Monday, January 10, 2011

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

Published: Knopf Books (October 26, 2010)
Pages: 240
Format: Hardcover
Source: I purchased this book.
GoodReads 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.” 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? 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.

My Thoughts: Dash and Lily was ridiculously hyped by some fellow bloggers. Having never read a Cohn or Levithan novel before--but hearing what I've heard of the duo--I went in with pretty high expectations. First off, can we please take the time to observe the cuteness of this cover? I want to jump into it with my peacoat and pom-pom hat and brave the cold to stroll down to the local coffeehouse. Central Perk, maybe? I want to live in a world with heart-shaped snowflakes, people.

In the beginning of the book, I enjoyed Dash and Lily's respective voices. Dash was sharp as a razor blade with his dry humor. I LOVED IT. And I love how adorably bookish he was. God bless those of us who embrace our bookishly nerdy selves. Lily's voice was fun, if not slightly immature. For some reason, she just struck me as the type who'd have a high-pitched voice and would be in constant need of some Ritalin. Perhaps because of the frequent "Shrilly" references. That's not to say she wasn't sweet, though! Sometimes the obnoxious gals are the most interesting sort. Though "Lily-bear" did grind my gears a little after awhile. I loved Boomer's enthusiasm and how he exclaimed EVERYTHING. Boomer and I would totally get along with the !!! and mass quantities of hand gestures. I loved the way Cohn/Levithan gave each of the characters a personality and really capitalized on each of them.

The whole Book of Dares aspect was freaking phenomenal. I loved all the risque and potentially humiliating dares exchanged between D & L. Especially the groping of a very famous fat man. I found myself giddy to read the latest installment in the red Moleskine. I did find myself preferring Notebook Dash/Lily to actual Dash/Lily. Perhaps it's the whole deal where an individual sounds more eloquent on paper, when you've got time to think about what you're going to say before you say it. That's what I'm going to tell myself, at least.

It really did seem to me after awhile that everything became sort of...scripted. Yes, I realize it's a book. But everyone knew the exact perfect thing to say at the exact perfect time. The biggest perp? Mrs. Basil E. with Dash as a close runner up. I enjoyed both of their witty banter, but I do wish it flowed better. In addition, the plot took sort of a ridiculous and unbelievable turn towards the end. If you've read it, you probably know what I'm talking about. It just got a little bit hokey and weird. I've read books that can make me believe the unbelievable, but I'm not going to lie, I did roll my eyes quite a lot.

Ultimately, Dash and Lily's Book of Dares was a fun Christmas read. I'm glad that I read it at this time of year, because the Christmas spirit was flowing and it enhanced the quality of the novel to me. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for something light and a perfect companion to a good cup of hot chocolate by the fire.


  1. Ah, finally someone who agrees! The hokey was out of control. And Lily was beyond immature to me, which I wouldn't have minded had she actually been a younger aged character.

    But that aside, it is a cute read.

  2. This review sounds exactly like what I imagine this book to be!

    that pseudo cool vibe and funky perfect unrealistic dialogue, but lots of fun too.

    i had a similar feel reading Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway. Lots of fun, but then the dialogue somehow became too witty and set-up and felt like it was trying to be cool dialogue rather than characters actually speaking, you know?

    i'm planning to check this one out when i'm in the mood :)

    x Nomes

  3. Ahahah yeah the dialogue is a little like that in most of their books. Kind of too scripted and adult. Like Dawson's Creek, ya know? But the overall concepts are good and sweet. I'll grab this one from the library before the winter is over, but happy to see your review. It reflects how I tend to react to books with BIG hype :)

  4. I loved the concept and I really enjoyed the book overall but the end just was very over the top and slap stick and even a little rushed.
    I did really enjoy reading it - it was a fun book and I loved it, I just would have liked a different ending.

  5. I love the sound of this being super cute, but I've held off reading it because of the hype. I was afraid it simply wouldn't live up...much like you said! Great review, Jen :)

  6. OMG. I NEVER realized the snowflakes were heart shaped. This is why I don't read graphic novels - I'm so unobservant when it comes to illustrations. Loved your review, and thanks for the cover reveal!

  7. Great review. I loved this book, it was totally cute. Plus, Dash is one of my favourite male characters...I totally wish I knew him growing up!

  8. I agree, the cover just drools cuteness, haha. And I liked this book!

  9. This sounds like such a cute story.

  10. Everyone has been saying great things about this book! I need to hurry up and read it.


    This is precisely how this book made me feel. At first I was all "oh HAHAHAHA Dash and Lily you guys Crack. Me. UP! Go on with your bad selves" and then towards the end I was like "oh HAHAHAHA No seriously, go on! No really, this is bad. Just go." But the cover? uh LOVES IT

  12. I literally just started this book, so I'm curious to see what I will think after I finish. I have never read a book by Levithan or Cohn yet-I feel like I'm the last person on the planet not too lol.

  13. I so loved the cover of this book. COVER LOVE! I thought this book was cute. Not the best book ever, but cute. Nice and light and a good seasonal read. It was my first Levithan/Cohn read, too! I picked it up b/c I've been to The Strand before. I didn't expect to like it at all, but it was sweet :)

  14. Hey! I just wanted to let you know I am going to add your D&L review to a collection of D&L reviews I have going on in a post. If you'd rather not be included just let me know! I can take you off right away.