Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan- Review
“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?
I have to start this review by saying I saw Nick and Norah's Infinite Play list a few years ago and was epically disappointed. I was hoping for Michael Cera wonky/lovableness and ended up bored and not laughing. That in turn made me avoid the various Rachel Cohn and David Levithan combo books out there for sometime. Probably totally unfair since books are, in general (not as in the case of say- Everything is Illuminated, but in general) better than the movies of them.
So when Dash and Lily's Book of Dares cropped up I had to think hard about if I wanted to take it on or not. It had a fun sounding premise and came highly recommended by one of my favorite Random House Canada folks so I decided it was time to give this book writing duo a chance.
Right from the beginning I loved the romping through NYC. The idea that these two kids lived in Manhattan and had friends and family working in all the various tourist traps who could help them with the dares was really fun, and since I work in a tourist trap, believable. I mean, now I want to do this with someone! I would totally send them into the creepier corners of the ROM and thoroughly enjoy it (especially in the madness of ROM for the Holidays). And the fact the story started and ended in my favorite place in all of Manhattan, The Strand, didn't hurt at all either.
The host of characters was fairly enjoyable, smarty pants, slightly jaded Dash was my favorite of the two mains, Lily had a tendency to be a bit to sad/needy/desirous of my love for me, though she had her moments. But Dash's anti-Christmas Scrooge McDuck played nicely against Lily's Cindy Lou Hoo love of all things Merry (I was pretty sure that was going to blow up in their faces for the first half of the book or so), and I liked that they easily overcame their differences- so unteenager-like. Dash's friend Boomer shone from the sidelines as a secondary charachter (it's a shame he wasn't in it more), but Lily's various kooky relatives were a close second.
I do have to say the love story became a bit schmoopy for me by the end. It overpowered the wonky adventure and I wasn't so smitten by Dash and Lily finally getting together that it payed off for me. However, Cohn and Levithan have made a career out of these wonky love stories for a reason, they have many admirers- and I'm sure everyone of them were enraptured.
A quick, light, read brimming with Christmas cheer, you couldn't possibly go wrong passing this story along to the young, romantic readers on your list this holiday season (especially of the female persuasion).
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, By Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Published by Ember, October 2011
My copy kindly provided by Random House
Buy Dash & Lily's Book of Dares on Amazon