Dash And Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan


Rating: 4 out of 5.

What It’s About:

From the authors who co-wrote Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist comes Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, a story of a girl, a boy, a red notebook, and New York City. 

Two partially-aloof strangers meet through quirky circumstances as Lily leaves behind a red notebook in a book store only for it to come into Dash’s possession. What follows is a whirlwind romance as the two challenge each other with dares that’ll bring them outside of their comfort zone and, possibly, into each other’s arms.

Let’s Talk About It:

I guess I’m ready to start watching the original Netflix series this book (and its subsequent sequels).* Look, Angela, I finally read it (and, apparently, I own the Kindle edition of this book so I can read it again later!).

Part of the reason it took me a while to get around to this one was because Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist – both the book and the movie – felt somewhat sacred to me. It was the first time I ever read a book that was co-authored by two people that wasn’t a translation, nonfiction, or an academic book (or a trade edition of a comic book arc). So when my friend (the aforementioned) Angela told me about it, I had to put it on hold. And I’m sort of glad I did. 

While it hasn’t been two long since I re-read Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (I listened to it on audiobook while working from home was still a thing), Dash and Lily’s story felt fresh, novel. The love story crammed into one night in Nick and Norah’s world was able to be spread across a few days, giving the characters more room for actual growth rather than rushing to figure out what they want. Does it make for a better story? Maybe, but not in my opinion (what? Nick and Norah had a relationship with music! This one just has a weird love/hate relationship with Christmas. Big whoop! We all have a complicated relationship for the jolly season, you’re not special, Dash!). 

But I will repeat that character growth is slightly more believable if it happens gradually across a week than it does in a few hours.

Ultimately, I did enjoy this one though I stand by my assessment that Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist is by far superior (I’ll die on this hill). Both writers really captured a unique, believable voice with the character that didn’t feel at all a rehash of their first romantic comedy novel. Voices that feel like modern day Salinger characters – something I’m hoping the writers meant to do, especially with the name dropping of the late writer.

And because I listened to the audiobook, I have to say that both Ryan Gesell (who read for Dash) and Tara Sands (who read for Lily) did wonderful jobs in bringing the characters to life. 

If you like teenage romantic comedies and LOVED Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, there is no doubt that you’ll enjoy the first installment for the Dash and Lily series.

Until next time, keep on huntin’. 

*Um…, why didn’t Nick and Norah get a sequel? I await your apologies, Rachel and David. 

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