Friday, June 3, 2011

Dash And Lily's Book of Dares

Dash And Lily's Book of Dares a review by Micah (Year 13)

When it comes to the arts of film and literature, Indie Romance is one of my favourite genres.  To be fair, it is not one with which I am particularly familiar (the extent of my experience being various Michael Cera films, effectively every novel ever written by John Green and a brief expedition into the Twilight series) however what I have read I have enjoyed immensely.  I suppose that depending on how experienced you are with the genre, I could be rather under-qualified to write this review.  Or, by the same token, I could be the perfect person for the job.  One of the major disadvantages to writing via a blog is that it tends to be all monologue, so I may potentially never know just how experienced you are or are not with the Indie-Romance genre.  The positive side to this coin is that your position as just another member of society, completely unknown to me, is safe.  So feel free to read on knowing that if you are reading this review, horrified at the fact that you've never even heard of Indie-Romance, it's okay, because I will probably never know.

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares
Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Published 2010

"...You know when a cow chews grass?  And he or she chews and chews and chews?  Well, green tea tastes like French-kissing that cow's mouth after its done chewing all that grass."

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares is a tale of two teens, set in New York at Christmas time.  The first of these two teens is Dash.  Dash is a cynical, Christmas hating, English language loving 16 year old boy whose parents are divorced.  He frequents the local second hand book store known simply as the, "The Strand" and speaks as though he was brought up in 18th century England, then sucked through time to the modern era where all of the things he had learnt regarding how to dress properly were promptly replaced with information regarding how to swear.  Which makes him a rather interesting character.

The second teen in this tale is Lily.  Lily has the fashion sense of a Christmas elf, is also 16 and has a God given ability to bake cookies which have several qualities rather similar to those found in drugs we won't mention here.  She lives under the shadow of her family, who are ridiculously over-protective, and her only real friend is her gay brother Langston.

The story revolves around the aptly named, “Book of Dares.” The Book of Dares is a red note book which Lily leaves in The Strand as a method by which she can meet teenage boys with qualities she values, without the social awkwardness of actually meeting them.   Normally I would find this rather odd, mildly disturbing at least, but to be honest I thought it suited the story and I rather liked the idea.  However if I was to repeat the plan, I would definitely have to change certain aspects.  Such as the, “meet teenage boys” end goal.  But I digress.

As a whole I really enjoyed Dash and Lily’s, it had a sort of teenage charm that I found rather appealing.  The story swept me up and dragged me along with it.  I found that many of the ideas and views on love and life made so much sense (at least to me and my limited teenager-point-of-view).  When I had finished reading I felt like I had learned something about love, but I had to think for a while before deciding exactly what that thing was.

In summary, if you’re looking for a book that is unrealistic enough to be fiction, but
down-to-earth enough to make you question whether or not it could actual actually happen, please read Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares.  There, I even said please, now you have to read it.

-Micah

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