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“Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares” by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

After reading Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (and liking it SO much more than the movie – usually always the case, huh?) I saw this baby on the shelf in the library and was immediately taken by the story.

This book is written the same way as Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. David writes the part of Dash who loathes Christmas and lied to various family members in order to have a Christmas alone. Rachel writes the part of Lily; an eccentric 16 year old who absolutely adores Christmas but spends it alone with her brother whilst her parents are “celebrating their 25th Wedding anniversary” in Fiji.

Lily’s brother helps her to find a boyfriend through a series of dares left in a red moleskine amongst the shelves at The Strand bookstore. Dash, who spends a large amount of his time perusing the shelves of the bookstores, finds the red moleskine and works through the series of clues and dares that eventually lead him to Lily. It’s a great story and the first four chapters are so engaging that it’s extremely difficult to put the book down! As the story evolves, we see the solitary Dash open up to Lily, and when they finally meet up it’s under completely unexpected circumstances. Throw in some dogs, a trip to Jail and you’ve got yourself a very enjoyable novel!

For those of you who weren’t really fussed on Nick and Norah don’t stress – these characters have completely different voices and there’s hardly any swearing in this novel (unlike Nick and Norah’s which had about forty F**k’s on one page alone …) which is really refreshing. And for those of you who enjoyed Nick and Norah‘s, you won’t be disappointed. Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares raises the bar in terms of young adult fiction novels – the authors haven’t “dumbed down” their audience; quite the contrary actually. The authors have regurgitated a Thesaurus in this novel, but not in a pretentious way. How and when these words are used suits the novel perfectly and adds to the voice of the characters.

I assure you that you won’t be disappointed if you take a chance on this book. It doesn’t take too long to read (it took me 2 days) but the story really hooks you in and keeps you engaged the whole way through. Although I hired this book from the library (support your local library kids!) I’ve just ordered in a copy to add to my bookshelf permanently because it’s a damn good story. So go get it! Now! 😀

Overall rating: 4.5/5