Review: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn


“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


Tis the season to be reading and I was desperate for a nice sweet holiday read.  Work is manic, it’s cold outside and I wanted to pick up a book that gave you the same feeling after you’ve had a nice big Sunday roast dinner.  Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares was THE book recommended to me again and again so I grabbed it straight off the pile for my holiday season read.  

Dash and Lily live in New York City and love it.  They are part of the city and it’s almost in their blood.  Dash while wondering the aisles of The Strand (famed second hand bookstore in the city) discovers a red notebook with hand written clues inside.  He follows them and is intrigued by the girl who’s written it and returns the book along with his own clues for another location.  The two switch the notebook back and forth and cover the city as they form a bond and possibly a relationship.  That is if they can meet in person and not hate each other.  

It took me a while to get into Dash and Lily and I think it was down to the characters of Dash and Lily themselves.  They both had qualities I found either annoying or off putting and I found myself reading for the plot and the exploration of NYC rather than seeing more of their relationship but my feelings changed over time and as I got to find out more about them.  The dialogue is very snappy and sharp reminding me so much of the shows like Gilmore Girls with their way with words and meaning but without the sense of humour that I really like in Gilmore Girls.  Perhaps it was because I picked up this book looking for a different kind of read or because I clicked more with the sub characters like Boomer (a loveable puppy type in human form) but I just didn’t feel like this lived up to the hype for me.  Maybe if I had read it at another time I’d have felt differently but it was enjoyable and had some fun moments but not enough for me to get that warm tummy feeling.  

I did however love having two authors write the two points of view and found it really interesting to see two characters that were fully formed interacting in this book and the book within the book.  A great idea that has been touched upon a few times in films and other books but was really done well here.  So much so that I’d be interesting to see if a movie is made of this and how it would turn out.

Personally I didn’t click with this book as much as I expected I would but I was glad to have read it and to see the wonderful Snarly Muppet monster; which I now want.  Good but not great.

Published by Mira Ink UK and is available from here and book shops now


  1. I read this and really enjoyed it. I read it after The Perks of Being a Wallflower do maybe thats why I enjoyed it so much. Wallflower left me rather depressed and I didn't like it!

  2. I've been meaning to get a copy of this for ages – will have to wait till next year now lol. It's a shame it didn't really work for you especially as it sounds like the perfect festive book. Great review 🙂

  3. I keep telling myself that I need to read this book at the 'right time' and that the timing has always been off.. but really, I just don't think the beginning of the book grabs me enough to keep reading.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *