Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares


“I’m persnickety,” I confessed. “Not, incidentally, to the point of being snarly. But still. Delightful and persnickety are not a common blend.”

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is one of my favourite films. I’ve seen it a million times (ok maybe not a million) and it always gives me the urge to hop on a plane and head to NYC—one of my favourite city’s. I haven’t read the book, I actually didn’t know there was a book until much later. After reading Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, I’m not sure I want too. I’m worried the book won’t live up to the feeling I get when watching the film.

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares is 50% lovely and refreshing and 50% pretentious and somewhat over the top.

It’s Christmas break and Lily and Dash are two strangers brought together by a red notebook and New York’s famous Strand bookstore. Lily leaves said notebook on one of the bookstores shelves with a list of dares, hoping someone will pick it up and complete them and give her something to look forward to during her winter break. Dash just happens to be the guy who finds it and they set off on a a set of challenges that leads them across the city, slowly learning about each other with the help of family and friends. It’s a very refreshing plot, especially since we live in a technology-fuelled world. It was old school, almost like writing letters instead of using email/text to communicate,  and even  romantic—the problem I had was that the language the characters used seemed unrealistic. They’re teenagers that speak and act like adults. Smart-ass- know-it-all adults. It’s not a constant, sometimes they do act their age but a lot of scenes just didn’t fly with me.

For example this exchange between Dash and Lily’s grandmother:

“Well,” I said, “it’s not as if I’ve come to take her to the sock hop, or ask her to go double-spooning in some tapioca, if that’s what you mean. We’ve already established my position on dillying and dallying, which right now is chaste with a chance for inveterate lust, depending on the ripeness of our first interactions. I have been told by a source of surprising trustworthiness that I must not paint her too much with my ideas of her, and my intention is to follow that advice. But really? Completely uncharted territory here. Terra enigma. It could be a future or it could be a folly. If she’s cut from your cloth, I have a sense we might get along.”

It was just too much for me. Like so clever it hurts.  As I said, the idea, the concept was great, but  as my Manchester-raised mom would say— it’s just wasn’t my cup of tea. However I guess I should take into account that I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and maybe kids that grow up in New York are just cooler—and have an amazingly developed vocabulary at a very young age.




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