Book Review: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
Published By: Mira Ink UK
Publication Date of this Edition: October 2012 
Page Count: 304
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

I think this was written by people who think they are very clever. It is full of lots of random references, and I felt like it was kind of looking down it's nose at me sometimes. Well, actually, I think that was because I didn't much like Dash. He wasn't a dashing hero to me, he was kind of an anti-social stick in the mud. Rude, condescending and all together far too pleased with himself. This is a teenage boy character who purposefully lies to both opposing parents to convince them that he is with the other, so he can spend a Christmas day reveling in his solitude. I just found that weird. I didn't get him at all. I also couldn't stop thinking of Michael Cera while reading Dash's chapters. He played Nick in the movie adaptation of Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, and I guess he just seemed perfect for Dash too. 

I also didn't get Lily. She was too random for me. I think generally I just didn't get this book. I really liked a few small bits that were observations about the nature of love though, and creating a person in your mind that you love only to be disappointed by reality. I even highlighted a couple of those parts... but they weren't anything really to do with Dash & Lily, and perhaps that was why I liked them better. Those two crazy kids were just too far away from anything I felt I could relate to, or want to relate to. They spent the book challenging each other to do various dares, upping the embarrassment ante several notches, and I felt like I might have done one or two of them but I would have drawn the line way before they did. I liked that there was some kind of anti-weirdo system built in, at least on Lily's side, because her extended family and friends were able to check that Dash wasn't a threat... but I don't think that came over very strongly and I'd have concerns about younger readers not realizing about that and trying to replicate the story line for themselves.

At times I felt like it all just got a bit too ridiculous for me. I found myself wishing away the pages, and I did put the book down and read two other books before picking it back up again to power through to the end. It is fair to say that this one didn't strike a chord with me, still it was an interesting and thought provoking read, so I'm sure there will be others who like it more than I did. 

"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? 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.


  1. I agree with you on most of this. I've become familiar with their work now, so I expected the clever and random, really. But you're right - it's TOO over the top sometimes! It's not very teen-like most of the time, and I don't appreciate that. However, if you haven't already, do try Every Day by Levithan. That one is pretty good :o) Thanks for the great review!

  2. I enjoyed Dash & Lily but they never felt very realistic and the end left me wanting more. Just as a cute read it succeeded for me though.

  3. Thanks for the suggestion - I'll take a look. :)

  4. I have this book on my shelf-soon to be read- so reading your review now is making me really curious!


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