Title: Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares
Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Genre: YA Contemporary
The only bright side of this dim season was that school was shuttered (presumably so everyone could shop ad nauseam and discover that family like arsenic, works best in small doses … unless you prefer to die).
It’s the holiday season! Yay! It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas and I become more excited every day! To get me even more into the Christmas spirit, I decided to read all the holiday books and stories that I could find! (Maybe not all, maybe I’ll save some for next year).
My first pick was Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares because I’ve heard a lot about it and kept seeing it on my Goodreads. Can I just say–it was not a letdown. I loved every minute of it. From the very first page I was hooked. That quote at the top is found on page 2 and after I read it, I became aware of two things: One, I was in love with Dash and two, this was going to be one of my favorite holiday reads and possibly contemporary novels in general.
I wasn’t planning on completing this novel in one day but I literally could not put it down once I began reading. It was just so fast-paced, funny and cute that my finger kept tapping the screen and turning the page until the next thing I saw was “Acknowledgements”.
In this dual-perspective novel, Lily’s brother decided that she needed to find a boyfriend to become less whiny and cease living up to her nickname, Shrilly. So he takes a red moleskin notebook, writes some directions inside and sticks it on a shelf in The Strand for whomever finds it. Dash comes upon it thus beginning the back to back conversation between him and Lily through this red book as they leave it at various drop-off sites. Lily gives Dash some serious dares including a very disturbing one involving Santa. Dash, wonderfully described as a wanna-be hipster, and Lily are hilarious. Dash has a love for words making me like his character even more. I was so thankful that I read this on a Kindle and I could easily look up the definitions of all his lexemes. Your vocabulary will greatly improve after reading this book, I can tell you that. To top it all off, Dash is especially sassy and I’m a sucker for sass. All of the characters are pretty sprightly even though they have their own conflicts to deal with but the general tone of this novel is light, humorous and festive. I loved all the Christmas sprinkled throughout such as Lily’s extremely festive outfits and all the Christmassy sites that she made Dash go to. It definitely put me in a jolly mood.
*Spoilers* When Dash and Lily finally met, it was kind of anticlimactic and a bit over-dramatic. I couldn’t understand why Dash felt so disappointed. Sure she was drunk and that had to be unattractive but he said himself that he knew she wasn’t really like that so why didn’t he just wait until she sobered up? The drama reached a ridiculously comical level when Dash and Lily “officially” met and the dog ran off and crashed into the baby carriage. I just pictured the baby flying into the air and could not stop laughing. Then they got arrested on top of that? Plus Lily became famous overnight and had two new best friends out of nowhere. That whole section of the book just defined fiction.
I did think that the bit about the Pixar movie, Collation, was a creative touch. I actually googled it to see if it was real and was so relieved to find out it wasn’t. For a minute, I thought Pixar had finally reached an all time low. My only qualm is the abrupt ending. “Wake up Dash”? Really? I know the holidays were over at that point but jeez the book didn’t have to be. They could have written at least one chapter.*End Spoilers*
There is no shortage of laughs in the book and it is cute without being too fluffy. Plus all the beautiful Christmas. If you are looking for the perfect holiday read, I would suggest picking up Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares. You won’t regret it. By the end, you’ll be wishing there was some moleskin notebook hidden in your nearest bookstore waiting to be found to take you on such an exhilarating adventure.
Happy Holidays! xx