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

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Title: Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares

Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: 10-26-10

Pages: 260

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Holiday

Source: Bought


My Review

This book was adorable! This is my third book by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn and it’s probably my second favorite, my first being Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist. Levithan’s characters are always so quirky and memorable…they’re the kind of teenagers that I wish I could’ve been friends with in high school, but also the kind of dorky, average kid that we can all relate to and find a special place in our hearts.

I love the idea of a book of dares that passes back and forth between two people, as they slowly begin to learn more and more about each other, based on where the book takes them and what they write in it. It’s a unique premise that is totally “Levithan” and makes me want to start my own adventure journal to hide in the next bookstore I visit!

“Are you going to be playing for the pure thrill of unreluctant desire?” 

I also really liked that one of the themes in the novel is the idea of having this version of your ideal boy or girl in your mind that you constantly compare real-life people to. And how, when you’re not conversing with a person face-to-face, sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the illusion that this person is perfect for you, because you can kind of make them conform to that person in your head. Throughout the book, Dash struggled to separate the notebook-Lily from the ideal-Lily who lived in his head, and his friends questioned whether he actually had true feelings for her. This theme is universal, especially in this world of online communities and relationships, and is something that I can definitely relate to. It’s also not a theme I’ve ever seen in a book before, so I really enjoyed reading about it.

“I mean, like most guys, you carry around this girl in your head, who is exactly who you want her to be. The person you think you will love the most. And every girl you are with gets measured against this girl in your head.” 

My only complaint would be that it was kind of fluffy and over-the-top. But that’s what Levithan’s books are about. It’s just not really my type of thing. I like the quirky-ness and the relatability, but some of it was too far-fetched and a little weird. I also didn’t find myself connecting with the characters as much as I wanted to. Dash and Lily were cute, but they didn’t seem very real to me, and I wasn’t convinced of their chemistry. It seemed more like they were meant to be really close friends instead of boyfriend and girlfriend. I was looking for something just a little bit deeper…something that this book scraped the surface of, but just wasn’t quite there.

My Rating 3.5 anchors

7 responses to “Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan {Book Review}

  1. I totally agree about the chemistry thing… Like if the guy falls asleep while kissing you, he might not be that into you. Better as friends 100%! I thought this book was seriously cute, but Lily was slightly too immature for me. She was sheltered, but that didn’t really explain her annoyingness away. I loved Dash’s POV though, and loved what you said about the idea of that “perfect” person.

  2. I haven’t read anything by these authors! Need to remedy that…because this sounds awesome! I’m a fan of light fluff…after I’ve finished some high fantasy. I need it for relaxing time. 😉 Hehe. Great review!

    • Yeah David Levithan is really good at light and fluffy! Let me know if you check out any of his books. He’s definitely a must-read. My favorite by him is Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist.

  3. Oh this really does sound adorable! One of my blogger friends, Delaney (do you know her?), seems to fangirl about it often, and seeing this review makes me even more excited to pick it up soon. It’s interesting that this book deals with how people are often making up “their ideal person” in their heads, which often doesn’t match up with the real person. I have to admit that everyone in the blogosphere seem like angels sitting on clouds to me, haha 😛

    I don’t think I will mind the lack of chemistry between the two, since I’m probably only going to be reading this to experience all the adorableness, haha. Great review, Miranda!

    • No I don’t think I know her…what’s her blog URL?

      Thank you! Yeah I really liked that concept of your ideal person vs. the actual person in front of you. It’s definitely something I think I had a problem with in relationships when I was around that age. And I’ve never seen that talked about in a book before. Or even really in real life. It’s interesting to think about, though. And, yeah, it is super adorable, so you’ll definitely like that part of it 🙂

      • http://theawkward-ness.blogspot.com/ <— She's really sweet and a huge fan of this book!

        Yeah, I haven't found one that deals with that problem either. Except for maybe Adorkable, whose main character was pretty horrible in real life, but nice and agreeable online. Not really the "ideal person vs. actual person", but it's similar 😛

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