Merin is a teacher, a book blogger, a baseball addict (Go Cardinals!), lover of music, movies and TV crime dramas, and YA/MG connoisseur. Follow me on my blog at http://ahandfulofconfetti.wordpress.com!
This is a book I'd been hearing about since it was first released, but never actually picked up. However, I'm participating inWinterHaven Books' Sleigh Tour, and our first task was to read a Christmas or Winter-themed book, and this one seemed like a perfect fit (and also a perfect excuse to finally read it). And I'm glad I made it my choice, because overall I did really enjoy this book quite a bit. It definitely had a wonderful holiday feel to it.
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares is told in alternating viewpoints. You get Dash, a rather "snarly" teenage boy, who discovers a red notebook hidden in the shelves at The Strand, and decides to take it upon himself to follow its clues and quests. The other narrator is Lily, a (perhaps too angelic and sweet) teenage girl who actually created the notebook (with help). What follows are some rather funny, rather heartfelt, rather cute entries between the two as they use the notebook - and rather funny quests - to get to know each other. I have to admit that I was drawn more to Dash's narration than I was to Lily's, mostly because I couldn't help but love his rather sarcastic and straight to the point way of talking about himself and the world around him. My one complaint is that his voice sounded far older than his supposed age of sixteen, but nonetheless was enjoyable and created several laugh-out-loud moments (particularly their adventure with Boris the bullmastiff). Likewise, Lily also sounded too old for sixteen, and there were little things about her that sort of grated on me. This is not to say I didn't enjoy her chapters, because I did, but I didn't really find myself relating to her as much as I think I was supposed to. This is just a personal issue, though, so of course, your mileage may vary!
I was surprised a bit by the fact that there was quite a bit of personal introspection here; I was expecting all humor all the time, but the journal entries were really quite serious at some points. To me, that helped keep the book from tipping completely over into over-the-top saccharine sweetness (even though there is plenty sweet), which I feel would have been detrimental to the whole point of the book. I definitely appreciated the "aww"-inducing moments, and loved the humor, but was also pleased to see that there was more to the book than that.
If you're looking for a fun holiday read, definitely give Dash & Lily's Book of Dares a try. I think everyone could find something to enjoy about this book, whether you're like Dash and can't stand the holiday, or love it just as much as Lily!
To see more of my reviews, please visit me @ Read and Reviewed!