DASH & LILY’S BOOK OF DARES by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan | Review

Title: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares

Author: Rachel Cohn, David Levithan

Book #: Standalone

Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Publication: October 2010, by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Pages: 260

Author’s Website and WebsiteTwitter

Rating: qcombine_images

“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 ofNick & 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.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

“Luckily, I always travel with a book, just in case I have to wait on line for Santa, or some such inconvenience.”


To be honest, the first thing that pulled me into this book was because its cover. It is honestly what I would call the perfect Christmas-y/Winter-y cover. Then I read the synopsis of the book, which also seemed really interesting. Plus I’d heard a couple of people saying they liked the book. So for all these reasons I decided to read the book.

Unfortunately I have to say that I was disappointed. This book was really not what I expected it to be. I was expecting to read a cute little Christmas story about two people exchanging dares through a notebook. Kind of like the movie Love me if you Dare! And even though that was theoretically the story, there were so many things missing.

First, the love story was just awful. It had no swoon moments and I didn’t feel any connection between the characters. This was as far away from an “epic love” as possible. And I felt like the two characters were just mildly interested in each other. We have two characters that are completely opposite to one another, like we often do in contemporary books (opposites attract and so on…). The problem was, that they didn’t even realise they were different and there were practically no witty dialogs, snarky comments and all these things you expect when you have two characters who are different. Their interaction was just blah.

Secondly, the so-called “dares” that each one of them had to do were just meh. There wasn’t anything particularly interesting about them and for dares I would expect them to be more daring! For example Dash had to get a note from Santa Claus and for that he had to wait in line for two whole hours! How exciting and daring (NOT!)

Lily was one of the most annoying characters I’ve read about. I thought she was acting like a spoiled 12-year-old! She was nagging all the time about her Christmas being ruined and was completely immature throughout the whole book. On the other side she really loved animals and Christmas and freaking rainbows! I just didn’t feel like her character was real and I just wanted to scream at her!

Dash was somewhat better. Although he was also really whiny, but that was not really a problem for me. What did annoy me, though, was that he was constantly trying to show how supposedly smart he was, citing books all the time and basically being a pretentious arrogant.

What I liked about this book was that each of the two authors wrote from one of the two perspectives (David Levithan wrote Dash’s perspective and Rachel Cohn wrote Lily’s). I have to say that I enjoyed Dash’s perspective more, but that might have to do with the fact that I generally liked his character more.

In general, I was really disappointed by this book because it had so much potential! Two characters getting to know each other through a notebook and sending each other dares? It could have been an amazing book! *sigh*

First Line

Imagine this: You’re in your favorite bookstore, scanning the shelves.

Mini Review

Recommend it for…

  • Anyone wanting to read a Christmas-y story. Although you might want to try something else…


5 thoughts on “DASH & LILY’S BOOK OF DARES by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan | Review

  1. I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while, but now I’m not so sure. I was very hooked with the synopsis, so I might still give it a chance. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. Great review! I never finished this one, I couldn’t. I had all the same problems with it, but I found it too infuriating to continue reading it. I really loved the sound of the book, but in the end, I was just left disappointed. Wasn’t at all what I was expecting! Great review 🙂

  3. Wait, wait, wait, one of the dares was to get a note from Santa Claus, and it was a two hour wait? For real? That’s just…not worth it at all. That is so not a dare, I mean, really? If I read it (which just based on that, I’m not.) my whole review would fixate on that, like I am now. So I’m going to shut up about it now. :)I love when authors get together to write, I read Just Like Fate a while back, and that just worked really well, but it sounds like this one failed. 😦 Great review! 🙂

    • Yes.. to be honest I found a lot of dares kind of ridiculous. I expected them to be difficult things, but most of them really weren’t. This was actually the first collaboration book I’ve read I think, but still I think it can be done much better!

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