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Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares | Rachel Cohn & David Levithan | Reviewed by Ria

Dash&Lily's book cover

First post nerves! Ahhh!

It’s actually very appropriate that the first of our reviews on Blogger’s Bookshelf should start with Dash & Lily Book of Dares, as this is the book that got the cogs in my head thinking ‘Hey I wanna start a book blog and tell people other than my friends, who are sick of hearing about me talk about books, about this book!’

Well here we go…

Dash&Lily's book cover1

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares is co-penned by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, with David obviously writing for Dash’s side of the story and Rachel for Lily’s,. Co-penning a book like this means two sides of the story is presented…with each side presented in alternating chapters.

The premise is simple. Dash, a ‘snarly toothed’ 16 year old hipster, who’s a bit of a loner and has a hatred for the festive Christmas season finds a red notebook in an old bookstore tucked into a corner of New York City. The notebook,  - spoiler alert! - , challenges whoever reads it (or dares them) to follow the instructions. The victorious reader will then be considered to be potential boyfriend material by for the author. Said author is Lily, a quirky, awkward and equally hipster-ish girl – though by the end of the book Dash definitely wins in the hipster stakes - with a charming love of everything Christmas-y and the holidays that come with it.

Dash decides to take on the challenge, out of boredom more than anything else and so it begins. The story follows on from there with the two only communicating via the red notebook with their ‘dares’ taking them all around the City. Note only do the pages of the note fill up with cryptic clues and instructions but the two also embark on very personal journeys. They pour out their souls onto the blank pages, spilling their stories, inner secrets and thoughts for the other to read, and calls into question "Why is it so much easier to talk to a stranger? Why do we feel we need that disconnect in order to connect?" - quote from Dash himself

Personal highlights were the dares themselves, which were both achingly adorable and ‘face hiding in a pillow’ cringe-worthy (mostly for Dash). The setting of the story, New York City during the cold festive season, definitely acts as an aid to push the story along and proves a charming backdrop to what is essentially a teen love story. Plus, the secondary characters, Lily’s pretty awesome Aunt, Dash’s friends (both the douche-y and downright adorable) and ex-girlfriend all add colour and random madness at times.

So my verdict? 
Dash & Lily is definitely a quick teen-ish read that does leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling inside by the end of the book. Be prepared for a little second hand embarrassment as well as frustration when things go wrong. For those not used to this genre, Dash in particular can seem pretentious as a character at times and I’m sometimes left thinking Lily may be a little delicate for him – she proves me very wrong.. 
Overall it was enjoyable and the switch between each author, filling in the blanks of the other’s story, was refreshing to read. 

Reading Soundtrack: 
The Bitch of Living: Spring Awakening Broadway Cast; It’s Time: Imagine Dragons; Same Old Situation: Chuck Criss; Sunshine: All American Rejects; Don’t Look Back Into The Sun: The Libertines

For lovers of…You’ve Got Mail, John Green’s books – Will Grayson/Will Grayson in particular, ‘coming of age’ indie films, and Gleek fans of the fanfic ‘Little Numbers’ – which was partly inspired by this book!

This review was written by regular reviewer Ria, get to know her here.

*all photos in this post (c) Ria Cagampang


  1. This sounds like a good easy read, especially for christmas time :) will look at getting my hands on it! xx

  2. This sounds like such a lovely book to read, I may have to add it on to my to-read list! :) x

  3. Yay! The first review is up! How exciting! And I really enjoyed reading your review Ria!

  4. Anonymous6:08 pm

    THis is such a good post,I love the song ideas too xo


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