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Book Review: Dash & Lily’s Book Of Dares By Rachael Cohn

Book Review: Dash & Lily's Book Of Dares By Rachael Cohn

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares Summary

“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.

Dash and Lily Book Review

I’ve been wanting to read Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares for a long time now and since Christmas is nearly upon us, it couldn’t be more appropriate. What’s more, there’s a new Netflix movie adaptation out and it looks adorable!

Dash and Lily’s story begins when Dash stumbles across Lily’s notebook, wedged on a shelf at his favourite bookstore, next to his favourite book. Inside, he finds a list of things to do, if he dares, which of course, he does, and so their special correspondence begins.

This didn’t seem like your average teen romance, and I was right. Despite the slightly idealistic premise (if only the perfect guy would stumble across a book where I’d left notes!), this story is quite relatable.

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Both Lily and Dash are misfits who are much more comfortable with writing things down rather than saying things out loud. Both characters are down to earth and seem perfectly real despite the fact that this story is has a lot of rather unrealistic elements.

Picture a dog running into a pram, a baby flying into the air, a teenage girl leaping for (and catching) the baby, and then a few hours spent in a jail cell, for example.

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares isn’t one of those teenage stories where you fall in love with the protagonist because he sounds so dreamy and hot.

Instead, it’s one where you learn to love and appreciate every single character because they’ve all got a part to play.

Though that’s not to say that I didn’t think that Dash sounded dreamy and hot – because he did.

You find out a lot about the main characters through their exchanges in the notebook and whilst they don’t actually meet each other until about three quarters of the way through the book, you can feel the connection between the two.

I love the realism that both characters had. Neither of them were the swooning romantic sort, but the practical and thoughtful sort who understood that at the end of the day, it was just a notebook full of dares and perhaps there was nothing more to it.

I think that the main reason that I enjoyed this book so much is that I’m secretly waiting for something exciting like this to happen to me.

I wish that my parents would leave me alone for a week over the Christmas holidays, leaving me to do whatever the hell I want, when I want, including secret rendezvous with mysterious bookshop boys. Alas, I don’t think this will ever happen to me.

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares makes you think about what you’re really looking for in that special someone and warns you not to get too caught up in the idea of someone, which, in my opinion, is a very important lesson. Whilst this book was exciting and daring, it was also calming.

Now that I’ve finished reading it, I feel like a sort of serene peace has settled over me which is strange. (It also cured me of my review-writers block which is another plus).

So all in all, this was an absolutely fantastic young adult Christmas book that I’d recommend for any teenager. I guarantee that you’ll fall in love with this story!

Once you’ve read it, check out the Dash and Lily movie on Netflix, which is also excellent.

Buy Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
Amazon | Book Depository

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If you like the sound of this book, you’ll also love:
Best Christmas Books to Read
Let It Snow by John Green
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

[This review was first published in December 2012 but updated in November 2020]


Sunday 13th of December 2015

I love stories that really make you think. I used to read loads and really need to get back into it xxx

Ickle Pickle

Friday 11th of December 2015

Sounds like a great book - I really must make some time to read for pleasure! Kaz x

Jessica Dearnley

Friday 11th of December 2015

This book sounds fantastic. My new year resolution in 2016 will be to read more! x


Friday 11th of December 2015

Sounds very interesting, I dont have much time to read books to be honest but with a new year, I am planning on getting a kindle and hopefully will read more on the train.

Thanks for sharing


Jennifer Page

Thursday 10th of December 2015

sounds good! I love getting recommended new books to read so this will have to go on my to read list! :D xxx