Thursday, 16 October 2014

Review #17 - Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Title: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
Authors: David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
Published: October 2010
Publisher: Random House


A brief synopsis; (via 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.”

16-year-old Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on her favourite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. Dash, in a bad mood during the holidays, happens to be the first guy to pick up the notebook and rise to its challenges. 
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?

 I don't think I am physically able to aptly put into words how much this book means to me. It was the first book my book club read together, and I am going to be forever indebted to the lovely Eleanor that submitted the book into the mighty book raffle.

It even inspired me to write my own alternate universe version as part of a fanfiction; it's actually my most popular work, and I took the title from three words in the book: 194/10/1, 19/7/10, 146/13/3. It is honestly the most cliché three words ever, and the format is page/word/line.

But now the actual book. Much like Will Grayson, Will Grayson, (David Levithan and John Green) the book has a co-author structure, and so the narration alternates between the two protagonists - Dash and Lily. Thankfully, you are told at the start of each chapter who shall be telling the story, as there is no distinct change in style at a visual level.

Oh, gosh. I can't even think how to explain this book properly. It's fantastic; I love it. There is not a single dull moment! I will say this: this book is best read at the lead up to Christmas, because that's what happens in it. I like to match my books with the months/seasons they're set in.

Both the characters are likeable in their narrations- however, they are not that likeable when presented. Granted, it took a few of Lily's chapters for me to be able to feel as though I was comfortable with her, but I got there. I loved her in the end. Dash was a favourite from the get go, as was all of their friends and family- not that we ever meet Dash's family. But his friends are a viable substitute, because of the amount of chemistry and the dynamics demonstrated between each relationship.

I think the games played between the two revolving around the notebook - a red moleskin - is quite possibly the best, funniest read I have had in a long time. It's puzzling, and whilst not extremely challenging, it's riveting and very refreshing. The anticipation and the build up of the climax is a welcome relief, and when it all comes to halt, it does not disappoint.

I am so glad it's almost Christmas time; I get to read it all over again!

Star Rating: 5/5

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