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!
"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.
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
Cohn's website / twitter