Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares is the third collaboration between YA authors Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. Once again, Cohn and Levithan have chosen to write about bored, too-clever teenagers, and—also once again—their story constantly veers between adorable and irritating as hell.

Teenagers Dash and Lily are are spending Christmas alone in Manhattan. Lily's parents are on a trip; Dash has convinced each of his divorced parents that he is spending the holidays with the other. Lily's brother decides to brighten up Lily's holiday by creating an elaborate literary treasure hunt to find her a boyfriend. When Dash finds a red notebook filled with obscure clues in the Strand bookstore (of course), his discovery leads to a courtship-by-note, as he and Lily start swapping the notebook back and forth, getting to know one another via increasingly personal diary entries.

Look, nobody on God's Green Earth really thinks, acts, or talks like these aggressively quirky-cute characters. As an adult reader, nearly everything about Dash & Lily's Book of Dares struck me as overly contrived, but (particularly when I contrast it with the sugary wholesomeness of the next book we're going to review) I can see how certain teen readers might find it glamorous. I can't recommend it to anyone looking for hard-hitting realism, but kids looking for the modern YA version of a 30s screwball romantic comedy could probably do worse.

Review based on publisher-provided copy.
Posted by: Julianka


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