July 29, 2011

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

Dash and Lily
At First Sight: In the pre-Christmas haze of New York, Dash is wandering around the Strand - the iconic bookstore in NYC - when he finds a red notebook tucked among the the books. Inside, there is a challenge sent by a girl named Lily. 

Bored, Dash decides to follow along, first running all over the bookstore and then expanding the quest outside, as he has little else to do this holiday season as his parents have both left the city, firmly believing Dash is staying with the other parent. 

In Brooklyn, Lily is having a hard time dealing with the worse Christmas ever! Her beloved grandfather is in Florida, her parents are in Fiji and the rest of her family kind of wish she would grow a little out of her holiday fixation all ready! So, in an effort to keep her busy and out of his hair, Lily's older brother Langston concocts and idea to find Lily a 'guy', someone outside the protective blanket of their grandfather's influence (as grandpa knows EVERYONE in their neighborhood).

So, the red notebook is born. And soon Dash and Lily are running all over New York City - with it's tourist traps, holiday craziness and snow - getting to know each other in paper, a little afraid to know each other in person.

Second Glance: First off, let me thank Heidi of YA Bibliophile who sent me Dash and Lily's Book of Dares a couple of months ago after I won it in a giveaway in her blog *jumps for joy*. 

Anyway, I was quite excited when I got this book, I generally really like the Cohn-Levithan books, but Dash and Lily weren't exactly what I expected. In general terms, I liked them both - even if sometimes Dash came off a little snobby and Lily a little naive; the people around them speak volumes of the kind of people they are. 

And I LOVED the secondary characters; like Lily's extended family and Dash's best friend' Boomer (I really did love Boomer who unabashedly loves Pixar movies).

But I did have a couple of problems with the pace of this book, for some reason I had a hard time reading a lot of it in a row, though I did like the way the narrative went back and forth between Dash and Lily and how distinct their voices were. Also, it got to a point were things were little anit-climatic and I sort of developed a personal problem with Dash and Lily and felt a little left down.

I can't really say much about that because is spoilerish, but well, that's how I felt.

Bottom Line: This is a pretty decent holiday book, with great supporting characters and an amusing plot. But it didn't leave me with the wonderful sense of possibility that Nick and Norah's Infinite Play List did, so I don't think Dash and Lily will go to my special shelf, but I'll definitely keep them around.

Favorite Quote: "You think fairy tales are only for girls? Here's a hint - ask yourself who wrote them?. I assure you, it wasn't just the women. It's the great male fantasy - all it takes is one dance to know that she's the one. All it takes is the sound of her song from the tower, or at look at her sleeping face. And right away you know -this is the girl in your head, sleeping or dancing or singing in front of you. Yes, girls want their princes, but boys want their princesses just as much. And they don't want a very long courtship. They want to know right away." - Sofia.

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