Saturday, December 18, 2010

Book Review: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Christmas, in Dash's opinion, is the most horrible time of the year. He's managed to secure a parentless Christmas (factual accuracy not necessary when your divorced parents haven't spoken in 8 years) and is enjoying the only good reason for the season, no school, by browsing the 18 miles of bookshelves in The Strand. Which is where he finds the red notebook, propped up next to his favorite author's books. On the front is written 'Do You Dare?' and inside are a series of puzzle clues leading through the labyrinthine shelves of the New York bookstore. How could a lover of the Oxford English Dictionary like Dash resist this dare?

Lily is an unabashed Christmas enthusiast, so she is absolutely disgusted with her parents, who are on a 2nd honeymoon in Fiji and have abandoned her to the care of older brother Langston. She is also disgusted with Langston, who is much more interested in canoodling with new boyfriend Benny then caroling with his sister. Even worse, her beloved Grandpa is in Florida, where he intends to propose to the horrible Mabel (who irritatingly insists on being called Glamma). It is Lily who left the red notebook on the shelves at The Strand. Okay, it was Langston's idea, but still - Lily executed the plan, with hope of spicing up a very disappointing Christmas. Also, she's never been very brave, and she'd like to be.

Dash and Lily pass the red notebook back and forth, leading each other on a hilarious, festive holiday scavenger hunt of dares across New York City. There's a horrifying incident with the Macy's Santa Claus, a build-a-muppet so ugly it's adorable, a giant Nutcracker, and a run-in with the over-vigilant mommy patrol of Washington Square Park. Dash enlists his friends to up the ante on his dares, while Lily calls on her enormous squadron of relatives and their eclectic jobs and hobbies. As they roam the city, Dash and Lily find themselves falling for the notebook versions of each other - but how will they feel about the real-life Lily and Dash if/when they finally meet?

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist authors Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have done it again! This fun, fast, clever and laugh-out-loud funny romp through New York City at Christmas is just the thing to curl up with over a plate of Christmas cookies and a mug of hot cocoa. I've never met a David Levithan/Rachel Cohn character I haven't wanted to be BFFs with, and Dash and Lily are no exception!

(now reading the hilarious Zombies vs. Unicorns by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier, because nothing says holiday cheer like brains!)

P.S. For more from the made of awesome Rachel Cohn & David Levithan, check out Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List!