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"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


Dash and Lily's Book of Dares (Review)

Title: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares
Hardcover, 272 pages
Author(s): David Levithan & Rachel Cohn
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 26, 2010
Source: NCTE
Buy: Amazon, Barnes & Noble 

The Summary
“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.”

 And so begins the latest whirlwind romance from the New York Times 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.

The Review
I have been waiting to read this book for awhile.  I love the collaborations by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn.  Their previous two books, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist and Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List,  were fantastic.  They explored love, friendship, and individuality perfectly.  I felt like a teenager again while reading them.  Dash & Lily's Book of Dares is no less fantastic.

As stated above, the story revolves around two characters, Dash and Lily.  They couldn't be more opposite of each other: Dash describes himself as "bookish" and Lily is "full of cheer".  But through Lily's Red Moleskine, these two strangers are brought together all over New York for an eye-opening Christmas.

Cohn and Levithan have a great voice, which is surprising when you find out they don't plan the chapters ahead.  Cohn writes Lily's voice and Levithan writes Dash's voice; they email the story back and forth without discussing the chapters until edit time.  Both capture the voice of teenagers questioning some big issues: divorce, love, acceptance, and discovery of self; all with a lot of humor and hope.

It is a quick read, but very satisfying; the only part I had a slight problem with was the ending, but I think it was more because I didn't want the book to be over!  A pick for the teen or YA fan in your life, perfect for the holiday season coming up.  So if you like mysteries, romance, and cool independent bookstores (Said bookstore, The Strand, is real and the first place I'm visiting in NY) then you have to pick up Dash and Lily's Book of Dares!

The Verdict

Book Cover: 4/5
Book Title: 5/5
Plot: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Writing: 8/10
Ending: 7/10
Overall: 42/50 - B

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