Since I really enjoyed David Levithan and Rachel Cohn’s book, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, I looked forward to reading their latest collaboration. I also thought that Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares would be a good holiday read since the events of the book happen during Christmastime. This was even one of my Want Books picks last November. The cover pictured below is the Aussie cover and sadly, it’s not available over here. But I like it better than the US hardcover design so that’s what I used.
Here’s the summary from 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 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?
Ahhh, The Strand. It sounds like a book geek’s heaven. I’d love to be able to go there someday to explore the miles and miles of bookshelves that they have. That is where the story starts, when Dash encounters a red Moleskine notebook in one of the shelves of his favorite bookstore. Throughout the holiday, Dash and Lily send the notebook back and forth together with a set of dares that the other should follow. Lily’s great-aunt calls the situation an “epistolary flirtation” and I think it’s a very apt description. Dash and Lily have very different personalities but they connect easily and are able to share their innermost thoughts through the red notebook. Dash is often described by other people as snarly and he’s an introspective teenage boy who has a remarkable love of words. Lily, on the other hand, is an optimistic, Christmas-loving kind of girl. She’s the baby of the family and that’s probably one of the reasons why she’s so positive about everything. They’re pretty much opposites but they get along well as anonymous correspondents.
I had so much fun reading this book especially during the holidays. I love reading Christmas-themed books during this time even if the book occurs in a totally different setting. I’ve never experienced snow during Christmas and I’ve also never been to New York. I always end up liking so many quotes in a David Levithan-Rachel Cohn collaboration. One of my favorites in this book is this:
“The important people in our lives leave imprints. They may stay or go in the physical realm, but they are always there in your heart, because they helped form your heart. There’s no getting over that.”
That one just resonated with me since I was feeling sort of melancholy the past few days as I realized that I’ve drifted apart from a couple of close friends. It doesn’t matter that we’re not as close as we used to be because what matters is that they were a part of my life and they helped shape who I am today. There are so many other amazing lines from this book (you can browse some of them here), which goes to show how good the writing is. I believe this is the kind of book that you can recommend to just about anyone, regardless of reading preferences. It’s very easy to fall into and you start rooting for Dash and Lily to end up together right from the start. There’s also a set of quirky secondary characters that help both Dash and Lily with their dares. This is a really good Christmas read and I hope some of you will give it a whirl. Now, I’m thinking of getting a red Moleskine notebook for myself.