Saturday, 5 January 2013

Dash & Lily's Book Of Dares


“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.” Source

 Dash & Lily’s Book Of Dares tells the story of two New York teens who meet through a series of dares written in a red moleskin notebook. The story begins when Dash, a self confessed ‘horribly bookish’ boy, finds a red notebook marked ‘Do You Dare?’ hidden within the shelves of his favourite bookshop. Intrigued by the mysterious notebook Dash decides to find out what is inside, discovers the initial instructions and out of boredom decides to take up the dare. It turns out that the book was left there by Lily an enthusiastic, quirky girl with an eccentric taste in clothing, the idea being that it might lead her to her perfect match. 

The story is set around Christmas time and one of the first things we learn is that Dash hates the festive season and Lily loves it. This turned out to be the perfect setting for this particular story as certain elements of it would not have worked at any other time of year. Similarly the location setting of New York was well suited to these characters and their journey. Personally I found both of the main characters rather unlikeable, they weren’t your average teenage leads which on the one hand was refreshing however they were at times quite pretentious which made them feel unrealistic and made it easy to forget their age.

One of the interesting things about this book is that it is a collaborative piece with Rachel Cohn writing as Lily and David Levithan writing as Dash. The format of alternating the chapters between characters and therefore their corresponding authors was something I felt worked very successfully. The book isn’t very long (274 pages on Kindle) so is a super quick read perfect for it’s YA target audience. 

Although I did enjoy parts of Dash & Lily’s Book Of Dares my interest did falter the further I read and I didn’t enjoy the ending. The collaborative format coupled with the idea of communicating through the notebook were what kept my interest and in the end saved the book from receiving a lower rating. Although it hasn’t encouraged me to read any of Cohn & Levithan’s other collaborative works it has made me think about taking the time to read more titles outside of my usual go-to genres. 3/5 


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