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It turns out there are actually a limited amount of good Christmas books, which makes absolutely no sense to me because who wants to read a bad book over Christmas? Thankfully, Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares is a thoroughly enjoyable and amusing read and goes really well with a cup of hot chocolate with exactly two large marshmallows.
The book alternates the point of view every chapter; Levithan writes Dash’s chapters and Cohn writes Lily’s. Dash is slightly pessimistic and cynical, and is most often described by other characters as “snarly”. This is mostly a result of his parents’ terrible divorce. At the beginning of the story, he is at home alone, having told his mother he was going on vacation with his dad and his dad that he would be with his mother. He is also highly intelligent, and Levithan writes a little too intellectually and philosophically for the reader to actually believe it’s being written by a fifteen year-old. It’s the worst in the first few chapters; he dumbs down to the level of a normal super-smart teenager as the story goes on.
Lily, by contrast, is incredibly optimistic about everything (she goes caroling during Christmas time) and she comes from a large, incredibly loving family. Her brother Langston and his boyfriend Benny write some dares in a red notebook which they leave in the Strand in hopes that it will help Lily get a boyfriend. The notebook is picked up by Dash and he writes his own dares and leaves it for her. Most of the book follows each of them finding the book and carrying out the dares before writing their own. Neither of them meet each other until later on in the book.
The book would not be nearly as good without Lily’s many relatives and Dash’s friend Boomer, who are all very strange but lovable people. All in all, this is a great read for Christmas break and for anytime when you just want to relax with a happy book.
Maya @YA Novelties