Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Friday, December 7, 2012

I was able to get this book for free from netgalley.com. If you don't know what NetGalley is, it's basically a website where you request unreleased titles for review in e-book format. It's completely free. This is the first book I ever received from NetGalley, and it's one that I've been wanting for a while now. I feel like I need to purchase a physical copy. Anyways, if you have a blog/Goodreads account, and like to do book reviews, NetGalley is perfect for you. Don't get discouraged when publishers don't accept your request, it's nothing personal, they're just sometimes picky!

This story was co-written by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. David wrote Dash's chapters, and Rachel wrote Lily's. The story follows Lily and Dash's winter break, sans parents. Dash finds a book on the shelves of his favorite bookstore, and so begins the journey of the book of dares.

It was a really light read, only 189 pages on my edition (e-book). Lily is this self proclaimed weirdo whose parents try to shelter. Throughout the book she tries to branch out, and discover more danger. All while pouring her heart out onto the pages of the moleskin book. Dash is a smart-alec smarty pants. He is so intelligent, and witty, and snarly, and such a funny character. I did prefer Dash over Lily, but both have their ups and downs. The characters are relatable and lovable.

I feel like this book captures exactly what I imagined a native New Yorker to feel around Christmas time. All the frustration with the shopping crowds, the monotony of New Years, and the typical Christmas themed tourist traps.

It's not my favorite book, but it's certainly one that was worth the read. I wish there was more in the ending, than the abrupt ending it had, I didn't get much closure. The book started out with Dash, finding the notebook, and completing the first tasks. I was surprised that the Lily from the first chapter (the book version) was not the Lily I imagined. She was weaker, and more delicate. This bothered me. The book was her brother's idea, but I felt a bit disconnected from her character for the first few chapters. I also have to wonder, do a lot of parents leave their teenagers alone on Christmas? Aside from Dash, a chunk of the other teens in this book seem to be alone for the holidays. Especially Lily's parents. I don't want to give anything away, but that whole thing seems odd, and quite selfish (if you've finished the book, I'm refering to the second reason they went there, the one that upset Lily).

Overall, I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads. If you're looking for a quick seasonal read, I say go for it. This book was first published back in 2011, but was recently published in the UK! I am so glad that this book is being released in various countries, it really is perfect for the Christmas season.

Do you have any seasonal books? Any books that put you into the holiday spirit? I plan to read Let it Snow this month. I'm actually excited!

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