Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

“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.”

This book was suggested to me by one of my very best friends as a lighthearted, whimsical holiday read. Of course, the suggestion rekindled our age-old debate as to whether or not holiday music/stories are permissible before Thanksgiving (I say absolutely not, that one must fully embrace and celebrate one holiday before moving on to another, while K insists that the thirty or so days between Thanksgiving and Christmas are insufficient to enjoy all the little things the holiday offers), I must admit that K was one hundred percent correct in her assessment of this novel. It was FABULOUS! And I was thankful I held out to Christmas day to read the story… even though I ended up staying up until the wee hours of the morning finishing it.

A few days before Christmas, a cynical logophile called Dash aimlessly wandered the aisles at his local used bookstore when he stumbled upon an intriguing red notebook tucked away on the shelf of his favorite author. Inside are challenges penned by the effervescent and quirky Lily, searching for a boy who would understand her. The two begin a unique game- a cross between truth and dare and pen-palling that sends them all over the city searching for the next clue, and in turn, a better understanding of themselves.

The characters in this story made the book! Dash, the jaded uber intellectual who loved solitude and his books, and Lily, the excitable optimist who loved everyone and everything she came across make for an interesting pair in this game of dares. Watching Lily's transformation was one of my favorite parts of the novel. I could relate to her flare for the dramatic, feelings of isolation, and exuberant approach to life and love. If I could, I would love to be Lily's friend. She was that likable. Dash, on the other hand, impressed me with his cool, snarly demeanor and his command of the English language. I have a feeling I'd want a dance with him, too.

Major cool points were also won by this book because it is set in New York City, my favorite city in the whole wide world. With dares that included braving the iconic Macy's department store and encountering a frisky Santa, to sneaking out late at night to attend a Hasidic punk rock show at a sketchy club, the adventures these two end up on cracked me up.

While a bit disjointed and inconsistent in parts, overall, this book was a hysterical, entertaining read. Five out of Five stars! GO READ THIS BOOK!

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