Hi everyone, whoo, I’m on a roll! I previously intended on doing To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You reviews back-to-back, but I just finished reading the gem that is Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, so I wanted all the emotions fresh for this review. And let me give you a hint: there are a lot of them.
Chapter length: ✭✭✭✭
“The important people in our lives leave imprints. They may stay or go in the physical realm, but they are always there in your heart, because they helped form your heart. There’s no getting over that.”
“I was attempting to write the story of my life. It wasn’t so much about plot. It was much more about character.”
Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on her favorite bookstore shelf, just waiting for the right guy to come along and accept its dares. Dash, in a bad mood during the holidays, happens to be the first guy to pick up the notebook and rise to its challenges. What follows is a whirlwind romance as Dash and Lily trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations all across New York City. But can their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions, or will their scavenger hunt end in a comic mis-match of disastrous proportions?
I always enjoy works featuring or written by David Levithan because everything he writes seems to make me stop and go, “wow, that actually makes me see things differently.” He also writes with a wide diction, so every time I finish a book by him I come out of it with a few new nifty words.
For once, I’m totally in love with these longish chapters. There’s a lot that goes into a chapter, including exclusive character thought process, description of surroundings, notebook entries, etc. I feel that they were necessarily long because the book is only 20 chapters. If they were any shorter, there would probably have been missing details that really brought the mental picture together. One star off just because it still took me longer to read through at times.
The cover is cute! The red NY scene at the bottom is revelant to the story, and the bokeh effect is nice since it’s a common photography tactic during Christmas time with holiday lights. Relevant and simple. Love it.
The pacing is key to this book. Not just in terms of plot progression, but also in terms of the blossoming relationship. Dash at some point in the story that he doesn’t want to go too fast with Lily, and he’d rather let their personalities unfold throughout their conversations in the notebook.
Another thing to note about this book is Lily’s character development, in which can be summarized as shrilly yet shy gone not as shrilly and definitely more outgoing.
As I noted on my brief Goodreads review, I’ve never encountered a work that made this book the slightest bit of cliche. I love the idea of a notebook connecting two people (“future”). I think it’s original and would be a super cool idea to do in real life…if the world wasn’t so scary.
I really enjoyed this book. I think the characters are diverse and believable and I have little to nothing to complain about. If you want a wordy but adventurous and hilarious romance, this is for you!
Thanks for reading!