Thursday, October 18, 2012

ARC Book Review: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Title: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
Author: Rachen Cohn & David Levithan
Publisher: Knopf Books
Release Date: Oct 26, 2012
Rating: 3/5

Cover Impressions:
The cover is cute.  I love that it represents New York without relying on the predictable and cliched images that are so often used. 

The Gist:
When Dash finds a mysterious red notebook tucked onto a shelf at his favorite used book store, he is faced with a set of dares.  These challenges reveal tidbits about the author, Lilly and encourage Dash to set some dares of his own.  As they pass the notebook back and forth, Dash and Lily learn a little about each other, and a lot about themselves

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares starts off with a really interesting premise: two teens, who have never met, are drawn together through dares and challenges set in a notebook that they pass back and forth.  Having never visited New York (but always longed to go) I loved how the adventure carried the characters through some iconic (and not so iconic) sites in the city.  The fact that it takes place at Christmas, and Lily's love for the season, made me really wish I was reading it during December and I think it would be a great holiday read.

Dash and Lily are both great characters, but in very different ways.  Dash is intense and brooding, with a vocabulary that will give any reader a reason to dig out their dictionary (or download a new app).  His manner of speaking was a little pretentious and stopped me from really rooting for him.  I also think that it would put off some readers, particularly teen boys.  Lily, on the other hand, is sweet and positive.  Her happiness is infectious and really helps set that holiday mood.  I had a lot of fun watching her rebel a little and loved that we saw some growth by the end.

I enjoyed the first half of this book much more than the second half.  The dares and challenges were entertaining and kept me wondering about what the kids would come up with next.  However, once they finally met each other, I lost some interest.  Things became awkward and more unbelievable.  I also got a little annoyed with watching the characters continuously get in their own way and was sort of hoping for a less expected ending.  Despite these issues, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares is a fun, quick read that I think would be a great pick for the holidays.

Teaching/Parental Notes:

15 and up
Gender: More suited for teen girls
Sex: Kissing
Violence: None
Inappropriate Language: Fuck, Shit, Hell, Prick, Douche, Bitch, Whore, Piss
Substance Use/Abuse:  Underage Drinking


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