Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Imagine meeting your special person in one of the aisles of your favorite bookstore. It must have been the ultimate fairytale a bookworm could ever hope for. And that’s basically how Dash and Lily’s story unravels, only with a little twist.
As a regular venturer at The Strand, a ginormous bookshop, book-geek Dash was surprised to find a quirky little addition wedged in between two books of his favorite author at his particularly favorite aisle. Out of plain curiosity, he took the red notebook and opened it to find a series of tasks written by another person named Lily.
On the first page was a dare directed to anyone who has time, enough passion for literature and an ample amount of craziness to comply. With all these, Dash went out of his way and started playing the game by accomplishing the first task. This first move became what seemed to be the ticket to a different yet interesting journey of a strange kind of friendship.
For days, Dash and Lily would pass the red notebook back and forth, at various place, with new dares and challenges written on it. With each round, they got to know each other better. And in those conversations on pieces of paper, they found solace in each others’ woven words.
But words and phrases can only get you so far. Yes, they might have the same interest in books and prose but that doesn’t guarantee that their entire personalities match. It’s so easy to lie using words and hide behind pretentious facades.
What if the actual Lily wasn’t like the deep, kind and thoughtful one in Dash’s mind? And would the smart, soothing and friendly Dash in Lily’s head be the same as the real version? What would happen if these two people meet and their expectations aren’t met? Do they stick with the fairytale they started or would they just drift apart, letting go of that strange connection?
This is the third book from the Cohn-Levithan collaboration, and it is the second one I’ve read after Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List. Given that kind of premise, how could I not pick up this book? I mean, duh, that would definitely be my kind of fairy tale!
Reading this book, I became much more attached to Dash than to Lily. I see myself in him because we share the same sentiment. I like being alone and I believe that certain holidays are overrated. I also find company in books and like him, I very much enjoy time without my parents.
Lily can be described as quite the opposite, being all bubbly and family-oriented and pet-loving. And I guess that’s the reason why I find it hard to like her character. To me, she seemed an over-the-top goody two-shoes to the point of annoying. She seemed so unrealistic to me. I know this may be due to her issues but still, her character irritates me.
Now, let’s get to the story. At first I was enjoying how they exchange dares and challenges. I also liked how their friendship started in a very old-fashioned way. I mean, how many people get to meet others in form of writing, and not through texts, social networking sites and the likes? I was eagerly anticipating the next games and I was impatiently waiting for when and how they would actually meet. But that feeling was cut short with an anti-climactic first encounter. I wouldn’t say the details but I can assure you that it wasn’t how I expected their first meeting to be.
From that moment on, my interest with the book diminished. Not fully giving up, I thought things would turn around as I neared the ending but it seemed like the story slipped too far away from the original concept. It’s like the adventure was cut short and another story was attached as the continuation.
Overall, it was a nice story, good for one-time reading. Yes, I might have been disappointed to some extent but when I look at the bigger picture, it’s a sweet story that will make you giddy and hope that someday the same could happen to you. It may get your hopes up in meeting that one person. The story may help readers keep their faith or somehow strengthen it, but not for me. It has a number of hilarious parts and silly events that would make you laugh out loud. I also like the references made about Hermione Granger, Buddy Holiday, and Marie Howe. It was fun and quirky, new concept of getting-to-know. But then again, to me, Dash and Lily’s story was just too good to be true. (or maybe I’m just a bitchy pessimist at that matter). I give it a 3.5/5.