Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares was my first read for Bout of Books 12, read to fit the cold weather and take me on an adventure. It did and didn’t satisfy my hopes.
Genre: Young adult, contemporary
Publication Date: October 2010
288 pages, paperback
Check out the synopsis on Goodreads.
This is probably going to be a pretty short review, as Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares is a pretty short book. Plus, I’ve not got much to say about this one, I’m afraid.
I loved the bookish nature to this one – beginning and ending in The Strand, a giant, amazing book store in NYC that I have a deep desire to visit. It begins with a scavenger-ish hunt in which Dash, the boy, finds a red notebook belonging to Lily, the girl, on a shelf in The Strand. He must decipher the clues left there to possibly meet her, but when he does, leaves clues for her to figure out. On and on it goes. You get the idea. It’s definitely a cute idea, and the romance was kind of adorable. I liked Dash and Lily together and I somewhat enjoyed their journey to finding one another. Basically: the book is fluffy.
Dash has a friend nicknamed Boomer who is strange. I don’t know how else to describe it. I couldn’t relate to him at all. Honestly, he felt forced and fake, unreal. I didn’t believe him, if that makes sense.
I was kind of surprised how long this book felt for something so short. This was my main problem. While I did enjoy the romance and such, I got a little bored every now and then and the book felt long; I started to not care if they got together. I think this is in part due to the fact that we are constantly reminded of how smart the characters (i.e. Dash) are. Dash felt a little pretentious to me, constantly quoting long dead authors. Also, Dash is “a Decemberist, a Bolshevik, a career criminal, a philatelist trapped by unknowable anguish.” Here, let me just throw out some big words and try to sound clever. However, I must say that I actually really liked Lily’s character and thought she was adorable and realistic, a regular girl.
The bottom line: If you are looking for a short (in length) book with a cute romance to curl up with one cold night, Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares is your book. However, don’t expect a really interesting plot. I doubt it will leave a lasting impression or change your life, but Dash and Lily’s adventures are pretty fun. Fair warning that Boomer is annoying, and Dash is a pretentious git.
Rating: 5.5 – Between Take it or leave it and Good, but not great