Books,  Review,  Three Stars,  YA

Book Review; Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohen and David Levithan

dash and lilys

Author: Rachel Cohen and David Levithan
Publisher: Harlequinn
Published: 5th October 2012
Pages: 188
Format: ebook
Source:: Netgalley Copy
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, Amazon US

“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.

A Notebook

When I heard about this book, I was instantly intrigued. It sounded so interesting and enjoyable and so I knew that I would definitely have to read it. Then the recommendations from fellow bloggers came along and I knew that I had to get to reading it sooner because it was clearly as good as I imagined. Unfortunately, however, when I finally did get around to reading it, it took me a long time to finish because I just didn’t feel in love with it as much as others around me had. It is one of those books that made me wonder if maybe I was reading it wrong because how could so many people love it while I was simply liking it? Nevertheless, I did enjoy the book and I read it to the end because I wanted to know what was going to happen but I simply didn’t feel any spark with the book that made me feel like it was the best book in the world. I’m thankful to have read it and would still recommend it to others but it just didn’t make it to my favourite shelf.

is placed

Everyone has their own thoughts about the Christmas holidays. Some people believe they are magical and are a time of hope and love and goodness, while others may just shrug them away as just another few days. It is two perspectives of Christmas that appear in this book and it definitely made for an interesting story and a unique adventure for the two main characters. The one part of this book that I really enjoyed was the concept. The idea of having a book full of dares that is shared between two complete strangers. It is sweet, romantic, and just sounds like crazy fun and something that I would love to see happen in real life. How the story develops was quite intriguing as well, I did get a little bored as it seemed to move quite slowly and I just wanted to know how it would end up but by the middle, it does get a little bit more exciting. The ending was really cute and it did make this book feel very worthwhile eventually, but it still failed to make me love the book as much as others had.

a seed

Personally I think the biggest problem I had with this book was that I couldn’t sympathise with either of the characters. I wanted to. I wanted to get into their heads and to feel their emotions and to care about them but I just found myself too distanced from them. Lily is the kind of girl that I would have most likely been friends with at some point in my life. Quirky to the point of almost being a little crazy, she has a flare about her that I should have loved and has some big family stuff going on throughout the book that I should have felt something about but I just couldn’t connect in that way. Dash, on the other hand, I don’t know that I ever would have liked him. I found him to be a bit irritant, high-on-himself, and intellectually snobby. Further on he does do some things to redeem himself and it is explained as to why he acts the way he does but I just struggled to find any hint of emotion for him. I didn’t care all that much for his particular part of the story and thought that Lily should have found someone better to do the dares with. However, it was only at the end that I realised that I was happy for the two of them. I finally had some connection to them too and realised that although I didn’t like them individually, as a pair I could dig up some ounce of something.

is planted

I haven’t read any other Rachel Cohen and David Levithan book, although I do want to read Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, so it was my first time experiencing their writing style. This book is set into chapters of the different characters. Rachel wrote all of the chapters for Lily and David wrote all of the chapters for Dash. This was noticeable as there was a difference between the styles of the two chapters which helped to make the characters feel like they had their distinctive voices which I did like about the story. It is clear that Rachel and David work well together when it comes to writing. However, one of the things that also put me off the story was the very intellectual words used within the book. I’m not the dumbest person in the planet but I do stuggle with words, especially ones I’ve only heard once or twice and personally, I don’t like the idea of reading a book with the dictionary sitting next to me so that I can look up the meaning of every other word. I understand that they were probably trying to cater to a more intellectual part of the teens, but I just found it to be distracting and annoying and just ruined my entertainment in the story. YA fiction can be intelligent and powerful without the need for words that your average teenager would never hear. That or it was just the cultural divide but I wouldn’t know for sure.

watch it grow

Overall this book was an enjoyable one with a very enlightening story and an intriguing premise. It is one that has been loved by many readers and shared around among them but as I show, it is not a story that everyone will like (which ones are?). It is a contemporary story that is aimed more at the intellectual readers of the world, or the ones who can bypass words they’re only faintly familiar with. But it is still a lovely, cute, romantic story that has the chance to capture your heart and take you away into a new world of exciting discoveries, fun dares, and other interesting things. So if you’re looking for a book that may have the opportunity to warm the cockles of your heart, then you should definitely get your hands on this book. If you want a book that you are likely to enjoy more than me because I’m starting to get picky with my reading, then you should read this. But if you do decide to read this book, I think that reading it nearer to Christmas, or at a time when you want to get into that “Christmas Spirit” is definitely the best time to read.

Three Stars

** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **



  • Nikki @ Foil the Plot

    YAY! Another David Levithan book! He’s quickly worked his way into my heart and I’ve loved everything I’ve ever read by him (especially the books he’s co-written with other authors). I’ve never read Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist but I saw the movied and was blown away and now I’m itching to go back and read the book. If this one is as good as their other story together, I’m sure I’ll love it.

    It kind of sucks that you didn’t connect with either of the characters individually, but at least you were able to feel a bit of something when they were together. I love the concept of the little red notebook and the randomness at which these two people meet. I’m excited to see how it plays out in the end! Very consise review, Faye!

    • Faye (Daydreaming_Star)

      I read Boy Meets Boy the other day and LOVED it so I’m now even more disappointed in myself for not LOVING this one as much because David is clearly talented but its possible it just wasn’t the right book for me at the time!

      I’m still going to check out Nick and Norah’s I think! But maybe wait for a little while, make sure it’s at a time when I can appreciate it!

      Thank you, and thanks for your lovely comment!

  • Marianne Robles

    I LOVED this book when I read it. I found it to be a great holiday read for me. Although… I did find it too convenient that Lily had a family member in almost every monument they visited xD

  • Cindy

    Not every book is for everyone right? I’m sorry this one didn’t turn out to be what you expected. I think it’s the worst when I can’t connect with the characters, it drives me crazy. At least you were able to pull through the book and find an enjoyable ending, right? I enjoyed Nick and Norah, but to be honest, it sounds like writing and characters are similar to this one. The concept might be different, but they sound all too similar, and may not be for you? You should definitely give it a shot though, because maybe you’ll love it.

    Thanks for writing such an honest review. I know it can be tough to be the one person who dislikes a book when everyone else loved it. Anyways, I’ll probably read this one in the future, but I’ll take your suggestion and reading near the holidays :)

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