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

Bought from Half Price Books
Publisher: Random House- Ember
Published: January 1, 2010
Amazon - 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 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. 

Years ago I tried reading Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and just could not get into it. I think that was the main reason why I was so hesitant to pick up Dash and Lily's Book of Dares since it's by the same authors. Luckily all of the positive buzz surrounding this book convinced me to pick it up.

This book is told in duel point of views: Dash and Lily. I really, really loved Dash's chapters the most. I loved his adoration for words and just his voice/outlook in general I found to be very likeable. He's pretty sarcastic, witty and intelligent. For the most part I enjoyed Lily, but there were some parts of the book where I found her to be a bit annoying and a touch whiny. Now looking back on it though, I think I would have been a bit peeved if my parents were to leave me on Christmas to go to Fiji when I was just sixteen.

I was happily surprised with how thought-provoking this book turned out to be. When I started I was a bit worried that the dares were going to be a bit silly and more on the 'pointless-just-for-fun' side, but it really was so much more than that. The dares in the notebook challenged each character to step out of their comfort zone and really embraced the whole concept of putting yourself out there. With each dare came a written part from each side- personal pieces of their lives were revealed, but never in overload.

The entire book isn't all just through the form of Dash and Lily writing back to each other, most of the book takes place outside of the notebook when the characters' are doing the dares or really just living life. I was really happy that the moleskin was more of an important addition and that it wasn't a crutch in the way that the characters got lost in its shadow.

I loved the whole idea of these two characters passing a red moleskin notebook back and forth. I loved the adventures and new experiences it lead them on. The dares took Dash and Lily all over the city. I live in a small town in the Midwest, so it was pretty cool to 'see' New York all lit up and busy during the holidays.

 Amazing Quote:
"I was attempting to write the story of my life. It wasn't so much about plot. It was much more about character." 

Although some parts felt a little slow, overall I really enjoyed this book. I loved the discussions about fate and the witty sarcasm that was carried throughout the story. The setting was perfect and I was really fond of both the main characters and the supporting characters as well. I know I've mentioned it before, but Dash and Lily's Book of Dares really is the perfect read for this time of year!


  1. Sounds so good.
    I love that you put it down and tried it later.
    Sometimes it really is about where we are in our lives at that time.

  2. So glad you enjoyed this one, I adored it and made my sister read it... she loved it so much she went out and bought her own copy too!