Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, Knopf, $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-375-86659-3
Cohn and Levithan use a familiar but fun formula for this holiday-themed collaboration—think Saint Nick & Norah—mixing an enticing premise with offbeat characters and some introspective soul searching. Two New York City teens left alone for Christmas "meet" when Dash discovers Lily's cryptic notebook wedged between J.D. Salinger books at the Strand. Its clues lead him on a treasure hunt through the bookstore; he responds with his own clues, and soon they are using the notebook to send each other on adventures across the city and to trade their "innermost feelings and thoughts." Fans will enjoy the zingy descriptions and characterizations that populate this Big Apple romp (at one point, Dash must reach inside the coat of the Macy's Santa to retrieve Lily's message; later, he sends her to go see a "gay Jewish dancepop/indie/punk band called Silly Rabbi, Tricks Are for Yids"). Readers will be ready for the real romance to start long before the inevitable conclusion, but as with this duo's past books, there are more than enough amusing turns of phrase and zigzag plot twists to keep their attention. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/04/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
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