Thursday 3 October 2013

Book Review - Dash and Lily's Book of Dares

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares
Author: David Levithan, Rachel Cohn
Genres: Contemporary | Young Adult
Release Date: 26th October 2010
Publishers: Knopf Books
No. Pages: 280
Source: Gifted
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
"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 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?

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares is one of those wonderful books that you can read at any time of the year and still enjoy, whether you read it through the heat of summer, or the rain in the winter. I personally had been putting this off until I had reached one of my insane levels of Christmas excitement after receiving it as a gift last Christmas,  and that day was now.

While I had attempted a David Levithan book earlier in the year and not enjoyed it as much as others had, I really had convinced myself that I may not have been cut out for his style of writing at all, and while this made me quite sad, I had come to terms with that. I think that may have been what made me wary of trying Dash and Lily's Book of Dares. On the other hand, I'd never read a book by Rachel Cohn, so I was highly exciting about delving into a new author. With these two conflicting feelings, I felt the biggest push here was the Christmas theme and setting. I am possibly one of the biggest Christmas nuts out there. I completely adore the festive feel, I get excited in shops over decorations and seasonal foods, and love the warm winter nights with hot chocolate and the fire keeping my tootsies warm. I am a walking advent calendar and this book allowed me to control my Christmas excitement and project it into my enjoyment for the story and boy did this book do that. Even when the Christmas theme was slowly vanishing, making way for a much more delicate and sensitive theme, I didn't stop enjoying it.

Both our main characters where written about beautifully and I especially enjoyed how the story was split into each author's narrative/character perspective and how our two characters communicated through their notebook. I loved that our characters got to know each other through words without the interference of face-to-face communication. I felt that their feelings toward one another were completely natural and completely relatable and I became completely absorbed in their story, so much so, I read the last page before reaching the end of the book. I decided that I couldn't leave the story unfinished if I had ever died mid way through reading, and while that may have sounded dramatic, that's exactly how invested I became in the characters. Not only was I completely in awe over how wonderfully written the characters and the story where, I was also overwhelmed with love for the writing in itself, especially that of some phrases and quotes; in fact, this was the first book that I had a large urge to capture quotes and save them somewhere for future reference as they were so beautiful. I don't think I could say anything other than fantastic compliments towards both authors, as Dash and Lily's Book of Dares has shot its way up into my favourites, and once again, another short book has shown that they are just as good as those much longer, lengther books.

Having heard that David Levithan and Rachel Cohn have written 2 other books together, I shall without a doubt be buying and reading those other books at some later point, but for the time being, I am more than happy to read and re-read this book over and over again. It highlighted a lot messages, that I thought were covered really well, and I generally just adored the entire 260 page story, but in the wise words of Dash himself: 'It wasn't about so much about the plot. It was much more about the character.'

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