Sunday, January 2, 2011

BR: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

I've really liked Levithan's collaborations in the past (Nick and Norah, WGWG) and when I heard about this one, it just looked like SO much fun. And it's Christmas-themed!

Summary (goodreads)

"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 comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

My Expectations: I thought it would be fun with fantastic writing and interesting characters. I've read some reviews and they were generally positive :)

Delivery: Kind of what I expected, I just loved Dash, and the smart-ness of the novel.

Put-down-ability: 3/10

My Thoughts

So… I am in love with Dash because his IQ is a turn-on. Whatever, judge me, but those big words spell attractive. I loved his cynicism towards Christmas, his reactions to Lily’s dares, his friends, his ‘snarly-ness’… so awesome.

Okay, now onto the book. Man, it was fun fun fun! Like Cohn and Levithan’s previous collaborations, the alternating narrations of Lily and Dash managed to include both an entertaining plot and good character development. I loved not knowing what in the world they would dare each other to do next, plus there was also an awesome supporting cast to add to the fun.

In addition, I do think that the two authors were able to prevent it from being just a "fluffy, feel-good holiday adventure". I liked the inclusion of the ‘perceptions versus reality’ thing, and the way each character built up the other in his or her head, and when it was time for a physical meeting… they weren’t really sure what would happen. And I liked how each character actually addressed this, instead of having everything go over their heads. They’re smart, but they had built up an image of the other, some perfect swoon-y image that might not be true...

The plot kicked off with a bang but I did think pacing was a bit shaky at times. Things slowed down in the middle and there were just some aspects that I can’t quite identify that prevented this from being a full-on gush review. Some ‘unlikely’ events, I guess… but it’s forgivable.

Lastly, writing on both sides were strong, but since I favour Dash, I also favour Levithan’s writing style :)

Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable
Recommended for: People looking for a fun and clever read with snowy fun and Christmas cheer. Cool characters and an adventurous plot is a given.
Acknowledgements: What acknowledgments?

8.5/10 – because it’s fun-packed. I loved the characters and the tentative, quirky romance that blossomed through dares throughout NYC. Parts were laugh-out-loud funny which rocked. Prose was excellent and while pacing wasn’t the strongest, it is still a very enjoyable read, definitely recommended :)

PS- I so want to visit The Strand bookstore now

source: purchased
Levithan's website
Cohn's website / twitter


  1. I REALLY like the look of this one, great review!

  2. The characters sounds amazing especially Dash. Surprisingly I haven't read Nick & Norah's Playlist. I think I need to get them both :)

  3. This one sounds like a lot of fun, and though Christmas is over, I think I'll still pick it up when I see it. Great review!

    BTW, I dream of visiting The Strand, too! :D

  4. Well said.

    Dash is really charming. I loved him, as well as Lily. I really enjoyed this one, and hope to pick up N&NIP soon.

    There was this contagious quirkiness to the novel that I really liked. I like how you addressed the "perception vs. reality" thing, because it's something that I could relate to, and is dealt with in such an intelligible manner.

  5. Amen on the Dash front. I ADORED him.

    Also, I assume from the comment form that you're a nerdfighter, too? :D

  6. I almost purchased this last week then refrained and swapped my choices! Now I'm regretting it!

    Great review!

  7. Great review! I am still on the fence about picking this one up (I have read A LOT of contemp. romance lately) but you have convinced me! I think it will be interesting to see the contrast in the two writing styles - I do love duel protagonists. :)

  8. I need to read this one! And OMG my friends said the same about how she likes Dash because of his smart-ness :)

  9. I enjoyed this book, too but it didn't wow me as much as Nick and Norah. And you are so right: The Strand - I NEED TO GO THERE!

  10. OMG, Yes! The bigger the brain the harder I fall! Big words make my knees weak!

    I really wish I had read this one over the holidays. It would have been perfect. *kicks self*

    Love your reviews Audrey. You lay everything out perfectly.

  11. YYY- yay! Let me know if you read/review it! :D

    Nic- they both rock, though N&N is a bit... more mature :p esp. language wise if that isn't your thing

    Erika- haha I live in Canada,.. the Strand is pretty far away! lol and yep, it's a great x-mas read :)

    Cass- I totally agree about the quirkyness, so glad you enjoyed as well :) tks for the comment =]

    Skye- HECK YES!! *high five*

    Jen- I hope you get a chance to read it!

    LIt for Lunch- i'm with you on the Dual Protag front :) and *high five* contemp romance is da bomb xD

    Zoe- Woot Dash Lovers Unite!

    Miss Bookiverse- N&N was SO good :) and yes to the strand!

    Missie- LOL too true =D THank you hun :)


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