Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares

I particularly loved the adjective bookish, which I found other people used about as often as ramrod or chum or teetotaler.

Oh David Levithan, may I call you David? I now officially adore you. Rachel Cohn, I haven’t read your work before but I certainly will now. I truly enjoyed the sweetness of A Lover’s Dictionary, but Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares stole my heart. This book is like a big bear hug infused with lots of intelligence, wit and an almost obsessive love of books. (which we all know, is the best kind.)

Its Christmas season in Manhattan and Dash and Lily, 16, are thrown together in a whirlwind adventure that starts and ends in the Strand. (If you don’t know the Strand, it is also known as the most awesome bookstore in New York.) Lily leaves a red moleskine notebook (because what other kind would feature in a bookstore adventure?) which she hides among the stacks of the Strand, next to Franny and Zoey, of course. She leaves a trail of literary clues in the notebook for a boy to find and follow. Dash, a fellow book lover, finds the notebook, follows her clues and then in return, leaves some of his own. They pass the notebook back and forth in places that tell the other person a little about their personality and their lives. Lily leaves it with Santa (she loves-loves-loves christmas), Dash leaves it at the movie Grandma Got Run Over By Reindeer (dash, obviously, does not.) And on and on they go, until well.. you’ll see.

This book is obviously written by a bibliophile and will appeal to all such like-minded book geeks everywhere. But it will also appeal to anyone who loves a good laugh and a great turn of phrase. They, and their story, are clever while being irresistibly charming. Although at times it may feel a little unrealistic because these teens are so well read, so articulate, so eloquent and so lovely, I found myself not caring. It is just extremely satisfying to believe, if only within the pages of this book, that such teens exist. That such people exist.

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