Book Review: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares ~ Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Hi everyone, whoo, I’m on a roll! I previously intended on doing To All the Boys/P.S. 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: ✭✭

Cover: ✭✭✭

Pacing: ✭✭

Cliche count:✭✭

“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.”

“….Because I don’t think meaning is something that can be explained. You have to understand it on your own.”

“I was attempting to write the story of my life. It wasn’t so much about plot. It was much more about character.”

The pure fact that I could not decide between three quotes to feature in my review should say something about HOW DEEP this book got to me. I mean I could list about 90 different quotes from this book that were both meaningful and hilarious, but I’ll let you do the reading to discover them.

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 whirlwhind 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 disasterous porportions?

I always enjoy works featuring or written by David Levithan because everything seems to make me stop and go “wow, that actually makes me see this differently.” and he also writes with a wide diction, so everytime I finish a book by him I come out of it with a few new nifty words. Also, sorry if I kind of ignore Rachel Cohn in this review, but I don’t know much about her and her work other than she’s the official author and she wrote Lily’s POV.

*Side note: yes there are differen’t point of views (Dash & Lily if it isn’t obvious!)

Chapter Length

For once, I’m totally in love with these longish chapters. (Keep in mind, my definition of long may not apply to yours.) 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 necesarily long, especially since 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 look is nice since it’s during Christmas time and bokeh is a common photography tatic for holiday lights. Revelant and simple, love it.


The pacing is especially key to this book, and it is even mentioned by 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–> not as shrilly and definitely more outgoing. She says that she wants to “embrace danger” and she definitely does by getting wasted (SPOILER) and being wasted as Dash meets her for the first time. BTW, when I read that chapter, this was me:

Cliche count

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!

*NEW FEATURE* Highlights of the work *WARNING* may contain spoilers. Don’t read if you haven’t finished the book!

-The scene where Dash is talking to Sophia and he says something about French Pianism and Sophia goes: “you’re studying French penises?” OMG

-Dash getting naked one of his parents’ apartments just because he can, but then decides it feels wrong to reply to Lily in the nude, so he puts clothes on. Lol!


-I mentioned this earlier in the post but Dash meeting a drunk Lily for the first time was truly impacting. I was totally like Nooooo! noo! oh gosh, I’m actually sad now! the entire length of that chapter ):

-Dash getting Boomer’s famous Aunt’s kitchen for the night, and himself and Lily going nuts with all kinds of ingredients. Goals and heart eyes. Especially how he notices her spontaneous yet determined baking face.


-“Wake up Dash” cutest ending ❤

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares overall rating….


thanks for reading!

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