Thursday, January 2, 2014

Review: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Series: None
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: ★★★★
Pages: 260
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 26, 2010
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
“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?

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.
This festive, split perspective, co-author written, quirky novel is best read in the wintertime. Not only does it take place during the end of the month December, but it shows readers that spending Christmas with someone you love does happen to make an impact on your life. Or at least that's what I got out of the book.

In this book, Lily is quite the interesting character. Written by Rachel Cohn, she has the mind of a girl no doubt--a girl that doesn't quite fit in with the teenage population in her city. She's been nicknamed Shrilly for her shrill-like responses to drastic situations. Her parents have gone off on a Christmas vacation holiday...without her and her brother. Fed up with Lily, her brother decides to find her a guy for Christmastime by having her write up a book of dares and putting it on a shelf in the bookstore.

Now there's Dashiel, or as he likes to be called, Dash. He's the polar opposite of Lily, being that he is a diehard misanthrope. Levithan's writing reminds me of John Green's writing. I know that this comparison has been made a lot in the YA literature word, especially since the two authors wrote a book together. Nonetheless, I've come to realize that both authors have an MO--misanthropy characters. But just like Dash hates humankind, he also hates Christmas. (What a shame.) So he spends his days before Christmas in a bookstore. When he comes across Lily's book of dares, he figures that it shouldn't be to hard to do them. And what started off as a way to get Lily a companion for the holiday season turned into a budding relationship between opposites.

But you know what they say: opposites attract.

Despite my past reviews, I quite enjoyed the spit POVs (point of view) in this particular book, and the fact that two different authors (make and female) wrote those two different POVs made the whole reading experience seem even more real. I never confused Dash and Lily for one another, not only because of the different writing styles, but also the two different monologues. Dash and Lily had two distinctive voices, and I liked that about them. I'm sure many readers out there would appreciate that as well, which is why I think this would be a good book for just about anybody.

Also, I liked Dash the most out of the entire book. I can relate to him in some ways. Although my parents are happily together, I can't help but admire his snarky attitude. I consider myself to be extremely sarcastic, which is pretty much the definition of Dash. His anti-people personality and responses make me laugh even if he can be a bit harsh. Dash may come off as a jerk to some people, therefore I'm not exactly sure how to write about him in this review. Some people may like his characters, others might not. I was obviously apart of the former.

I wasn't particularly too fond of Dash's ex-girlfriend Sofia. She wasn't the jealous time rather than the type that thinks they know what's best for their ex. Sure, she gave him advice, but it was crappy advice. She told him that Lily wasn't the perfect girl that Dash was imagining in his head. So what if she isn't? That's up to Dash to decide. Also, Sofia wasn't exactly a gem either when it came to being Dash's girlfriend.

I don't understand why YA characters these days always need a gay companion. I get it--you're [the author] not homophobic. Now, I'm perfectly fine with homosexual people, but I don't understand why it's such a big deal in YA these days. I swear, nearly every book I read contains a gay character. It's just something that I've noticed. Obviously, it's mostly in contemporary.

In conclusion, like I said above, I think any lover of the young adult genre will most likely enjoy this book. It's fun, fast, humorous, and has character. This is definitely a book that I will be recommending to everybody next Christmas!

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