January 29, 2011

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Leviathan
Published by Knopf Books October 2010
272 pages
Reviewed from purchased copy
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?
Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.


3 things happened when I finished reading this book.

1. I went out and looked for a red moleskin notebook, I wanted my own and though I secretly wished that someone had left notes inside for me it was empty (it’s not really made out of moles is it?)

2. I wished that I had visited New York over the holidays instead of this past August.

3. I wished I had known about The Strand bookstore while we were there.

 I am a huge fan of David Leviathan and Rachel Cohn writing together. Their writing is always beyond clever and laugh out funny. Dash & Lily was no exception. It took a while for Dash to grow on me. He’s so pessimistic (or a realist if you prefer) but Lily (who I could relate to on many, many levels) was a superb contrast to him and they balanced each other out.
I enjoyed the premise of trading the notebook back and forth in New York and how they only shared parts of themselves at a time. As the book progressed Dash and Lily revealed more about themselves to each other and it became apparent how lonely they both were. Friendship and love can come from the most surprising places and at the most unexpected time.
This is destined to become an annual Holiday read for me. I loved the literature references throughout and have since added From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg to my to-read pile. Highly recommended.


  1. I really enjoyed your post and I'm so glad you liked this book. I haven't read it yet but I want to so I'm just glad it wasn't a dud. I just finished reading Nick and Norah a couple of weeks ago and I really liked it. So Dash and Lily are definitely on my radar.

  2. Loved this book! I got to visit NYC during Thanksgiving (a few yrs back) & had the opportunity to see the city decorated for the Holidays. It was BEAUTIFUL! I think everyone needs to experience it, at least once. I was unaware of the Strand bookstore then too. Now I am OBSESSED with it. I buy books from them online.. they even have signed David Levithan copies! You just have to check their stock. I even bought myself a bumper sticker for my car :-)

    Great review, Jen!

  3. Thanks gals.

    G- I visited their website...I love their totebags too!