Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, published by Mira Ink on 5th October 2012
I've left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you dont, 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?
I thought I would adore this book because a) I love New York, b) I love Christmas and c) I do indeed believe that romance can blossom in the most unexpected of places. Unfortunately it didn’t quite match up to my very high expectations. I liked elements of the book but as a whole I’m not sure that it was the right read for me.
I was really drawn to the premise of ‘Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares’, which features a kind of secret hunt/quest across the city of New York. I was excited by the possibility that almost anything could happen and I wanted to climb inside the book and join in! There’s a sense of magic and wonder throughout the book and that came across throughout the whole story.
My main problem with this title was that the characters of Dash and Lily didn’t click with me at all. The chapters are alternatively penned by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, leading to two distinctive narrative voices but I’ll admit that I just couldn’t warm to them. They are unlike any other teenagers I’ve ever known. I mean does anyone that age really talk like they do except in television shows? I found the language they used a bit pretentious and this started to irritate me after a while. I also didn’t really get some of the humour they used which passed me by a lot of the time. I think if I could have found some common ground with the characters then I would have enjoyed the book a lot more.
Fans of these two authors will probably enjoy this offering but although I thought the plot was original and quirky, on the whole the book left me feeling distinctly underwhelmed.