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Showing 1-10 of 122 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 301 reviews
on September 3, 2015
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

I picked this up after reading ‘Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List’ and jumped in without any prior knowledge, lucky I did, because if I knew it was a Christmas themed novel I may not have bothered. Usually Holiday Season novels are cheesy or full of saccharine reminiscing and good will. But ‘Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares’ bucked the trend and left me chortling in my chair.

This is an innocent little book, with a scavenger hunt through the streets of New York, pitting both Dash and Lily into some strange places and meeting equally obscure people. I loved the cast of characters, and while it amused me to no end the antics they got up to, in the back of my mind I was always concerned about their safety. It is mentioned in the book, but the lack of adult supervision allows them to step out of their comfort zones and makes for an interesting read.

Both Dash and Lily have their own amount of quirk, and while I did not relate to either character all that much, I did relate to the dares they offered up. It reminded me of some of the things I got up to with my friends in high school.

‘Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares’ is a light read – I completed it in an afternoon – with a witty narrative that had me laughing many, many times. I would rate it above ‘Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List’ just from the sheer light-hearted comedy which runs from cover to cover. It is, on the most part predictable, but the adventures these characters had come out of left field… I kept thinking what crazy thing they will do next.

Recommended for a younger audience and readers who want to reminisce over their silly teen years, or want a sweet Christmas tale.
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on December 4, 2014
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a young adult romance. A red Moleskine notebook passed back and forth between strangers provides the context for sharing desires and dreams. This unique approach sets the book apart from the typical teen novel. The chapters shift point of view from one chapter to the next providing insights into each side of the relationship.

The romance elements and characters were more sophisticated than many YA novels. However, the apparent lack of parents during the holidays seemed rather odd. In addition, the numerous side stories about family and friends sometimes distracted from the core relationship. I wanted to know more about Dash and Lily. However the plot led to a satisfying climax and conclusion. I liked the idea of being locked in the storage room.

From a techie perspective, I thought the use of the Moleskine notebook provided an interesting contrast to the texting, YouTube, and other high-tech elements. It's fun to imagine where you might hide the book.

I found myself imagining all the places where the notebook could be hidden and the different types of dares and dreams that could be featured. I'm more of a thriller nerd than a romantic, so I found the codes, clues, and mystery aspect the most fun part of the book. At one point in the middle of the book, I actually thought it would be fun to get rid of the romance with two points of view and send the story toward the "dark side" with increasingly dangerous dares... okay, maybe that wouldn't work with the light Christmas theme (tee hee).

It's a great addition to the "Christmastime" collection and a great choice for teens who are drawn to the more traditional, light romance.
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on July 15, 2014
Don't read this book hoping it's like this author- duo's other book, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist ; it is not. A fun read was what I was after, and for that, sure. Fine, an "ok" rainy day book.

But, something about this felt un-genuine, and the voices of the characters did not ring authentic. The situations and dialogue felt contrived. I wanted to believe what Lily and Dash were doing, but their combined actions and inner thoughts just didn't come across as the thoughts of teens.

To be that hipster-esque --- these two would have to be in their 20's, maybe 30. The relatives and parents just aren't believable, either. I get their intelligence, angst, and their bookish personalities, but it was hard for me to imagine this book as occurring in real life. Bits and pieces, maybe. Parents and relatives that daft at that level of society? No. Teens left alone, with quasi babysitters? Ok, sure. Erudite Dash? Perhaps, but his character was overkill. Quizzical and intelligent and romantic Lily? yes, yes, yes-but spoiled by non-intelligent reactions. For every true thing, there was an equal nonsense thing and that made reading this book tedious.

Yet, I loved the original concept and the construct of the quest and I can believe the red Moleskine journal treasure/scavenger hunt. I absolutely loved the majorette boot stand-in for the glass slipper; well done!I would tell young teens to read it for fun, but not for any sense of a true adventure, people and teens just don't have that frame of reference,the experiences in life----to make this stick. I would have swooned over this as much as the author's first book---had it only been more believable. I wanted to love it, but it did not deliver the true voice and teenage mind set which I am looking for.

Hope the other book this pair wrote doesn't try so hard to be so tragically hip, cool, out-there, or unique. Just tell the story, without making things up. That's what I want to read from Cohn & Levithan; make me believe it. Just like you did with Nick and Norah.
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Dash is minding his own business over Christmas break, roaming the shelves of his favorite bookstore, The Strand, when he comes across something rather odd. It's a red moleskin notebook that is daring him to play a game with its owner. After completing several tasks in the store, he is supposed to leave it with the surly man at the information desk with his contact info tucked inside a second book and wait for her to get in touch. However, Dash thinks that is far too simple so instead of leaving contact info, he leaves a new set of tasks for the mystery book writer to complete. When Lily receives the book from her cousin Mark at The Strand, she is shocked to see the guy who accepted her challenge has dared her in return. A little nervous, she completes his tasks and then leaves the book yet again for him. Thus begins Dash & Lily's adventure.

Dash is the most unique male character I have read since...well since Nick from N&NIF. A self-proclaimed persnickety, bookish teen boy obviously wins my affections instantly. Add to that his sense of humor and the manner in which he speaks and whoa boy, I'm in love. His parents are divorced and literally don't speak to each other so he has managed to get a Christmas holiday all to himself by assuring both parents that he is spending the holidays with the other. He intends to spend his days off with solitude and several good books, but Lily changes all that.

Lily wasn't exactly what I expected. She's just a quiet girl who enjoys soccer and loves the Christmas season in ways most teenagers have outgrown. This year, her parents have managed to ruin this holiday by taking a second honeymoon to Fiji instead of staying in NYC with Lily and her brother. A brother who is ignoring Lily in favor of a new boyfriend. All alone, she is trying to make the best out of this bad situation and finally break out of her shell a bit when she goes out on this adventure with Dash.

Watching these two go back and forth, connecting in ways neither really thought was possible had me so enraptured that I may have had this book hidden under my desk in class so I could read while I was supposed to be listening to a lecture. Whoops. It was so worth it though. This novel has everything I look for in a good book. It's sweet, well written, good characterization, interesting plot, and has so much humor packed into it that I am beyond words to describe it. The only phrase I can think of is "laugh out loud funny" and that just doesn't seem to do it justice. Especially when Dash gets in the room with Ms Basil E. Both characters seemed so real, that I can't help wonder if they really are running around in New York right now. I must be on a roll or something because I've genuinely liked every one of the past 10 or so books I've read. Considering how picky I am, that's quite the accomplishment. This would have to be my favorite of all the books I've read this month...well maybe a tie between this and Pushing The Limits.

For those like me, who loved Nick & Norah, you'll find references in here that will make you want to run back to your shelf to re-read your favorite moments. If you liked that, then you'll love this. I think this is a book that anyone will enjoy. It leaves you with a smile on your face and a hope that maybe we all aren't as alone in this world as we seem. Seriously people, GO READ IT!

****Thank you to Harlequin UK Ltd for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****
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on January 18, 2016
I loved this book not because it was a literary great but merely because I have just returned from a marvelous holiday in New York. I have visited most of the places mentioned in the book. So my admiration is purely sentimental.

I admit, I liked the story too, found a few gems to ooh and aah over.
And yet, I also found the story a little "watered down" (maybe because it was a YA book) and it could have been richer were it aimed at a different audience.
Having said that, for me personally, I find that when two authors collaborate, the story is never as grand as it might have been, were it just one author.

In the end, this book will remain as dear to me as New York itself.
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on January 13, 2014
First off, let me say Dash & Lily's Book of Dares is one of my favorite books.

Up until the ending, at least.

The story is no typical love story- it's about Dash, who finds Lily's special moleskin red notebook hidden in the bookshelves of a bookstore, and is intrigued by the cover. Throughout the story, they tell each other bit and pieces of their lives, slowly getting to know one another before they've even met.

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares is an adorable, chance-taking story.

-Relatable (in my opinion) characters
-Beautifully written
-A feel warm Christmas story


The main con of the book was the ending. The story was very well-written in the beginning, but nearing the end it kind of faded off, and the ending seemed forced to me. The ending wasn't very exciting despite the buildup of the story, which is the main disappointment.

All in all, I rate the story 4 stars, or 3 & 1/2. I would recommend it, but it may disappoint in the end.

Still ,love the story and will always be in my faves! :)
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on April 22, 2016
I thoroughly enjoy David Levithan's existential writing style. I would like to think that when he and Rachel Cohn write together, he is Dash and she is Lily or vice versa. I feel similar to Lily in that she had a quaint life but was often on the outside. How sweet of a story that she connected with Dash through the red notebook. A whirlwind of events drag you through New York to get inside the minds of Dash and Lily. If there is one thing I would change about this book, it would be the ending. I believe it ended in the right spot, however I want to be selfish and read more!
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on November 10, 2012
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares is a wacky romp through New York, starting in the famous book store, The Strand. It had me laughing hysterically in parts, and is laced with heartfelt introspection.

The story starts out with a red notebook and a dare. This notebook lands into the hands of Dash, the perfect person for this pursuit. It's Christmas time and Dash is alone by his own design. He's not a big fan of Christmas, and some of the assignments or dares are pure torture for him because of this. This is a testament to how invested he is in these dares and in finding out who's at the bottom of them.

Lily is the author of the red notebook. She's a little bizarre and doesn't quite fit in, and doesn't have any close girlfriends. Instead she's close to her family. At the urging of her brother, she sets up the red notebook for the perfect person to find at the bookstore she loves. Lily has exactly the opposite view of Christmas from Dash, she absolutely loves everything about it, but this year she's on her own since her parents went to Fiji and her grandfather went to Florida. Her brother is in town but he's caught up in a new intense romance and can't be bothered to entertain Lily, she's bored and alone, so Dash's counter dares couldn't have happened at a more perfect time.

This story was co-written by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn and chapters were passed back and forth, each of them writing in response to the others writing. I recently met these two at an author signing and it was evident from their interaction they have an easy and fun relationship, and this definitely translates into the writing. Their banter back and forth in person was just as witty and hilarious as it is in the book. At one point while reading this, I was cracking up so hard I was crying. This scene may or may not have included: a large dog, angry mothers, baby catching, a crimson alert, and the police. Wacky, slap-stick humor at its best!

For those of you like me who require romance in a story, fear not! These two, in spite of their differences, seem to connect so well without even meeting each other at first. I guess we can thank Rachel Cohn for the romance, because she's the one who pushed for a romantic and happy ending that'll put a smile on your face. David was going to be so cruel!!

A copy was provided by Mira Ink through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
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**Originally posted at my blog, That Artsy Reader Girl.**

This book is a fun little gem that is the kind of book everyone will end up reading eventually. I loved the uniqueness of the story. I would absolutely love to discover a little red notebook full of dares in my favorite bookstore! The dares were fun and unique, and put both Dash and Lily in weird positions--more so for Dash than Lily. I'll say two words about it and then leave it at that: fresh Santa. Haha! Loved it. These two were running all over New York City doing tasks, and then leaving the notebook for the other one to find. The anticipation and the mystery behind this cute exchange was incredibly fun and heartwarming to read about! The book alternates back and forth between Dash and Lily, just like the notebook does. According to the authors blurb and the end of the book, Cohn (Lily) and Levithan (Dash) e-mailed the chapters back and forth to each other and then continued writing the story as they got new content. I love that the book was created essentially the same way that the red notebook IN the book was. Pretty brilliant, if you ask me. In doing this, each author gave their own character a distinct voice. I loved the result!

Dash and Lily are very quirky characters. Dash hates Christmas, and lies to both of his divorced parents, saying that he is spending the holiday with the other. That way he can spend it alone. He's a bookish, hipster nerd whose biggest wish in life is to own his own 22-volume Oxford English Dictionary. Other than being very bookish herself, Lily is the complete opposite. She's a perky Christmas lover, but is abandoned by her parents who go to Fiji, and her brother who ignores her to spend time with his boyfriend. The exchange with Dash is the only thing that keeps her grounded. She's pretty unique. The descriptions of her outrageous outfits match the descriptions of her funny nature. Even so, she seems pretty mature for her age. Her rambunctiousness and uniqueness is a nice contrast to Dash's rather mundane existence. He's deep, and has funny things to say, but Lily is definitely the part of that duo that grabs attention just by walking down the street. I love that Dash is amused by her. It's so sweet. I love that the notebook strips them of their hiding places, and brings them out from behind their walls to really get to know each other in a way that they might not have if they had met under different circumstances.

They experience a lot of feelings and emotions together: loss, loneliness, curiosity, happiness, sadness, hope, worry, self-doubt, and they laugh a lot. They think about each other often, and try to imagine what the other one is feeling. They find themselves concerned about the other pretty much all the time. They pose important questions in the notebook, not just, "What's your favorite color?" Together, they realize that they care about each other a lot more than they thought they did. Sometimes that's a scary thing to realize, and they both know it. I enjoyed reading about a deep relationship that is so important to each of them, they spend time worrying and doubting themselves. As they wrote more to each other, they reflected on their responses. It was a quick development, but they did it with finesse. I can totally see how they fell for each other so quickly. They learned more about each other in that short time than some people learn in a year. Neither of them was perfect, but that actually ended up making them perfect for each other.

The things they said or thought were often hilarious, but they also had some very deep thoughts that made me think. One quote in particular that I just loved was thought by Lily, "You think fairy tales are only for girls? Here's a hint--ask yourself who wrote them. I assure you, it wasn't just the women. It's the great male fantasy--all it takes is one dance to know that she's the one. All it takes is the sound of her song from the tower, or a look at her sleeping face. And right away you know--this is the girl in your head, sleeping or dancing or singing in front of you. Yes, girls want their princes, but boys want their princesses just as much. And they don't want a very long courtship. They want to know immediately." LOVE that. It's so profound, and so true! We girls are not the only ones looking for a fairytale.

My final thoughts: Dash and Lily is a pretty adorable book about a Christmastime romance between two unsuspecting teens who are a lot more mature than is to be expected. Throughout the red notebook's journey, these two learn things about themselves and each other. As they learn more, they grow closer. They realize perfection is not necessary, and that girls aren't the only ones who dream of fairy tales. It was a magical read for me that took place in my favorite city in the USA. I definitely recommend this to those of you who enjoy Christmas romances, but hardly ever read any because they are all SO cheesy and cover every possible emotion all at once. This book is nothing like that, and you'll love it. :)

And on that note... It's time for me to scour the shelves of the local bookstores to see if Mr. Right has caught on to this awesome idea yet.
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on September 19, 2011
I bought this book after reading the first few pages online and becoming committed to finding out what happened next. It wasn't even that I particularly liked Dash's narrative or even him as a character; I just thought the whole idea of a scavenger hunt conducted by a total stranger whom you wish to meet at the end of it was... intriguing.

What I liked about this book was that it was innocent enough while not skirting around the realities of being a teenager. There is underage drinking, references to sex (but no actual sex), and even more than one gay couple in the mix. The authors weren't afraid to address social taboos or things that make people generally uncomfortable. Also I liked the highly intentional non-cliche-ness of it the characters' relationship.

But with the lack of cliche in their relationship comes a little bit of cliche in the characters themselves, such as Dash's desire to be anything but typical, which is so strong that he comes across as trying a little too hard (in other words, he's only a few rungs above hipsters on the list of people that people generally want to hang out with. For example, he specifically knows that he'd be satisfied if people referred to him as "bookish" and then someone does-- as an insult-- and he's ecstatic). It's like he wants to be Holden Caulfield so badly that he deludes himself into thinking he's just as unlikeable. Which isn't true; by the end of the book I was completely taken with him and his overall maturity. He wants to both preserve Lily's innocence, as Holden would, but also help her find the life experience she so badly wants and needs. Which brings me to my next point: I just found Lily extremely annoying. What Lily lacks in experience, she makes up in naivete and immaturity. She constantly refers to herself as "Lily bear" (her family's nickname for her), which threw me off every single time. I don't know any actual teenage girls who think of themselves the same way their families think of them. She desperately wants danger in her life, but right when she brushes up against it, she runs away and makes a fool of herself. And she wonders why she doesn't have any friends. It's not that I don't sympathize with her, because I, too, am a bit lacking in the life experience thing (in many of the same ways as Lily), but how can the person who constantly talks about how much she loves animals and who writes on a dry-erase board when she's "upset" rather than letting her Shrilly voice out-- God forbid-- be the same person who dances provocatively in a club and gets drunk at a bar? She just didn't seem like a real enough character to me. [HEY LILY: you're never, ever going to escape Shrilly if you keep believing you are her and acting like you're still 6 years old.]

That said, I liked this book a lot. I liked the humor and the questions it raised about the ideas we have of people vs. the reality of them, fate and how much control we have over it, and whether life is just a series of being in the right place at the right time, or the wrong place at the right time or vice versa. I liked Dash and his tendency to antagonize everyone good-naturedly and play with words to confuse them. I liked the concept of getting to know someone before you really know them, because then maybe your idea of them isn't too far from reality. I liked the open ending, because it solidified the fact that the book was not a romance, and it gives you the impression that maybe Dash and Lily's story is still being written.
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