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

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

Book Review: Dash & Lily's Book Of Dares By Rachael CohnTitle: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
Author: Rachel Cohn, David Levithan
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 26th 2010
Goodreads 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.

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. 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. Both Lily and Dash are misfits who are much more comfortable with writing things down rather than saying things out loud and that just makes everything between them seem much more real, despite the fact that this story is really quite unrealistic (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).

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, 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 rendez-vous 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 Christmas/New Years read that I’d recommend for any teenager. I guarantee that you’ll fall in love with this story!

If you like the sound of this book, you’ll also love:
Let It Snow by John Green
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Buy Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares:
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Laura is a culture and travel blogger based in London. She studied French at Oxford University and now studies Law in London. She’s an avid reader and traveller and loves to combine the two with literary travel. Find her tips and reviews on the best reads, eats and destinations on whatshotblog.com.

Find me on: Web | Twitter



  1. 9th December 2015 / 1:16 PM

    What an interesting sounding book – I am going to have to head over to Amazon and try and download it I think, sounds liek a good evening read. x

  2. Working Mum Blog
    9th December 2015 / 1:17 PM

    Nice to come across your blog! This is my first visit :-). From what I’ve read I don’t think this is my kind of reading. But I know my sister would like this. Thanks for sharing

  3. 9th December 2015 / 3:39 PM

    I love a good guilty pleasure and sometimes I want a break from my historical fiction addiction so this sounds perfect.

  4. 9th December 2015 / 3:52 PM

    I am going to look out for this book for when I go on holiday next year (never have time to read at home these days), it sounds like a book I would enjoy reading x

  5. Hungry_Healthy_Happy
    9th December 2015 / 5:41 PM

    I love reading books that are set at Christmas in the run up to Christmas. It really gets me in the mood 🙂

  6. 9th December 2015 / 6:19 PM

    This book sounds exactly like a book I would love!!! I’m going to write the title down so I don’t forget it. It reminds me of a french movie called Love Me If You Dare- which if you haven’t seen it you should.. it’s epic! x

  7. 9th December 2015 / 7:54 PM

    I love a good romance novel, especially at Christmas, I’m putting this on my list!

  8. Hello Beautiful Bear
    9th December 2015 / 8:36 PM

    I think I’d love this book, it sounds fab! I don’t read anymore as I’m just too busy but I’ll bear this in mind for when everything calms down, I’m determined to get in to books again! X

  9. Natasha Mairs
    9th December 2015 / 10:04 PM

    sounds like a great read, and I really love the cover too

  10. Rachael Phillips
    9th December 2015 / 9:14 PM

    i love your book reviews!!these seem perfect for over the christmas x

  11. Mellissa Williams
    9th December 2015 / 10:27 PM

    I love romance books, and being set in New York really appeals too.

  12. Melanie Edjourian
    9th December 2015 / 10:48 PM

    The book sounds intersting, I haven’t read a good one in ages.

  13. Bex Smith
    9th December 2015 / 10:59 PM

    I’ve heard a lot about this book! I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump recently and need something like this to pull me out of it I think

  14. 10th December 2015 / 11:08 AM

    Sounds interesting, am sure my teenage cousin would love to read this.

  15. 10th December 2015 / 9:19 PM

    This sounds like the perfect christmas read. I love a good romance and this sounds like it is fun too!

  16. Jennifer Page
    10th December 2015 / 8:37 PM

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

  17. dominika
    11th December 2015 / 1:06 AM

    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


  18. Jessica Dearnley
    11th December 2015 / 11:53 AM

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

  19. Ickle Pickle
    11th December 2015 / 1:18 PM

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

  20. Laura
    13th December 2015 / 1:40 AM

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

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