I have just finished a book called Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares. It’s written by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. It’s just one single book instead of a series, this time.
It’s about two teenagers who live in New York and it’s set during Christmas time. One of them, Lily, usually has a very family filled Christmas, however, this Christmas, her parents left for Fiji for their 25th Anniversary, so her brother suggests a project for Lily. He gets a red moleskin notebook and writes instructions for any passer-by who may want to take on a few dares. Dash picks up this notebook and follows along, eventually creating a back-and-fore conversation between himself and Lily by using the notebook, while he throws in other suggestions, instructions and dares just as Lily does, too.
As this continues, we see them both start to idealise the other in an almost fairytale way. While neither of them knows what the other looks like or acts like or is like, it’s a pretty predictable thing to see. It wasn’t bad, if anything I expected it. Countless reading of clichés get you like that, I have found out. I don’t particularly believe it to be a bad factor, if you enjoy clichés.
The book was written in a funny and sarcastic way, as if the two teenagers, Dash and Lily, were there in front of you, taking turns telling their story. While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it was definitely mine. The witty way it was written was most likely designed for teenagers and young adults, and definitely works for getting them to have a giggle at the book, story and characters.
One character that stood out to me was Lily’s older brother, Langston. While most of Lily’s immediate family was away, Langston was not, and he invited his boyfriend, Benny, over to stay a few nights before both of them accidentally became ill and stayed at separate houses. The way that Langston talks is very older-brotherly yet sarcastic, which added a few extra laughs into the book – even though the way the book was written was already done hilariously. I personally believe that the factor that Langston is openly gay is a great thing. I do believe we need more representation of gay people ( to go further, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, transgender or transsexual people, also) in, well, anything, really. Novels, tv shows, movies, anything. I feel the creation of Langston was a step closer to something greater writers and readers alike will hope to see more of.
The book was highly enjoyable. Funny, loveable and enticing as any other. If anything, I’d recommend it to anyone with a sense of humour similar to that of a teenager like myself or young adult who can have a laugh, or someone who needed a bit of a giggle as they curled up to read with a cup of tea.