Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rachel Cohn & David Levithan. DASH & LILY'S BOOK OF DARES

It's Christmastime in New York City. Dash is left home alone, and he likes it that way. He fooled his divorced parents, because they never talk to each other. He told his mom he was staying with his dad and vice-versa.

Lily is also home alone, sort of. Her older brother is also home from college for the holidays. Their parents went to Fiji for the honeymoon they couldn't afford back when they got married.

They are complete strangers. Until...

Dash is perusing his favorite indie bookstore when he finds a red journal hiding among his favorite author's books. He grabs the journal and notices "do you dare" written in sharpie on the front of the notebook. The note on the first page describes clues for him. This sends him on a scavenger hunt around the store. Then the final directions have him depositing the notebook with the clerk at the front of the store.

Lily picks up the notebook and reads the message left for her, and this is how DASH AND LILY'S BOOK OF DARES begins. Dash and Lily get to know each other through a string of clues and dares. The dares are simple enough. Dash has to go into the biggest toy store in New York the day before Christmas. Lily has to listen to an obscure indie/punk band at a nearby club. But with each notebook entry the two become closer and yet are afraid that when they finally meet that perhaps they won't live up to each other's expectations.

This was inventive, witty and adventurous. I loved how the chapters were written in alternating points of view. The audio version seemed to being this alive a little more, since I literally go to listen to different voices.* The characters were original and intriguing! Lily's extended family is a hoot! Dash and his friend Boomer have a fun relationship. I can't say how much I love this book! Really, it's a must read.

*The audio version is spectacular! The actors (Ryan Gesell & Tara Sands) really brought these characters to life!

As a bonus, check out the video below of the authors reading from the book at the STRAND (the bookstore, which is featured in the book) on the day the book came out. Very Cool!