Review: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

dash & lily's book of daresTitle: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
Author: Rachel Cohn, David Levithan
Publisher: October 26th 2010 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Format: Paperback, 260 pages
Source: NetGalley


“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.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the “New York Times” bestselling authors of “Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist.” 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.

My thoughts

Lily is (unhappily) all alone during the holidays, thanks to her parents ditching her for a long-awaited vacation. In an effort to find someone who “gets” her, she leaves a red notebook on the shelf of a public bookstore. Dash, (happily) alone at Christmas after leting each of his divorced parents think he was spending the holiday with the other, is enjoying this quiet time to himself when he stumbles upon a red notebook on a shelf in The Strand. The notebook challenges Dash to complete a task and once he does, he challenges the notebook’s author right back.  So begins a weekend of getting to know each other by writing their thoughts, dreams and desires in the notebook.

Dash and Lily were fun characters. They were both sweet and kind. They were each dealing with their own personal issues, though none were what I would call “deep”. They both seemed to know exactly what they wanted out of life, and how to get it. They had great senses of humor and were both willing to try something new and be adventurous. Before they met for real, you just knew they were going to get along fabulously.

There were a few things that bugged me, like the fact that Lily knew (or was related to) at least 1 person in practically every one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. That eventually became too unbelieveable. Also, their characters were just too hipster for me. Like David and Rachel were creating the coolest, most nonconformist characters they could think of. But there were also things I enjoyed about the book, like the alternating points of view (Dash and Lily, natch). They were both authentic and that made it easy to get into their heads. I loved the little snippets of New York sprinkled throughout the book.

The cover is adorable and perfect for this light holiday read. The snow, the city street signs and the little heart in the crosswalk sign all work together magically.

The sum up

A quick and fun read full of Christmas spirit.

Connect with the author

David Levithan

Rachel Cohn


The Book Depository
Books A Million paperback
Barnes & Noble paperback

Other opinions

Wondrous Reads
Jenny’s Books
A Dream of Books

I love to hear your thoughts and read every single one of them.

  1. Yay for Dash & Lily! Such a fun read. Glad you snagged it from NG. The characters are so quirky and I liked them a lot but definitely can see your point that their hipness was too much of a good thing. The book really makes me miss New York during the holidays!

  2. I love the premise of this book – I can imagine how cool this would be and how fun it would be to ‘meet’ someone in this way. You’ve got me quite curious about the book.

    I was stopping by to welcome you to the Biannual Blogathon Bash coming up in January. ( ) We are so happy to have you join us and I know that it’s going to be an amazing weekend where you will accomplish a lot for your blog. See you there!

  3. This was a fun read! I liked it. :) I didn’t really think about how unbelievable it was that Lily knew LOTS of people around the city, but I think it was a good enough read that I was able to overlook it. I’m glad you liked it! :)

  4. I adore this book! Glad you liked it :)

  5. I had a few of the same problems as you had and I wanted a little more with the ending but it was still a fun read. It’s perfect for this time of year too.