Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan

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A whirlwind romance from the New York Times bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist!
“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”
16-year-old Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on her favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just 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 mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Co-written by Rachel Cohn (GINGERBREAD) and David Levithan, co-author of WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON with John Green (THE FAULT IN OUR STARS), DASH & LILY'S BOOK OF DARES is a love story that will have readers scouring bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375896682
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 10/26/2010
Series: Dash & Lily Series
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 95,989
Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
File size: 3 MB
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Rachel Cohn & David Levithan have written three books together. Their first, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, was made into a movie starring Michael Cera and Kat Dennings, directed by Peter Sollett. Their second, Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List, was named a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. For their third book, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, David wrote Dash’s chapters and Rachel wrote Lily’s. Although they did not pass the chapters back and forth in a red Moleskine notebook, they did email them to each other without planning anything out beforehand. That’s the way they work.

Rachel’s previous books include Gingerbread, Shrimp, Cupcake, You Know Where to Find Me, and Very LeFreak. David’s previous books include Boy Meets Boy, The Realm of Possibility, Are We There Yet?, Wide Awake, Love Is the Higher Law, and How They Met, and Other Stories.

For more information about Rachel and David, you can find them at RachelCohn.com and DavidLevithan.com, respectively. You may also catch them in the aisles at the Strand.

Read an Excerpt

December 21st  

Imagine this:  

You're in your favorite bookstore, scanning the shelves. You get to the section where a favorite author's books reside, and there, nestled in comfortably between the incredibly familiar spines, sits a red notebook.  

What do you do?  

The choice, I think, is obvious:  

You take down the red notebook and open it.  

And then you do whatever it tells you to do.      

It was Christmastime in New York City, the most detestable time of the year. The moo-like crowds, the endless visits from hapless relatives, the ersatz cheer, the joyless attempts at joyfulness--my natural aversion to human contact could only intensify in this context. Wherever I went, I was on the wrong end of the stampede. I was not willing to grant "salvation" through any "army." I would never care about the whiteness of Christmas. I was a Decemberist, a Bolshevik, a career criminal, a philatelist trapped by unknowable anguish--whatever everyone else was not, I was willing to be. I walked as invisibly as I could through the Pavlovian spend-drunk hordes, the broken winter breakers, the foreigners who had flown halfway across the world to see the lighting of a tree without realizing how completely pagan such a ritual was.  

The only bright side of this dim season was that school was shuttered (presumably so everyone could shop ad nauseam and discover that family, like arsenic, works best in small doses . . . unless you prefer to die). This year I had managed to become a voluntary orphan for Christmas, telling my mother that I was spending it with my father, and my father that I was spending it with my mother, so that each of them booked nonrefundable vacations with their post-divorce paramours. My parents hadn't spoken to each other in eight years, which gave me a lot of leeway in the determination of factual accuracy, and therefore a lot of time to myself.  

I was popping back and forth between their apartments while they were away--but mostly I was spending time in the Strand, that bastion of titillating erudition, not so much a bookstore as the collision of a hundred different bookstores, with literary wreckage strewn over eighteen miles of shelves. All the clerks there saunter-slouch around distractedly in their skinny jeans and their thrift-store button-downs, like older siblings who will never, ever be bothered to talk to you or care about you or even acknowledge your existence if their friends are around . . . which they always are. Some bookstores want you to believe they're a community center, like they need to host a cookie-making class in order to sell you some Proust. But the Strand leaves you completely on your own, caught between the warring forces of organization and idiosyncrasy, with idiosyncrasy winning every time. In other words, it was my kind of graveyard.  

I was usually in the mood to look for nothing in particular when I went to the Strand. Some days I would decide that the afternoon was sponsored by a particular letter, and would visit each and every section to check out the authors whose last names began with that letter. Other days, I would decide to tackle a single section, or would investigate the recently unloaded tomes, thrown in bins that never really conformed to alphabetization. Or maybe I'd only look at books with green covers, because it had been too long since I'd read a book with a green cover.  

I could have been hanging out with my friends, but most of them were hanging out with their families or their Wiis. (Wiis? Wiii? What is the plural?) I preferred to hang out with the dead, dying, or desperate books--used we call them, in a way that we'd never call a person, unless we meant it cruelly. ("Look at Clarissa . . . she's such a used girl.")  

I was horribly bookish, to the point of coming right out and saying it, which I knew was not socially acceptable. I particularly loved the adjective bookish, which I found other people used about as often as ramrod or chum or teetotaler.  

On this particular day, I decided to check out a few of my favorite authors, to see if any irregular editions had emerged from a newly deceased person's library sale. I was perusing a particular favorite (he shall remain nameless, because I might turn against him someday) when I saw a peek of red. It was a red Moleskine--made of neither mole nor skin, but nonetheless the preferred journal of my associates who felt the need to journal in non-electronic form. You can tell a lot about a person from the page she or she chooses to journal on--I was strictly a college-ruled man myself, having no talent for illustration and a microscopic scrawl that made wide-ruled seem roomy. The blank pages were usually the most popular--I only had one friend, Thibaud, who went for the grid. Or at least he did until the guidance counselors confiscated his journals to prove that he had been plotting to kill our history teacher. (This is a true story.)  

There wasn't any writing on the spine of this particular journal--I had to take it off the shelf to see the front, where there was a piece of masking tape with the words DO YOU DARE? written in black Sharpie. When I opened the covers, I found a note on the first page.      

I've left some clues for you.  

If you want them, turn the page.  

If you don't, put the book back on the shelf, please.      

The handwriting was a girl's. I mean, you can tell. That enchanted cursive. Either way, I would've endeavored to turn the page.      

So here we are.  

1. Let's start with French Pianism.  

I don't really know what it is,  
but I'm guessing  
nobody's going to take it off the shelf.  
Charles Timbrell's your man.  
Do not turn the page  
until you fill in the blanks  
(just don't write in the notebook, please)

Customer Reviews

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Dash & Lily's Book of Dares 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 554 reviews.
GraceART More than 1 year ago
If you've never read a book written by both Rachel Cohn and David Levithan you are difinetly missing out. Their first book, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, was amazing and in my opinion this one was even better. Told in alternating points of view the story unfolds through a small red mole-skin notebook and by the... end I was eagerly awaiting the two of them to meet. Dash's chapters written by David and Lily's by Rachel they complement each other perfectly and make you laugh at loud with the things they come up with. I personally felt a great connection to this book and was rooting for the two of them to end up together by the last few chapters. A nice read that will also increase your vocabulary skills, Dash and Lily's Book of Dares is a must for any of you who've read their other books (written alone or together) or if you just want a good old fashioned love story with some gay boys, books, and a love of words. Now that I've read this book I personally want to go out and make my own notebook, leaving it in a local used bookstore and see what adventures it sends me on. Definetly an amazing book by all of my standards.
XZFL More than 1 year ago
A short fun read for sure, i asked myself after i finished it "Is it really over?" I didn't want it to end, it was great. Try it!
Stephenie-Meyer-fan1 More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best I've ever read! I literaly could NOT put it down. Every second was intriguing. It was well written and it was HILARIOUS! I'm not kidding. I would highly recommend this book. I promise you will at least laugh. Even if you don't like the book. It's hard not to. :D
acbcac More than 1 year ago
This story makes you want to get a notebook find a bookstore and hide it. Very intriguing story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adore this book! Ive read it too many times to remember. Perfect for reading during winter(even if you dont live in NYC). Dont we all wish this would happen to us girls?! Great buy!!
TSReviews More than 1 year ago
When i Read this book I was expecting an easy read. That is what i received but with a vocabulary lesson attached. On almost every page a new word would appear that you were not prepared for. The love of words by the characters brought a great element to the book. Although the plot does follow most teen reads it does add something that no other books I have read. The main characters', Dash and Lily, personalities brought was unexpected and had a great effect. This is because they are not your typical teen characters, they could be considered strange or different but in the best way possible. This is the perfect book for a person who enjoys books by these authors, romance, and teen novels in general. I suggest this book to all people looking for the perfect holiday book.
mistressofdark More than 1 year ago
I generally disliked this book. I just felt it was weak in so many ways. First of all, the story is already a known one, but that wasn't the reason I disliked it. It could still have been interesting and there were a few parts (only when the red notebook was concerned) that were rather interesting, but not that many. I found myself rushing through the parts where the characters talked about their lives because I just couldn't care less about them and their family. Perhaps it was because I couldn't identify with the characters, i just didn't find them that likeable, or at least they didn't appeal to me at all. None of the characters introduced seemed that realistic to me, not even the secondary ones. Lily I found was a bit selfish and a hypocrite and she tended to dramatize everything while Dash was, well, rude and kind of a douche. Plus, there were so many convenient coincidences that made it even harder for the story to seem real. I also didn't really like the writing. It felt like the authors were over-trying for humor but the result was not humorous or funny at all. It seems childish at parts and full of clichés. Furthermore, it was so predictable and not at all original; this is a story we have seen or heard of before. Lastly, something else i didn't like at all was the way Lily referred to her things by adding her name to them, for example, her room (or bed) was the "Lily pad", her coffee was the "Lilychinno" and the world was apparently called the "Lilyverse". I did NOT enjoy these nicknames; I did NOT find them cute or smart. Perhaps I'm being too harsh but I did not enjoy this book at all. Perhaps it just wasn't for me because I know there are a lot of people who did enjoy it and who have rated it highly. Perhaps it's just a matter of personal taste.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AWESOME!!! I loved it, its different than most love stories, i could not put it down!
Natalie Wilson More than 1 year ago
This book kept me laughing hysterically and completely absorbed and enthralled through every page. Not only was it a blast to read, but also had some really deep points to it while maintaining it's very realistic feel. I highly recommend it!
iheartreadingNT More than 1 year ago
This book had everything I was looking for. I could easily relate to the characters and Rachel Cohn and David Levithans writing is superb. I would DEFINITELY recommend this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This has the funniest lines and cutest couple. Did very well an deveryone I've recommended this to, love dit just a smuch as me. Worth it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book its funny, creative and very fun to read! It is also a book for a reader who likes quick funny easy book to read. I also want to state I hate books that every other chapter is told from a diffrent charcter, but this book was easy to understand unlike most. I loved this book.
Heather Royalty More than 1 year ago
This novel, although (I'm assuming) geared toward an audience of teenage readers, is a fun and interesting read for both teens and adults alike. Through the use of highly likeable characters (I adore Boomer for his vigor and enthusiasm for life), a witty and cleverly designed plot, and surprisingly elegant prose, the authors manage to present readers with a cute, feel-good, romance story without being too overtly romantic (which I found to be refreshing, actually). What's more, the story addresses realistic teenage issues in a manner quite opposite the continually whiny over-angst so highly favored in by many authors today. Overall, a well-paced, amusing novel that I would readily recommend to teens and adults.
Brunette_Chick More than 1 year ago
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist has been an absolute favorite of mine since I read it! This book was ALMOST as good! (like I said, it's a FAV! Hard to compete) but I love the reality these authors bring to teenagers. I'm not a fan of YA fiction because so often the teens are depicted as being very unlike any teenager I've ever met... But books by these authors never fail to make me smile and remember my own teen years. Perfect! Amazing! LOVE it!
ChristianR on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fun read, even if it is a little pretentious.
twonickels on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A younger, more innocent turn for Cohn and Levithan. I really enjoyed the scavenger hunt conceit, and I loved Lily and Dash¿s opposing feelings about the holidays ¿ Dash¿s bah-humbug compared with Lily¿s cheerful-Christmas-elf cracked me up. I think Lily¿s relentless good cheer was a bit of a stretch for Rachel Cohn ¿ it was definitely a stretch for me. But as we started to see some cracks in her Christmassy armor I warmed up to her. A sweet read.
lilibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Two teens who have never met, but both of whom are alone at the holidays, correspond via a red notebook transported between them by friends and family. In a kind of treasure hunt, they set missions for each other in Christmas-time New York City.
GRgenius on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dash and Lily...two unlikely friends let alone anything more that just might come together over a red Moleskine notebook with a handful of dares and some memories to share. Sound like the start to a great new title? It is!A new release to the YA scene, this is one dare that I'd happily accept all over again. It's the combination of elements in the storyline...the twists and turns along the way, the romance that may or may not be and the characters (complete with their close and not so close friends and family) that make this adventure completely enjoyable.The title intrigued me, the cover beckoned me, and the story welcomes all those that claim the term "bookish" as a description of themselves. Honestly, I'm not certain there are words powerful enough to describe this it. It's not earth shattering in the sense that it's unbelieveable or going to change the world...very rarely is there a book of that caliber...but it is earth shaking enough to read it once, read it twice, and shout to the world (or whisper to your friends) that this is one of those books that should not be missed. So get ready to fall in love with Dash and/or Lily...you won't be the first nor will you be the last. Recommended for teen readers and beyond as there are a few instances of foul language and close encounters of the shared kind. All in all though...happy reading!
GirlonaMission on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The premise of this book is original and immediately intrigued me. I LOVE the fact that it is set in New York where I live. Having the Strand as the place where it all starts made my heart flutter. The Strand is pretty much my second home. So this book really had my attention. The beginning was fast moving and humorous. However when I got into the middle and towards the end I started to care less and less about them meeting...or not. I found myself heavily sighing when it was Lily's turn to narrate. Her voice was pretty high-pitched and I think too "sunny". Lily's character annoyed me as well. Her thoughts made her seem more like 13 rather than 16. Dash is what kept me listening. Period. He's snarkalicious and I love it. He's soooo New York! He has a smart mouth and he's not afraid to use it. He even dresses like he's from NY with his fedora hat, colored shirt and jeans. The only thing he's missing is the blazer. I know usually anything goes out here but Lily's style of dress and language didn't give me the NY vibe at all. The minor characters also helped get the book moving along. Boomer, Dash's friend has the most annoying voice but I love his energy and innocence. Lily's Great Aunt Ida was funny and seemed like the type of old lady I'd like to hang out with.The romance didn't really cut it for me. Lily seemed like an innocent little kid while Dash was mature and saw the world as it was. Their relationship seemed like they could make good friends but then after a while it seemed like he'd make a good older brother for her. His character seemed like he didn't really like her in the same way that he still liked his ex-girlfriend Sophia. Things were a lot sultry for those two while for Dash and Lily things seemed playful and maybe even a bit awkward at times.Again, this audio book was not bad and neither was the writing. However I can't say I loved it. It was just something I could go either way on.
lindsayfml on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was pulled into this young adult novel by the voice of Dash, the introspective, book-loving, sarcastic and cynical co-narrator. I loved his character immediately, and as a Youth Librarian I could see many of my teenage patrons relating to him. Lily, Dash's counterpart throughout the novel, was genuinely likeable but I felt that her character was never quite fully realized. There was a piece of her missing and thus the union of the two characters did not feel quite satisfying or solid to me. All in all, this book was very enjoyable and really captured the essence of New York City very well.
bookworm12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dash is wandering around The Strand (awesome NYC bookstore) when he finds a red notebook filled with instructions. The notebook is written by Lily and though they¿ve never met before, they begin corresponding and daring each other to do things. I loved the story and the rapid-fire dialogue and snarky comments. It¿s a fun, quick read and I¿m officially a fan of Levithan¿s writing. There¿s one particularly funny exchange between Dash and Lily¿s aunt about what kind of tea is best. It was moments like those, where Levithan¿s wit shines the most. Here¿s Dash¿s comment about green tea¿¿You can¿t be serious. Because you know when a cow chews grass? Well, green tea tastes like French-kissing that cow after it¿s done chewing all that grass.¿ I definitely enjoyed Dash¿s sections more than Lily¿s, because I think I just connected more with his character. Lily is much more sensitive and fragile, almost childlike in her expectations and ability to control emotion. Dash on the other hand, is cynical and pessimistic. I did have one complaint, though it may sound petty. In one of Lily¿s section (p. 77) she makes a reference to someone who is dressed like Hermione Potter. Obviously she meant to say Hermione Granger, but still it irritated me. ¿I preferred to hangout with the dead, dying or desperate books ¿ used we call them, in a way that we¿d never call a person, unless we meant it cruelly.¿ ¿I figured being a bed salesman was a job of biblically bad paradox. I mean, here he was forced to stand for 8 or 9 hours a day, and the whole time he¿s surrounded by beds.¿ ¿Children frighten me. I mean I appreciate them on a cute aesthetic level, but they¿re very demanding and unreasonable creatures and often smell funny.¿
ericajsc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dash and Lily are opposites in many ways: Dash hates the holidays, Lily lives for them; Dash weaseled his way out of family obligations by telling his parents he would spend Christmas with the other, and Lily is devastated that her parents aren¿t around on Christmas. They don¿t seem like they¿d be a good match, but there is something between them: the notebook. Passing the notebook back and forth with each other, strangers that they are, allows them to reveal information that they wouldn¿t otherwise. As Dash points out, writing his thoughts showed him things about himself that even he didn¿t know, and it may not have happened had he been writing for himself alone or for an acquaintance.What they must overcome ¿ other than the small fact that they¿ve never met and don¿t have any way of finding each other ¿ are their own ideas of love and attraction. Their game of dares is fun, but it will only last for so long. Is it better to risk meeting and being disappointed that the other doesn¿t live up to expectations, or to remain anonymous strangers, forever being who the other needs? Both of them struggle with whether the other can like them for who they really are, and it speaks to the fears that come with putting yourself out there with the potential for pain.This is a great Christmas book without being too Christmas-y; in other words, it won¿t necessarily seem out of season to read it any other time of the year, but it is fun to read it at Christmas (like I did). Here is a good example of a book being fun and entertaining as well as thought-provoking.
molliekay on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A chance sighting of a red journal in a book store right before Christmas starts Dash on a scavenger hunt around the city. Along the way, the journal is traded back and forth between him and the girl who wrote it, Lily, without ever setting eyes on each other. They are both nervous about actually meeting, fearing their real person might not live up to their image. This story alternates between the two characters as they try to come up with the most creative places for leaving the book. I almost didn't pick it up because of the title (I think the two authors need to get a little more creative), but I'm very glad I did. It's a fun read.
resugo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a really fun book. I loved both Dash and Lily and their evolving relationship. Both very realistic teens who are rather unique. Their family and friends were so quirky and fun. So much humor, I was laughing through the whole thing. Like when Dash writes about the new Pixar movie, which was so ridiculously funny, and then references to the movie kept popping through the rest of the book, which made it that much more funny. What made me like it even more was when I read the author blurbs after finishing the book. It said Cohn and Levithan emailed the story back and forth without planning any of it out beforehand. How totally awesome is that. Especially when it's a book about two characters writing notes back and forth to each other. Dash begins the book with how much he hates Christmas, then we meet Lily and find out how much she loves Christmas. It just made it that much more fun to know they made it up as they went. I was worried that it would be like the movie Sleepless in Seattle, where Tom and Meg didn't meet until the last three minutes. But, luckily, Dash and Lily meet a lot sooner than the last three minutes and had some fun interactions before the last scene.Great book for anytime of the year, but especially Christmas.
raboyer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dashing Delight**Read via ARC from For What It's Worth's Book ToursThis book gets a loquacious 5 out of 5 gnomes for being very funny and also full of heart.The story and humor really pull you in. My personal experience with this happened when I was at the dealership getting my oil changed. Good thing I was there with my dad because I didn't even hear when they called my name to sign out, I just kept on reading and was surprised when he asked me if I was ready to go.This didn't sound like the kind of book that I normally read but I'm very glad that I gave it a chance. I was pulled into the story from page one. It of course also gets bonus points for having a bookstore be central to the plot.The chapters alternate between Dash and Lily. They have very distinct voices, probably because they were each written by different authors.While shopping at the Strand (a really awesome sounding bookstore) Dash finds a red notebook on the shelves. This notebook gives him clues that he has to solve to determine if he's the right one to have found it. This leads to dares being passed between the two via the notebook. The dares in the notebook are a lot of fun to read about because Dash gets his friends involved in them and Lily has her family help her.At first they seem to be two very different people. Dash hates Christmas but it's Lily's favorite holiday. It's great how they come together and also antagonize each other through the notebook.Lily's relatives add a lot of fun to the mix especially her Uncle who's a mall Santa. It's fitting that Lily's family and her give Dash the nickname Snarl/say he's snarly because he is a tad snarly at times.The plot does feel like a romantic comedy type of situation at times. It is raised above the formula type feeling though by the fact that you're not sure what's going to happen next and it feels like it could end unhappily.Dash's friend Boomer is a superb character, I love the way his mind works and how he sees the world. His excitement about the world seems to always cheer up the other characters. One of Boomer's best lines has him calling an amazon wish list an amazonian hope chest (I know I'll never look at my amazon wish list the same way again).Love the situations that they get in to, especially the events that lead to them being notorious/celebrities.At the end it looks like they may have a bright future together with many more dares along the way.Overall the book is just so much fun and explores beautifully people's expectations of people versus the facts. I have a feeling that for many people this book will become an annual traditional Christmas read.