Tina's Reviews > Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn
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Dec 30, 12

bookshelves: 2010, contemporary, gifts, ya, romance, 2012, favorites
Read from December 22 to 25, 2010 — I own a copy, read count: 1

Original post at One More Page

One day early this year (way before I met the Goodreads people) I was going around Fully Booked in Eastwood when I suddenly had this little fantasy. I wondered: what if, as I was looking for books to get, I meet a guy who has the same taste in books as I do? A straight, single guy, near my age, who reads for fun? And let's make him cute, too.

It was a little fantasy that my friends and I entertained often, and it almost became a topic of a story for my fiction blog (one day I will write that). It was definitely something my single bookish friends and I thought would be very nice but may be rare, as we know few guys who are willing to read the same books we do, and most of the people we see in the bookstore near our office is filled with girls (that is, until I met the Goodreads people, again).

So it's no wonder why Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan would call to me. Okay, I didn't really pay attention to it first because I wasn't really a fan of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by the same authors, until I read a review. I checked the sample and fell in love with it on the first few pages, particularly on the opening scene. Dash finds a red notebook amidst the books in the Strand, and inside were a bunch of clues left by a girl named Lily. He figures out the clues and thus starts the passing of the red Moleskine notebook back and forth between the two. Dash and Lily accomplish dares all around New York City from each other and bare their innermost thoughts to the other through the red notebook, all the while wondering if the words represent the persons behind them.

The story happens during the holidays, so I figured Christmas should be the right time to read it (thanks again to Ace for giving me a copy during the Goodreads Christmas party). And I was right. I am so glad I read it at this time of the year. :) Like I said, I wasn't very enamored by Nick and Norah, but Dash and Lily really made me fall in love. There's so many things to love. Maybe it was the bookstore? Maybe it's the Moleskine notebook (which I love, by the way)? Maybe it's how the story unfolded despite it being slightly hard to believe?

Dash and Lily are two very interesting characters. They're not the angsty teenagers that we read in contemporary YA but they're very smart and witty teens who are very different yet they speak to each other in ways only they can understand. While I didn't find Dash particularly dashing, I thought he was very well-adjusted for his age. Perhaps it was all the reading that he does that makes him a gentler version of the male gender? I don't know, but I'd like to think so. Lily, on the other hand, is probably the most optimistic female character I've ever read so far. She reminds me of myself in so many ways: she bakes, she likes animals, her positive outlook, and in how she's never had a boyfriend. Lily is such a delight to read because I feel like I'm reading some things I write, almost like I was reading my journal.

And just as the characters, the story was very charming. It tried to tackle more than the usual boy-meets-girl-and-they-fall-in-love story and that's good, but sometimes the connections and issues feel a bit too messy and hard to follow. The entire interaction may seem a bit far-fetched too, and I don't think this will be very effective here in Manila, but I can forgive that for the sake of fiction (and that's why it happened in New York and not here, LOL). Despite that, though, I thought the plot was well-executed, and I found myself hanging on to every word all the way up to the end.

My copy of Dash and Lily's Book of Dares has so many dog-ears too because of the quotable quotes! For example:

Prayer or not, I want to believe that, despite all evidence to the contrary, it is possible for anyone to find that special person. That person to spend Christmas with or grow old with or just take a nice silly walk in Central Park with. (Lily, p. 75)

I wish I could remember the moment when I was a kid and I discovered that the letters linked into words, and that the words linked to real things. What a revelation that must have been. We don't have the words for it, since we hadn't yet learned the words. It must have been astonishing, to be given the key to the kingdom and see it turn in our hands so easily. (Dash, p. 87)

You think fairy tales are only for girls? Here's a hint -- ask yourself who wrote them. I assure you, it wasn't just the women. It's the great male fantasy -- all it takes is one dance to know that she's the one. All it takes is the sound of her song from the tower, or a look at her sleeping face. And right away you know -- this is the girl in your head, sleeping or dancing or singing in front of you. Yes, girls want their princes, but boys want their princesses just as much. And they don't want a very long courtship. They want to know immediately. (p. 131)

And my favorite (and is very applicable for the coming year):
There are just lots of possibilities in the world...I need to keep my mind open for what could happen and not decide that the world is hopeless if what I want to happen doesn't happen. Because something else great might happen in between. (p. 227)

The blurb was right. Dash and Lily's Book of Dares is a feel good book that would make you want to start "...perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own." It doesn't have to be Christmas when you read it, but the holidays add to the ambiance. It's the kind of book that will surely leave you smiling long after you have read the last word. :)

I'm not about to start looking for a red notebook in Fully Booked...but as for leaving one? I'll never tell. ;)
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Quotes Tina Liked

David Levithan
“You think fairy tales are only for girls? Here's a hint - ask yourself who wrote them. I assure you, it wasn't just the women. It's the great male fantasy - all it takes is one dance to know that she's the one. All it takes is the sound of her song from the tower, or a look at her sleeping face. And right away you know - this is the girl in your head, sleeping or dancing or singing in front of you. Yes, girls want their princes, but boys want their princesses just as much. And they don't want a very long courtships. They want to know immediately.”
David Levithan, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Rachel Cohn
“I want to believe there is a somebody out there for me. I want to believe that I exist to be there for that somebody.”
Rachel Cohn, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

David Levithan
“I was attempting to write the story of my life. It wasn't so much about plot. It was much more about character.”
David Levithan, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Rachel Cohn
“Prayer or not, I want to believe that, despite all evidence to the contrary, it is possible for anyone to find that one special person. That person to spend Christmas with or grow old with or just to take a nice silly walk in Central Park with. Somebody who wouldn't judge another for the prepositions they dangle, or their run-on sentences, and who in turn wouldn't be judged for the snobbery of their language etymology inclinations.”
Rachel Cohn, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Rachel Cohn
“The important people in our lives leave imprints. They may stay or go in the physical realm, but they are always there in your heart, because they helped form your heart. There's no getting over that.”
Rachel Cohn, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

David Levithan
“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.”
David Levithan, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

David Levithan
“But isn't this a dance? Isn't all of this a dance? Isn't that what we do with words? Isn't that what we do when we talk, when we spar, when we make plans or leave it to chance? Some of it's choreographed. Some of the steps have been done for ages. And the rest -- the rest is spontaneous. The rest has to be decided on the floor, in the moment, before the music ends.”
David Levithan, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Rachel Cohn
“There are just lots of possibilities in the world...I need to keep my mind open for what could happen and not decide that the world is hopeless if what I want to happen doesn't happen. Because something else great might happen in between.”
Rachel Cohn, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Rachel Cohn
“This must be part of Mother Nature's master plan—making these boys so irresistibly cute, in such a naughty way, that the purity of their intentions becomes irrelevant.”
Rachel Cohn, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
tags: lily


Reading Progress

12/22/2010 page 66
25.0% "I can't decide if this is a fast read or I just read too fast. But it's fun so far :) I will resume Dash and Lily's adventure later -- time to go to a wedding!"
12/23/2010 page 75
29.0% "I want to believe that, despite all evidence to the contrary, it is possible got anyone to find that one special person. That person to spend Christmas with or grow old with or just take a nice silly walk in Central Park with. - Lily" 2 comments
12/25/2010 page 136
52.0% ""I might have liked to share a dance with you. If I may be so bold to say." (p. 136) - Oh Lily."
12/25/2010 page 260
100.0% "I am in love with this book. <3"
12/25/2012 page 24
9.0% "When in doubt, ingest carbs. - Oh yes. Haha :)
Rereading!"
12/25/2012 page 54
20.0% "I was starting to get a sense of Lily and her twisted, perverse sense of humor, right down to that classic supercalifragiwant. In my mind, she was Lebkuchen Spice - ironic, Germanic, sexy, and offbeat." 3 comments
12/26/2012 page 97
37.0% "It must have been astonishing, to be given the key to the kingdom and see it turn in our hands so easily. (p. 87)" 2 comments
12/26/2012 page 121
46.0% "She was not a needle. This was not a haystack. We were people, and people had ways of finding each other."
12/26/2012 page 131
50.0% "Be careful what you're doing, because no one is ever who you want them to be. And the less you really know about them, the more likely you are to confuse them with the girl or boy in your head."
12/27/2012 page 138
53.0% "He just seems to want Mabel for keeps.
--Yep. I am such a Lily. :p"
12/29/2012 page 148
56.0% "You have to trust the words. They do not create anything more than themselves."
12/30/2012 page 195
75.0% "But isn't this a dance? Isn't all of this a dance? Isn't that what we do with words? Isn't that what we do when we talk, when we spar, when we make plans or leave it to chance? Some of it's choreographed. Some of the steps have been done for ages. And the rest - the rest is spontaneous. The rest has to be decided on the floor, in the moment, before the music ends."
12/30/2012 page 212
81.0% "It was rather awkward, insofar as we were both teetering between the possibility of something and the possibility of nothing."
12/30/2012 page 260
100.0% "I wanted the first thing he saw when he opened his eyes to be the welcoming face of someone who liked him so much, someone who on this new morning, in this new year, was going to do her best to cherish this new person, whose name she finally knew."

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Pauline (new) - added it

Pauline I read Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist earlier this year, after seeing the movie adaptation (which I saw because I loved the soundtack - wow, sorta a cause and effect thing, eh?), and like you, have been ignoring this book.

I'm currently trying to figure out what that stupid reason was for not reading this book. Darn it, I'm missing out on something good. :P


message 2: by Emir Never (new)

Emir Never Tina, I apologize for butting in like this, but I can't help myself, despite my utmost diffidence (you know how shy I am in person, and my friends will attest to it!), from greeting someone on the comment thread.

Pauline, merry Christmas! ;) Where on earth have you been to?


message 3: by Kristel (new)

Kristel Villar Thanks for this review, Tina! I was apprehensive to buy it last night at MIBF, but now I have to go back and buy it! :)


Tina Kristel wrote: "Thanks for this review, Tina! I was apprehensive to buy it last night at MIBF, but now I have to go back and buy it! :)"

Best read during Christmas! Para kumpleto ang feels. :D


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