Tuesday, February 1, 2011

High School Pick: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Alfred A. Knopf, 2010
260 pages

Charming and witty, this novel is sure to please both male and female readers. Told in chapters by Dash (Levithan wrote Dash's chapters) and Lily (written by Cohn), readers see both sides of a blooming friendship. Although Dash and Lily have only communicated through their words--written in a red moleskin notebook and hidden on an overcrowded bookstore shelf in the Strand, a goofy, yet avant-garde bibliophile's haven. Dash finds the notebook and reads the first dare which sends him through the stacks in search of his next clues. Dash decides to play along with this sappy yet sweet scavenger hunt and leaves clues of his own for Lily--of course, he doesn't even know Lily's name at this point.

Can two ordinary teens with a penchant for books find true friendship and maybe even something stronger? When they finally meet, will they be able to communicate face to face? Will they be able to share as deeply as they did in the notebook? Will wordsmith Dash find true love with bibliophile Lily?

Dash is sarcastic and pessimistic, and quite the esoteric philosopher, yet somehow comes across as surprisingly lovable. It is Levithan at his literary best. Lily is spunky and funny but kind of a word nerd. Both the strong characters and the quirky plotline carry the story. What teen wouldn't want to meet the mysterious person who is leaving him secret messages all over New York City? This novel is a teen romance that is the teen set's "When Harry Met Sally."

Recommended grades 9-up. Some language, mature content.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from another librarian. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review.

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