarried, both out of town for the holiday and they refuse to speak to each other. Who would ever know?
Dash, feeling he has nothing to lose, takes Lily’s book up on it’s offer, and so begins the story of Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares.
I love this book! Simply just loved it! The characters were all so real and relatable, even though most of the time they were crazy out of their mind.
But that’s what makes characters in a book feel real, right? Because you know that in real life, people are just as crazy.
Lily, the female lead, was a great character to read about. She was funny, smart, quiet but loud, and very opinionated. She was a very strong character, granted that nothing too terrible ever happened, but you could still hear her fun-loving voice even in those few slightly darker times.
Dash was a great character. He was witty, a little bit of a loner (not to say he didn’t have any friends, because he did), a bit of a dreamer, and quite weird. Dash was a strange boy. But I liked him.
All of the characters in this book were so well written, and I loved when we got to see a little bit of each characters background. I truly loved every single character in this book, all but Dash’s father, but he wasn’t meant to be liked, was he?
I loved reading from both Dash and Lily’s perspective view, and I felt I could relate to the both of them in a way that really surprised me, since I haven’t connected to characters in a novel so well since Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. Usually, authors either put in way too much detail in their story, or not enough, but I found with this one that both of the authors put in just enough. I felt like I was running around New York City with them! They let you see in your mind what Dash and Lily were seeing through their eyes, but in a way that only took a few words to explain, and not page upon page of meaningless detail that I’ve come across lately in the books I’ve been reading.
This book is laugh out loud worthy, and some of the situations Dash and Lily got themselves into had me laughing out loud. If you don't laugh while reading this book, all I've got to say is, there is something seriously wrong with you.
This book was such a fun read, and I’m so glad I ordered it online shortly after it came out. This was my first Rachel Cohn and David Levithan book, and it will not be my last! These two authors truly shine when they write together, and I cannot wait to see what they will come up with in the future!
Just to be clear, there is a bit of swearing in this book, and a few suggestive situations, but overall, this is very sweet book, and I highly recommend this book for anyone 13 and older.
“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.” -Dash & Lily's Book of Dares