Dash and Lily's Book of Dares
By Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Alfred A. Knopf, 2010. 260 pgs. Teen fiction
Dash, who despises Christmas and has managed to escape both of his divorced parents for Christmas, finds a notebook with a series of clues in it at a bookstore. The notebook, left by quirky, Christmas-loving Lily, who has been abandoned at Christmas as her parents are in Fiji, her grandpa in Florida, and her brother busy with his boyfriend, intrigues him, and soon the two are leaving each other dares to complete, along with their innermost thoughts, forming a friendship through words, a friendship that helps them contemplate love, life, and themselves.
This book has a lot of witty wordplay and Dash and Lily are both likable characters. The beginning scenes of the book, when Dash initially finds the notebook, might put off some readers, but those who stick with it will likely find themselves swept up in the plot, the words, and the characters. (On the other hand, I can envision some readers not really connecting with either Dash or Lily; they're not your average characters, and really, some are not going to like content, which has some innuendo and language.)