Merry Christmas! Or in case you don't celebrate Christmas, Happy Holidays!
I read Dash & Lily's Book Of Dares around a week ago, and I thought, given the Christmastime setting, why not post my review on Christmas day? Or rather, schedule it for Christmas day, because when there are presents to be opened, who would choose to write a review instead?
Dash convinced both his parents that he was spending Christmas with the other, resulting in them both going away for the holidays and leaving him alone - just as he likes it.
Lily's parents are on a belated honeymoon, and have left her under the care of her brother, who'd much rather be spending his time with his boyfriend.
Their worlds soon collide when Dash finds a red moleskin notebook nestled in the stacks of used books The Strand's 18 miles of shelf hold. Therein, he finds challenges that, should he choose to accept them, will lead him to Lily.
I opened this book with high expectations that Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List by the same authors predisposed me to have. And then it totally exceeded those expectations and blew me away.
I've always reasoned that the best authors of young adult fiction are themselves young adults or at least young at heart, or else the characters don't really feel like teens and their dialogue doesn't capture the way teens really talk. No such problems occurred in Dash & Lily's Book Of Dares. The characters were amazing. They felt like real teenagers and their personalities stood out and gave them the feel of real people as opposed to just characters.
I was expecting the plot to be less-than-favorable, since Rachel Cohn and David Levithan's writing style is to not outline and just go where their characters take them, but it made the character's exploits feel more natural.
I also love the way this book explores the way people we meet compare with the ideal people we build up in our minds and how they compare to how we imagine them.
Reading this made me want to leave my own notebook in a bookstore just so I could meet someone like Dash (being a smart-ass makes other smart-asses endearing to me). It makes me want to be friends with someone like Lily, and hang out with someone like Boomer. It makes me want to spend Christmas in one the world's biggest cities with limited supervision (okay, so maybe I wanted to do that anyway).
Definitely one of my favorite books of the year, I give Dash & Lily's Book Of Dares 5 out of 5.