Thursday, October 13, 2011

Review: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Despite never having met, a red notebook connects Dash and Lily, two teenagers in NYC who pass each other dares and messages by leaving the notebook at various locations. What starts as a way to pass the time becomes bigger as Lily and Dash's adventure starts to involve not only them, but also their friends and family members.

Full disclosure here: I've never been a huge fan of either Rachel Cohn or David Levitan. No particular reason, but I've never found a book of theirs that I really truly enjoyed, so I was a bit nervous about reading this one. Especially as, in the beginning, it's hard to deal with the unique personalities and quirks of the two protagonists. Dash is pretentious in that annoying, not-as-smart-as-he-thinks-he-is sort of way while sheltered Lily comes off as very, very young. The over-the-top-ness of these characters is annoying in the beginning, but the overall story is so cute and cheerful that it eventually overtakes the characters who, after time, become more relatable as they mature a bit. By the end of the book I really liked Lily and thought that she, even more than Dash, had grown up and became a more relatable and likable character.

There were definitely parts of this book that I found unrealistic - the lack of adult supervision for one, especially with Lily, whose entire extended family seemed to be focused on her at times. It required a bit of suspension of disbelief, but overwhelmingly, thanks to the adorable romantic-comedy adventure, this was a very cute love story. Even cute enough for me to overlook the fact of the ridiculous fake Pixar movie that was referenced. (Yes, I know this is a small thing. But, come on, it's Pixar.) I'm sure all David Levithan fans will love this book no matter what, but I'd also recommend it to anyone who loves a cute romance.

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