ISBN-13: 9780375866593
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Published: October 2010
272 pgs
Source: Personal Library

If someone left a moleskine notebook with a list of literary clues at a bookstore asking you to play along with him/her, would you take up the dare? Or would you just simply put the moleskine notebook back where it was placed and walk away?

Lily finds herself alone during the Christmas holidays, since her parents are off to Fiji to celebrate their Silver Anniversary and her elder brother, Langston would rather prefer spending his time with Benny, his new boyfriend than to be with her. However he has some plans for Lily and that involves a red Moleskine notebook, in which he together with Benny, mapped out a series of clues into it and left it at the Strand, the bookstore where they patronise frequently. Langston thought she would find a companion just right for her by helping her this way, but Lily thinks otherwise. Truth be told, she is simply a nice, quiet girl who loves playing soccer and one who loves books. It is not that Lily isn't attractive, but more like being the youngest of the family, she is well-protected and everyone around her neighbourhod seems to know her Grandpa and they all look affectionately upon him. So naturally they are looking out for her as well.

On the other end, Dash, another sixteen-year-old teenager, is alone during the holidays season too. Unlike Lily, his parents are divorced and he would rather spend the time by himself; he told each of his parents that he will be spending the holiday with the other, thus leaving them making plans of their own without him. Anyway, while he is perusing some shelves at the Strand one day, he finds a red Moleskine notebook hidden in between the books. Intrigued by it and the prospect that anyone would leave a notebook there, he takes it off the shelf and found out that someone has left some clues as part of a dare. Being a bookish person (he thinks so himself), his curiosity is piqued both by the literary clues written in it as well as the notebook owner. He decides to follow the leads and this is where the story begins.

This is a book about Dash and Lily's thoughts and their dreams as they exchange their inner thoughts and some information about themselves as they pass the notebook to and fro without meeting each other. Their dares would include finding funny book titles to travelling to places where they won't go under normal circumstances, yet it is through these explorations/experiences that they get to know each other more and finding something new about themselves which they haven't thought about from the beginning. There is just something intimate about their relationship despite that they are strangers, and this is one reason why I was being hooked to this story.

But that is not all to it, this novel has wonderfully captured the voice, the thoughts as well as the emotional parts of teenagers and I felt myself transported back into my teenaged years while reading it. Another thing I loved is the bookish theme and it also reinforces my thoughts on fate and that dreams can come true if you dare to believe and act on it. I wish I could go on and on but at this moment I was simply dumbstruck by the beauty of this story. Another thing is, though this is a collaboration work between Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, it feels as if it is written by one author because it flows smoothly; Cohn and Levithan's prose and writing style really complement one another and that further makes this book a lovely read. Dash & Lily's Book of Dares is their third collaboration work.

8 Responses
  1. Veens Says:

    I WANT this book, Melody. it aches my heart to not have it. It sounds so good.

  2. joanna Says:

    This sounds really interesting Melody, it's been added to The List! :-)

  3. Ana S. Says:

    I'm glad you enjoyed this as much as I did :D

  4. Iliana Says:

    Wonderful review, Melody! I totally want to read this. I love the premise.

  5. The Bookworm Says:

    I like stories with a bookish theme, this sounds wonderful.

  6. Ceri Says:

    Absolutely great review, Mel. Will definitely be picking this one up too now. :D I was looking forward to seeing what you thought of it.

  7. I've heard so many good things about this one Melody and I'm glad you loved it too!! I haven't read anyhing by Levithan and Cohn but I did read a Levithan and Green book earlier this year and enjoyed.

    Book of dares. Does sound like a lot of fun, huh?

  8. Unknown Says:

    This book sounds wonderful, I love the premise and I, for one, love moleskin filled with literary clues is the stuff of dreams :o)
    It's so much easier to communicate one's thoughts & dreams with another person in writing rather than face to face.

    Thanks for a great review!

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