I grabbed a copy of Dash And Lily a few years back to add to my ever growing collection of David Levithan. It never really appealed to me until i saw the release of the Christmas sequel this year, realising i should probably get it read (considering i picked up the Christmas version). It pleasantly surprised me.
Title: Dash and Lilys Book Of Dares
Author: David Levithan & Rachel Cohn
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Publisher: MIRA INK
Publication Date: 5th September 2014
Summary: At the urge of her lucky-in-love brother, sixteen-year-old Lily has left a red notebook full of dares on her favourite bookshop shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept. Curious, snarky Dash isn’t one to back down from a challenge – and the Book of Dares is the perfect distraction he’s been looking for.
As they send each other on a scavenger hunt across Manhattan, they’re falling for each other on paper. But finding out if their real selves share their on-page chemistry could be their biggest dare yet….
Dash and Lily are both a little different from everyone else their age. They’re quieter and they generally don’t get along with everyone. They’re the ‘outcasts’. So when Dash finds a red notebook with some instructions in, his first instinct is to follow them and find out where this will take him. It takes him in to the arms of Lily as they both send each other on adventures through this red notebook.
This novel is very much every YA cliche you can throw in to a novel, but it’s done in quite a lovely way. I do really enjoy adventure novels and little tasks that are given to characters to make them work for a relationship they have. So i really did end up enjoying this. I felt like the characters were quite well written and connected together successfully, i always find it difficult when two authors are writing opposing chapters, a lot of the time the novel feels disjointed. I didn’t have that feeling with this. One thing that i was not fully keen on were the actual characters, i didn’t connect with Lily in the slightest and found her quite annoying. I guess that’s all down to personal preference.
Another thing that i wasn’t hugely keen on was the way the romance was handled. You can tell from the start of the novel that these two characters will fall in love through the notebook. However i never got that kind of relationship from them at all. I’d always felt more of a friendship between them, and struggled to understand how two people can fall in love with very few exchanges via a notebook. Once again, this might be my personal opinion on the matter more than the story.
There are plenty of YA tropes written in to it, which is obvious when you get a YA contemporary novel, but they were handled quite well. Nothing was too obvious and there were no obnoxious teenage boys to deal with. This improved the novel significantly.
I always find it difficult to review novels that are just your classic YA contemporary, you end up saying the same things over and over. This feels similar to that. If you like David Levithan’s writing as I do, I imagine you will enjoy this. I don’t think it’s the best novel I’ve ever come across, however I’m excited to get to 12 Days of Dash and Lily!