Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan

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“We all just took the bookstore at its word, because if you couldn’t trust a bookstore, what could you trust?”

Title: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Why you should read this book: Because it’s set during Christmas time in New York so of course it’s going to be magical.

Summary from Goodreads:

“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 cosmic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

“I was attempting to write the story of my life. It wasn’t so much about plot. It was much more about character.”

Is it Christmas yet? Is it not? Why? I love Christmas and I’m a little mad at myself for reading this book now and not back in December. I already had the book on my shelves (I’m almost positive of that) but I really didn’t remember it was a Christmas book. What a pity! When it’s December I will recommend it to everyone!

“I want to believe there is a somebody out there for me. I want to believe that I exist to be there for that somebody.”

This book is extremely adorable and fun. It’s a series of dares between two people who have never met before. Dash is snarly and a lone wolf, but he is honest and very straightforward. I like him a lot and I think I’d have fallen in love with him instantly. Hating Christmas, he tricked his divorced parents and he will be spending it alone in New York. He has no problems being alone, as his friend’s Boomer said, sometimes his best companion is himself and he doesn’t think there’s something wrong about it. I couldn’t agree more since there are so many times that I prefer being by myself, not because I hate company but because in those times the only company I need is myself.

“Dash swooned, with the palpable bliss of Homer Simpson exalting, “Mmmm…donuts.”

Lily is a petite, sweet, independent girl, always up for a challenge, be it in the form of dog walking or baking delicious cookies. She loves Christmas but this year her parents are out of the country and she won’t be celebrating it until New Year’s. Bummer, Christmas really is best and in New York, besides the billion tourists, it has to be amazing, for sure. I was in New York in March last year and I froze my butt off: so much snow but it was magical. Seeing white Central Park has to be one of the best experiences I’ve done in my entire life. It almost beats seeing Hugh Jackman…almost. Then again, nothing beats me falling ice skating in Rockefeller Center and fracturing my arm. Really “New York 2015” has to be the best winter vacation ever!

“This must be part of Mother Nature’s master plan – making these boys so irresistibly cute, in such a naughty way, that the purity of their intentions becomes irrelevant.”

When Christmas turns out to be pretty boring all you need is a fantastic brother who only wants to spend his time with his boyfriend to make everything better. How? He wants to be all lovey-dovey with said boyfriend so his sister needs to be out of the house. Lily’s brother takes a red moleskine notebook, writes a pretty interesting introduction and leaves it in a specific place in a library for the “chosen one” to find it.

“Dullness is the spice of life. Which is why we must always use other spices.”

Our young Dashiell, aka Dash, finds it and a series of really interesting dares start taking form and taking them really outside their comfort zones. The dares are really great; I would love to go on a treasure hunt in a big city, trying to find clues, meeting new people, completing tasks, just having an amazing time and forgetting about what made you sad in the first place. For example, I wanted to build myself a bear but those fluffy marvels were so expensive. Damn you, teddy bear, I wanted you so badly!

“Did Keanu Reeves ever stop by his own statue, just to remember when people cared?”

Of course, not everything can go smoothly, right? There are obstacles, the usual really, the annoying things only put there to make us angry. From the beginning I thought Lily and Dash had a chance to become friends and maybe something more. I saw how different yet similar they were. The side characters were as important as both of them. Boomer, the human Chihuahua, Langston, Lily’s brother, Lily’s grandfather, Lily’s aunt…well, Lily’s thousands of relatives involved in the dares or just side participants in the story.

“The important people in our lives leave imprints. They may stay or go in the physical realm, but they are always there in your heart, because they helped form your heart. There’s no getting over that.”

How can you not love the book if it makes you feel like you are inside the story yourself? Like you are running from north to south of Manhattan trying to find that damn red moleskine to see what’s written in it and to know where to go next? I love adventures and I’d love them more if I weren’t so shy and really bad at socializing! I envy Dash and Lily because they could live that adventure during the best time of the year in one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen.

“I’m told there’s no going back. So I’m choosing forward.”

Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s funny and really interesting.
Rate: 4/5

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