I had wanted to read Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan for a while, but I waited until Christmas break because I had heard it was a good wintertime read. Turns out it takes place in New York City at Christmas time, so my timing was perfect. The story centers around Dash, a moody teenage boy, and Lily, a high-spirited, eclectic girl, and their communications through a mysterious red notebook. Some people on Goodreads thought the book felt pretentious, and the plot was certainly not based on the most realistic version of reality, but I really enjoyed it. I thought the plot was adorable. It had just enough substance to make it more than simply a fluffy romance novel, all of the heart-warming joy of a YA romance novel with some extra plot sprinkled on. The characters were fun. I liked Dash, even if he was a bit pretentious. He sounded a lot like a real teenage boy, so he wasn’t perfect. Neither was Lily, who made a few frustrating decisions, but they were the kind of decisions I would probably make. Which is what made them frustrating. I was rooting for both characters the whole time though. They never made me hate them.
Overall, I enjoyed the plot. While there were plenty of clichés, the ending was not too cheesy. The ending is where most romance novels lose me. Because this book is about teenagers they get quite a bit of love advice, some of which felt almost too preachy, like the supporting characters where trying to point you towards a moral for the story. Like Dash and Lily, I mostly ignored them. But mostly, this book was a fun read. The characters are loveable and I didn’t take it too seriously, so I enjoyed it.
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