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Dash and Lily's Book of Dares - R.Cohn/D.Levithan

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2 Reviews

Paperback: 304 pages / Publisher: Harlequin / Published: 5 Oct 2012

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    2 Reviews
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      30.12.2012 14:18
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      Dash stumbles across a notebook belonging to Lily in a bookstore

      Title: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
      Author: Rachel Cohn, David Levithan
      Genre: Young Adult, Romance
      Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
      Publication Date: October 26th 2010
      Goodreads Summary: "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 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.

      { Review }

      I've been wanting to read this for a long time now, the cover is just too cute to resist! It couldn't be more appropriate that I decided to pick this book up again at Christmas time because that's exactly when it's set. If you're inspired by my review to read this fab book, then now, like right now, is definitely the time to do it! I have heap of revision to be doing, but I just couldn't stop reading this book. (I think this sentence may quite possibly have made its way into just about every review I've written) In fact, I've been going to bed at around 3:30 a.m. every night because I just can't stop reading and as a result I am now extremely ill, but - it was worth it.

      So apart from the uber cute cover, I was also drawn into the unique plot line. This didn't seem like your average teen romance, and I was right. Dash and Lily's story begins when Dash stumbles across Lily's notebook, wedged on a shelf at his favourite bookstore, next to his favourite book. Inside, he finds a list of things to do, if he dares, which of course, he does, and so their special correspondence begins. I suppose its a bit idealistic to think that if you left a notebook hanging around with a list of things to do inside it that the perfect guy for you would stumble across it, but somehow this story seems like it could be real.

      The other great thing about this book is that it's quite relateable, I would say, to the average reader of this review. Both Lily and Dash are misfits who are much more comfortable with writing things down rather than saying things out loud and that just makes everything between them seem much more real, despite the fact that this story is really quite unrealistic (picture a dog running into a pram, a baby flying into the air, a teenage girl leaping for (and catching) the baby, and then a few hours spent in a jail cell).

      This wasn't one of those teenage stories where you fall in love with the protagonist because he sounds so dreamy and hot, it's one where you learn to love and appreciate every single character because they've all got a part to play. That's not to say that I didn't think that Dash sounded dreamy and hot - because he did. You find out a lot about the main characters through their exchanges in the notebook and whilst they don't actually meet each other until about three quarters of the way through the book, you can feel the connection between the two. I love the realism that both characters had. Neither of them were the swooning romantic sort, but the practical and thoughtful sort who understood that at the end of the day, it was just a notebook full of dares and perhaps there was nothing more to it.

      I think that the main reason that I enjoyed this book so much is that I'm secretly waiting for something exciting like this to happen to me. I wish that my parents would leave me alone for a week over the Christmas holidays, leaving me to do whatever the hell I want, when I want, including secret rendez-vous with mysterious bookshop boys. Alas, I don't think this will ever happen to me.

      This story makes you think about what you're really looking for in that special someone and warns you not to get too caught up in the idea of someone, which, in my opinion, is a very important lesson. Whilst this book was exciting and daring, it was also calming. Now that I've finished reading it, I feel like a sort of serene peace has settled over me which is strange. (It also cured me of my review-writers block which is another plus). So all in all, this was an absolutely fantastic Christmas-New Years read that I'd recommend for any teenage girl, I guarantee that you'll fall in love with this story!

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      15.12.2012 14:48
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      A fantastic book

      About the book
      Dash & Lily's Book of Dares is a stand-alone young adult novel by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. It was published by Harlequin UK on 5th October and the book is 304 pages long. I received and e-book for review through Net Galley.

      Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com)
      "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 favourite 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?

      What I thought
      I've never read a Christmas book before. Normally I hate Christmas and I'm the Grinch. However, for some reason I love Christmas this year and I have wanted to read Dash & Lily's Book of Dares for ages now.

      Set in New York, which has always seemed like a magical place to be at Christmas, the story is told through the dual narrative of Dash and Lily. While browsing in The Strand, a bookstore one day, Dash finds a red notebook on a shelf mixed in with the other books. There is no title on the spine which instantly intrigues Dash. After picking up the red notebook, he realises that someone placed it there specifically, giving a set of instructions about who could play the game contained within the book. Dash, being a straight teenage boy decides he does want to follow the clues, which send him on a hunt for certain books within the store.

      The red notebook is passed between Dash and Lily, each of them giving a new set of instructions each time and leaving it where it was found, so the other person can pick it back up. I really loved the idea of this game and found it hilarious to read about. Some of the things that Dash and Lily get each other to do are really funny but they are done at the same as getting to know each other by asking questions about each other. It was nice to see each character get to have a bit of fun while letting the other know something personal about themselves.

      The dares left in the red notebook stick mostly to a Christmas theme and it really did make me think about Christmas in a much more positive way than I normally would do. The setting is absolutely magical which helps with the Christmas feeling. There are many different things that Dash and Lily have to do, including going to some of the busiest shops a day before Christmas. Some of the places visited are very iconic regarding Christmas in New York and although I have films to thank for that, I could picture these places vividly.

      Both Dash and Lily had very strong voices and they were both extremely likeable characters for different reasons, but also some of the same reasons. Both characters are slight outcasts, being a bit strange not much like their peers. They have very strong personalities and neither are afraid to say exactly what they are thinking. I loved that about these characters. Still though, they are teenagers and are prone to making mistakes which was a nice thing to see. Although in a surreal situation, the character's faults made them real and this made it possible for others to relate to them.

      The writing is also amazing. Dash's chapters were written by David Levithan while Lily's were written by Rachel Cohn. Their writing styles fit perfectly together and you couldn't tell that the same person didn't write the whole book. Both authors have the ability to write about real teenagers and give them real voices and problems while adding in a bit of something special and different at the same time. The plot of this book was very addictive, with me not wanting to put it down. I wanted to know what the next dare would be and I wanted to know more about the characters.

      If you have put reading Dash & Lily's Book of Dares off for a while like me, this is the perfect time to pick it up. Although it has a Christmas setting, it is a book you can read all year round and enjoy thoroughly.

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