A snow street in NYC focusing on a street sign and a heart in the crosswalk sign

About the Book

Title: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares (Dash & Lily #1)
Published: 2010
Series: Dash & Lily
Swoonworthy Scale: 4

Cover Story: Tweerific
BFF Charm: Yay, Natalie Imbruglia
Talky Talk: Double Trouble
Bonus Factor: Christmas, New York City, Bookstore
Relationship Status: Cuddle Buddy

Cover Story: Tweerific

This may be a little bit twee for my tastes, but it is pretty darn cute – what with the names in the street signs and the heart in the crosswalk light. And it does give potential readers a pretty good feel for what kind of story they’re getting into.

The Deal:

While perusing his favorite bookstore, searching for different editions from his favorite author*, Dash discovers a little red notebook. In it are clues and dares from the unknown Lily, a girl with extra time on her hands since her parents have abandoned her for Christmas. Dash accepts her challenge and they begin a game, using the notebook to send each other on missions and projects. What begins as a distraction begins to turn into something more as they use the notebook to open up to one another. But what happens if or when they meet in real life? Will the magic of the notebook translate into a real life friendship? Or will this turn into one of life’s many lessons in reality being unable to live up to our expectations and imagination?

*Salinger, naturally. Sigh.

BFF Charm: Yay, Natalie Imbruglia

Yay BFF Charm

Lily gets my charm, easy. She’s fun, kind, optimistic (but not obnoxiously so), devoted to her family. She can be a bit socially awkward but in a way that is relatable instead of infuriating. Plus, if she were my BFF, she would cook me delicious Christmas cookies all year long.

BFF charm with Natalie Imbruglia's face.

But Dash? Well, Dash is a developing hipster. And I don’t like hipsters.* He’s solitary and overly cerebral. He also has unrealistic expectations and is way too judgmental (especially when it comes to Lily). But all that said, I did like him and if he manages to take a chill pill every now and again, he should be just fine. On the other hand, I could totally see him going full hipster in college (like if some manic pixie girl breaks his heart) and becoming utterly insufferable.

*Okay, it’s not that I dislike hipsters per say, I just dislike people who hate on shit and act like it’s unacceptable to have certain interests. No one reading this would qualify because if you are, it means you like YA and no true hipster would tolerate that.

Swoonworthy Scale: 4

In the spirit of being spoiler free, I am not going to tell you if there is kissage between Dash and Lily. But this is a book about two people getting to know each other, so if there were kissage it would be light and romantic, nothing too hot and heavy here.

Talky Talk: Double Trouble

This is Cohn and Levithan’s third joint YA novel together and this one follows the same pattern. Cohn writes the female character and Levithan writes the male, and the chapters alternate back and forth between the two. It gives a romance a fun twist to be in both participants heads and see the situation from two perspectives. And while some authors do this, there is always the concern that it’s going to sound like two people with the same brain. And while I’m at it, I should probably admit to a secret (this is a safe place, right?) I could not finish Nick and Norah’s. Which is saying something because it’s only 180 pages. I think Dash and Lily’s was able to take some of the cuteness and quirkiness of that book but checked the overbearing melodrama at the door.

Bonus Factor: Christmas

Candy canes, twinkle lights, bows and wreathes on a table

Christmas! Is the best. Time. Of. The. Year. I’m cold and dead inside and have not accepted the baby jesus as my personal savior but even I love Christmas to the fullest extent of said dead heart. This novels takes place in the few days proceeding and following Christmas so expect some Christmas themed dares and adventures. Christmas!

Bonus Factor: New York City

Overhead view of New York City skyline

I have never quite understood the fanatic appeal of New York City, but 8 million people disagree with me, so what do I know?

Bonus Factor: Bookstore

Storefront of The Shop Around the Corner bookstore from You've Got Mail

Much of this book takes place in The Strand and its 18 miles of books. I’ve never been*, but I desperately want to because bookstores are my liiiiife.

*I know, total fail on my part. Don’t remind me!

Relationship Status: Cuddle Buddy

Maybe it’s a cold winter day. Maybe the wind outside is howling or it has just started to snow. And you suddenly realize you’re under a blanket, in front of a fire, cuddling with this book. You’re just friends and don’t plan on it being any more than that, but an accidental cuddle every once and a while couldn’t hurt.* This book is just like a quick, fun time with a familiar friend.

*Well, unless you or the book brings it up and makes it awkward. Just don’t do that.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my free review copy from Knopf Books for Young Readers. I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares is available now.

Megan is an unabashed fangirl who is often in a state of panic about her inability to watch, read and play all the things.