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Dash & Lily's Book of Dares Paperback – October 11, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 860L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Ember (October 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375859551
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375859557
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (256 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up–Dash and Lily, 16, find themselves on their own in Manhattan at Christmas. Dash is alone by choice–he's told each of his divorced parents that he's spending the holiday with the other, leaving them both to take vacations out of town. Lily's parents are taking the honeymoon they couldn't afford when they got married. They think that Lily is in the capable hands of her older brother, but he's less interested in her than in his new boyfriend, and then he gets sick and spends most of the holiday in bed. He does, however, start in motion the activity that is central to the story. It involves a red Moleskine notebook with a list of literary clues that Lily leaves in the stacks at the Strand bookstore. Bookish and erudite Dash finds it and is intrigued enough to follow Lily's lead and leave some clues of his own. The dares in the book's title refer to innocent things such as going to various crowded places like Macy's and FAO Schwartz to pick up messages. As the dares go on, the teens reveal more and more about themselves in the pages of the notebook, until they finally meet under the worst possible circumstances. While the words, ideas, and sentiments are not those of typical kids, they are not out of the realm of possibility for well-read teens. As they did in Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (Knopf, 2006), the authors combine their talents to write an appealing book. It makes readers long to buy a notebook, begin filling its pages, and find a friend who might turn out to be more. This book will spend as much time off the shelf as Lily's notebook.Suanne Roush, Osceola High School, Seminole, FL
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

From Booklist

In their third collaboration, Cohn and Levithan present another clever New York romance. Levithan writes the chapters narrated by Dash, a “bookish” 16-year-old spending Christmas break alone. He finds a red moleskin notebook amid the shelves of the Strand bookstore. “Are you going to be playing for the pure thrill of unreluctant desire?” asks Cohn’s Lily in the first coded message of the notebook, with an invitation to respond. Lily is aglow with the yuletide and devastated that her parents are spending the holidays in Fiji. Armed with anonymity, Dash and Lily exchange the notebook in various locations around the Big Apple, filling it with their greatest hopes and deepest fears, and ultimately find themselves falling in love. Not surprisingly, the young pair’s perceptions of each other don’t entirely reflect reality; Dash’s ex asks if he is in love with the girl writing in the book or the girl he is picturing in his head. The spirit of the season amplifies Dash and Lily’s loneliness and heightens the connection between them, in another surefire hit from the creators of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2006). Grades 9-12. --Courtney Jones --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

Just when everything was going really well, the book ends.
Brianna's Bookish Confessions
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, is a romance between two teenagers living in Manhattan.
Alivia rose
This is a cute, fun read that would be a perfect book to read in December.
AnneB

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Kate Coombs VINE VOICE on November 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I feel like a romance cliché: I fell in love with this book at first sight and never fell out. This is ironic, since Dash & Lily's Book of Dares is pretty much dedicated to being anti-cliché when it comes to romance.

I recently had a conversation with one of my students, a teenage boy who just broke up with his girlfriend and was feeling bad about it. He said, "Everybody's a stranger, and always will be." This seemed to frighten him. I told him I was going to loan him Dash & Lily's Book of Dares. "It's all about that," I said. "But it still manages to have a happy ending."

As our story opens, it's Christmas time in the Big Apple, and Dash has fooled each of his divorced parents into thinking he's with the other one so he can spend Christmas in surly Grinch-like solitude. Well, perhaps not solitude, though he's definitely a young Grinch in the making: Dash discovers a red notebook incongruously shelved in a grand used bookstore called the Strand. (It's real! With an alleged eighteen miles of books.) The notebook challenges Dash to a little scavenger hunt in the bookstore, managing to embarrass him almost immediately. Dash picks up the gauntlet and returns the favor by issuing a dare of his own. Cynical Dash is pleased to realize that the notebook is obviously from an equally sardonic teenage girl trying to see if she can meet her male counterpart.

Only it's not. Dash doesn't know this for pages on end, but the girl, Lily, didn't start the notebook, though she does quickly enter into the spirit of things and keep it going. The notebook is actually the brainchild of her older brother, who is hoping to keep her entertained and out of his hair so he can enjoy spending the holidays with his new guy.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Narcisse on December 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This was a really cute book. I thought that the idea of the red notebook was interesting and a bit whimsical, and I really liked the whole concept of it. And, of course, it made me want to go poking around in used book stores.

I really liked Dash. He was a smartass who was a bit of a loner and a grump, though he was also a good guy with a handful of close friends who seemed to really think highly of him.
Lily started out a little too optimistic sugar-and-spice for me, but I liked the character contrast to Dash that she presented. She was also quirky and fun, and she grew on me.

The plot is driven by the passing around of the red notebook and the challenges that Dash and Lily present to one another, which are fun and funny. I liked the pacing of the book - it reads pretty quickly. I finished it in one sitting without getting bored or frustrated with it. It's a pretty light and enjoyable read.

It takes place during the winter holiday season in New York City - so if you are looking for a good Christmas or holiday read, then this one would be a good choice.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie (Poetry to Prose) on April 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This didn't end as well as it started. It had a cute cover and a cute premise, but the characters stopped being cute along the way.

Starting with Dash finding Lily's notebook at the Strand, the two quickly fall into back and forth adventures, learning about each other along the way. I found that Lily was immature, not showing any growth at all throughout the book, but instead regressing to her childhood nickname of `Shrilly.' Dash, while completely pretentious and unrealistic, was more interesting, but his brand of snark got tiresome after a while. Still, as the two set off on their dares, I enjoyed their interactions through the notebook, curious as to what they'd be doing next.

Unfortunately, their dares did come to an end. Once they met, I felt that their charm, as well as that of the entire book, was gone. I found myself skimming through the remainder of the book, not seeing any chemistry between the real Dash and Lily. The book became one of those where I found myself thinking of alternative ways I would have written it, which is never a good thing.

While perhaps not my favorite read, I will say that I laughed A LOT at the beginning. One bit, involving Santa, had me laughing for about five minutes straight. Perfect for the holiday season, I think there are many readers who would enjoy it more than I did.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nelaine Sanchez VINE VOICE on December 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This review might be a bit biased since I am a big fan of Rachel and David's prior novels. So as I'm sure you can guess, I loved Dash & Lily's Book of Dares!

Told through alternating POV chapters we get to meet Lily and Dash. Lily is spending the holidays on her own this year. Her parents and grandfather are out of town and she is left with her brother who is more into his boyfriend then what Lily is up to. So she decides to leave a notebook with clues in the infamous Strand bookstore in New York City. Luckily the notebook lands in the hands of Dash - who is smart and brave enough to decipher Lily's clues and they're off on a wonderful adventure. A holiday adventure that will lead them not only to an awesome assortment of tourist infested NYC holiday spots, but also down a path of self-discovery and possibly... romance.

What I especially loved about Dash and Lily was how opposite to each other they both are. I guess it's true when they say, opposites attract. Dash hates Christmas - he's more of the brooding, "snarly" sort. He lied to both of his parents telling each that he was spending the holidays with the other just so he could have some time alone. Lily loves the holidays to the point where she's even part of a caroling troupe. She hates the fact that this will be her first Christmas without her family. Dash was more of the daring type - while Lily was more of a goody two shoes. And although the plot moves along because of the notebook and the different challenges it presents, the internal dialogue, notebook entries and discussions between the characters were a treat to read. As with all Cohn and Levithan collaborations - the characters are witty, snarky, sarcastic and downright fun.

This is the perfect holiday read. It is clever, funny, and simply a joy to read.
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