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

Rating: StarStarStarStarStar

“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.”

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?

Literary Awards: Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fiction (2010),Michigan Library Association Thumbs Up! Award for Honor book (2011), YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults (2011), The Inky Awards Nominee for Silver Inky longlist (2011)



Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares is the perfect Christmas read. It took me around New York in the busiest time of the year with Dash’s abhorrence versus Lily’s ecstasy for the holidays. It kinda remind me of the movie Serendipity: same Christmas-in-New-York setting with the same non-meetings but with the longing of meeting the one another.

Dash and Lily are the total opposites. Dash never recovered from his parents’ nasty divorce; Lily stayed at home while her parents celebrated their second honeymoon in Fiji. Dash reveled in being alone; Lily is scared of not having anybody. Dash is articulate; Lily is stumped on how to talk to boys (and girls!) her age. But they do have something in common – they love to read. and they wanted to believe that there is someone out there existing just for them. 🙂 So cute.

I loved Dash‘s character more than Lily’s. His has a certain sadness and hope at the same time. I relished reading his POV because it’s very entertaining to see the switch of his train of thought from simple things to contemplative ones. I loved the scenes where (1) he’s feeling up Santa, (2) he’s being interrogated by Aunt Ida, and (3) he’s being lectured by Boomer, of all people. Dash is very charming in this unobtrusive way that makes being snarly so endearing.

Lily is the odd girl. Wearing her school uniform even during weekends with her worn chucks, she already accepted her eccentricity years ago. But after reading Dash’s writings in her notebook, she thought that maybe it’s time to get out of her family’s comfort and venture to a normal teenage life. I found it funny that she’s this dogwalker who also loves hanging out with her Grandpa’s friends but can give the middle finger on a whim.

Boomer, Aunt Ida, and Mark are secondary characters that made me laugh in more ways i thought possible. I love how they are solid and yet they do not overpower the main characters.

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares is a story of what could be the machinings of first love set in snow-capped New York. Dash & Lily’s mismatches left me light-hearted and hopeful. I just felt good after reading it.



.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”


4 thoughts on “Book Review: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

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