Disclaimer: This book was given to me free of charge via netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis (from Amazon)
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 favourite 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? Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.
I haven’t read a book this quickly in an age. Or stayed up late just to read ‘one more chapter’. It helps that Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares is a young adult book. That means it was easy to read, and generally quite plot driven. The chapters were short so it didn’t seem like much to read just one more chapter (although I did that for about 10 chapters in a row).
I’ve been thinking about reading something else by David Levithan since reading A Lover’s Dictionary which I loved. Seeing as most of his other books are YA however I hadn’t rushed out to read another by him. Not because I won’t read YA, it’s just not usually the first thing I would pick up. Those things combined meant that seeing Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares on netgalley gave me the perfect excuse.
I wouldn’t say the book was any great literary genius, but I never expected it to be. I loved the idea of two people meeting through a little red book. It’s the kind of thing you just wish would work in real life (I imagine in real life a shop assistant would have found the book and chucked it into lost property- as often happens with bookcrossing books). I also loved how it seemed to show a love of books too, what more could a literary girl want.
I almost immediately loved Lily as a character when I saw her words in the notebook (the first we hear of her voice. (highlight for spoiler) Although I was rather disappointed to find out those initial words weren’t hers, nor the idea, it made me like her less. She convinced me to like her again by the end however.
It took me longer to warm up to Dash but I probably loved him even more by the end. There was something about Lily which started grating on me (although I still loved her). Dash however had a sarcastic, slightly cynical streak which I took to, and I loved his passion for words.
I enjoyed the fairytale references as well. I suppose in a way the story was a modern fairytale, a little unbelievable, and romantic in the way fairytales often are, but also with a touch of realism which you don’t see in traditional fairy stories.
This book is set during Christmas time. It’s not essential to read it over Christmas but I think I might have enjoyed it more if I read it then (rather than early-September, which is when I did read it).
I wonder now about looking into reading something more by Rachel Cohn seeing as I liked the Lily chapters.But then I think of how much I enjoyed P.S. Longer Letter Later as a teenager, and how disappointed I was to find that Ann M. Martin was the writer of The Babysitters Club (pretty much the last thing I would think to read).
Dash & Lily’s Book of Dreams is not released until 5th October 2012 in the UK but you can pre-order it now from Amazon