BriefINK Review: ‘Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares’ by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David LevithanAt four in the morning, I was awakened suddenly by this realization: “Dash and Lily” are named after the American writers Dashiell Hammett and Lillian Hellman. Duh. And this realization came not only after reading this story twice, but having a dog named Dash who is partly named for Mr. Hammett. Again, duh. I’ll let you Google both people to learn all about them, but there you are. You’re welcome.

If you enjoyed Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist which was written four years prior, you will already know the rhythm of the writing. The characters swap chapters, New York City is the locale, and the two mains are a little different than their peer group. Similar base formula here, but instead of meeting at the beginning of the book, it is quite a while until Dash and Lily come face-to-face.

It’s Christmas time, which happens to be Lily’s most favorite time of the year (like the song [almost] goes). Usually her holidays are full of family, but this year, her parents decide to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary by vacationing in Fiji. To keep Lily out of his (and his boyfriend’s) hair, her brother, Langston, creates a notebook for Lily and instructs her to leave it at the Strand, a NYC bookstore. If the finder of the notebook answers the questions correctly, he can choose to participate in the game of dares, and Lily will be occupied over the break. Dash is the finder, and he is intrigued enough to concoct some dares of his own. They are both alone during Christmas and discover that they are enjoying this exchange quite a bit. Lily’s family gets involved with great gusto which helps Lily to step way out of her comfort zone.

I am a fan, for sure, and I think you will enjoy the story about finding yourself and you find someone who likes you just as you are. My only issue would be that the ending was a little less than satisfactory, but I’ll let you decide. Oh and that in my copy, there is a reference to a girl working at FAO Schwarz who is dressed as Hermione Potter. Wha?

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan was published October 26, 2010 by Knopf Books for Young Readers. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review. Big thanks to the Publisher, the Author and NetGalley.

Rating: 4

Genre: Young Adult Fiction Contemporary Romance
Ages: 12 and up

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