Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares | book review

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares

Author: Rachel Cohn, David Levithan
Series: Dash & Lily, #1
Format: eBook
Page Count: 274
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Original Publication Date: 2010
Genre(s): Young adult, Romance, Contemporary

Dash is walking through his favorite bookstore when he finds a red moleskin notebook hiding out on the shelves. Inside, he finds this:

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.

Of course he plays along.

Lily’s whole family, other than her brother, Langston, has left her alone for her favorite holiday: Christmas. Feeling more alone than ever, Langston helps Lily come up with a scavenger hunt of sorts for unsuspecting bookstore-goers via a red moleskin notebook.


This is my second time reading Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares. I first read it….sometime in high school. I can’t remember the exact year. But I definitely didn’t remember much of the story at all, so it had to have been quite a few years ago. Netflix’s adaptation series comes out in a week, and with this awful presidential election going on, I thought a reread of this cute holiday romance was perfect. So let’s get into it.

The story is told in first-person POV through alternating perspective chapters of Dash and Lily. Dash’s parents are divorced and both on vacation, so he’s got total freedom to do whatever he likes on this holiday that he despises. Lily’s family also went on vacation, though she’s got her brother and his boyfriend around, despite the fact that they are totally ignoring her on her favorite holiday. Much of the novel is about their separate lives, their correspondence via the notebook.

For being published in 2010, this book is so progressive. I definitely didn’t pick up any of this when I read it as a teenager. I didn’t pay attention to it whatsoever, because I was a sheltered teen with an overly conservative parent. So I must have blocked all that out and focused on the romance. But wow, this book is overall just amazing. David Levithan truly was ahead of his time, guys. I really enjoyed the whole story, and I think Netflix is going to do a really good job of adapting it.

A lot of people don’t like Dash or Lily, so it kind of ruins the romance and the story itself. I think they’re both endearing despite their flaws. Sure, Dash is a little pretentious. He reminds me of an intellectual John Green character. But I’m a sucker for those, and he loves literature, so Dash is my baby. Lily I like less than Dash, but only because she makes me cringe. She’s a really good person and has a good heart, she’s just a little socially awkward and whiny. But I don’t hate her, and I like her interactions with Dash the most.

If you’re in the mood for some holiday cheer and have not yet read this cute book, you need to. Especially before the Netflix series comes out. It was a great distraction from the election here in the US, too, so if you’re anxiously watching the live results all day, maybe put it on in the background and focus on this book instead. You won’t regret it.

***Note: According to Goodreads, I rated this book 5 stars when I first read it. Updating it to 4.5 for this reread.***

My Rating

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