While ordering books online, I stumbled across Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares. It was published in 2010 and written by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. It’s their third collaboration, after they wrote Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist in 2006 and Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List in 2007. This story is written in the dual perspective of the two main characters: Cohn writes Lily’s voice and Levithan created and wrote Dash.
Lily is a teenager that has lived a sheltered life, surrounded and protected by her large family who are mostly living in the same small town. Her grandfather is her rock, and a pillar of the community. All of this had made meeting a boy quite difficult for her. She is a big fan of Christmas, but this Christmas break her parents are gone on a second honeymoon. Her brother is caught up in his boyfriend and to distract her during Christmas break, he sets up a cooky plan for her to meet a boy. She loves to read, so she uses a notebook with instructions in her plan.
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. (Lily)
The clues lead to other books, with instructions on how to reach her back. Dash is a surly, introvert teenage boy who finds the notebook and is intrigued by the mystery. His parents are divorced and he plays them out against each other to be able to stay home during Christmas break while his parents are on vacation with their respective new partners. He is a little bored and also loves reading and words in general, so he is up for the challenge. Dash and Lily get to know each other by writing back and forth in the book and leaving it at specific places for the other to find through clues. They develop a relationship without ever having seen each other in real life.
Luckily, I always travel with a book, just in case I have to wait in line for Santa, or some such inconvenience. (Dash)
I don’t really want to say more, there are a lot more layers and underlying plotlines to the story. And there is a happy ending, which is always a bonus in my book! I decided to buy the book because the description on the back reminded me of The Avery Shaw Experiment, which I really liked. It’s a sweet book about two teenagers falling in love. There is no love triangle, no cliché “will they or won’t they” back and forth. Just a love story, with a bit of “coming of age” mixed in. And all this is done through the written word, which is a little extra for a language lover like myself. It’s sweet, cute and all about words. And that is why you should read it!
I mean, what if love isn’t a yes-or-no question? It’s not either you’re in love or you’re not. I mean, aren’t there different levels? And maybe these things, like words and expectations and whatever, don’t go on top of the love. Maybe it’s like a map, and they all have their own place, and then when you see it from the sky – whoa.
Cohn and Levithan are currently finishing a fourth book, The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily. It is a sequel to this book and should be coming out in the fall of 2016. I’ve already put it up my to-read list, because I loved this book, and the new one will again be focussed around christmas. I love romance and christmas, so a mix of the two is a night in heaven for me!
Finished the book and don’t want it to end? Test yourself on how well you know the story with this little Goodreads quiz! I scored 8 out of 8 – how will you do?
Have you read this sweet, love story yet? I’ve heard from some who loved it and others who couldn’t be bothered. What did you think? Let me know in the comments!