Genre: Young adult, contemporary, romance
Goodreads rating: 3.85
My rating: ★★
I’ve left some clues for you. If you want them, turn the page. If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.
At the urge of her lucky-in-love brother, sixteen-year-old Lily has left a red notebook full of dares on her favourite bookshop shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept. Curious, snarky Dash isn’t one to back down from a challenge – and the Book of Dares is the perfect distraction he’s been looking for.
As they send each other on a scavenger hunt across Manhattan, they’re falling for each other on paper. But finding out if their real selves share their on-page chemistry could be their biggest dare yet…(Goodreads).
I was actually looking forward to reading this book. Something cute and light, possibly funny. Instead it was extremely boring most of the times and a lot of the jokes weren’t funny at all in my opinion. I have to admit that I did laugh a few times and there were some deep thoughts Dash and Lily wrote down in the journal that I liked, thus the two stars rating.
Where to start? The book is told in alternating POVs. One chapter is told by Dash, the next by Lily. I immediately disliked Dash. He was very pretentious, a bit of a douchebag and why the hell would you say ‘happy Hannukah’ to someone you know isn’t Jewish, just to see how they react? And it’s not a one time thing. He likes doing that. I find that a bit disrespectful, but okay. Also it didn’t feel like I was actually reading about a 16-year old. I know John Green’s characters can also be seen as pretentious (i.e. Gus), but they do still act like teenagers. They have their moments of silliness that you know you’re reading about kids. Not with Dash.
Then there’s Lily. She was slightly more likeable, but while Dash felt too old, she felt too young. Maybe it’s because her entire family and her grandfather’s friend are all very protective of her so she doesn’t get out much, but I really felt like I was reading about someone younger than sixteen. I also didn’t get the whole Edgar Thibaud thing where she suddenly had a thing for him and then decided to go drinking. It felt like it was just added to show that she has flaws, makes mistakes and isn’t perfect. It just didn’t feel right to me, but maybe it was just me. Neither characters felt three-dimensional to me, nor did they really go through any character development.
The two characters didn’t really have any chemistry. They might have been good friends, but instead it turned into a romance. A romance that felt too rushed to me (like Dash points out in one of his chapters, it’s very easy to lie to someone through the journal. So um, how well do you know each other??? You’ve met in real life three times. One of those times, one of you wasn’t even sober. Spoiler: Yet you’re already kissing? Thank God there wasn’t a declaration of love.
Now for the plot. I expected the journal to play a slightly bigger part. I expected the dares to be more, well, daring. Going to see a movie?? Okay, so it’s a bad one, but still. To Madame Tussauds? Uh, those aren’t dares. And Uncle Sal a.k.a. Santa Claus creeped me out. And then Lily defends him by saying it wasn’t anything sexual, he just likes hugs. THAT WASN’T A HUG. The problem I have with it, is that it was passed off as a joke, while not only it wasn’t funny but disturbing, it was sexual. Thus why it’s wrong to pass of as a joke. Another ‘joke’: or at least I think it was supposed to be a joke, at some point two officers are introduced called ‘Officer White’ and ‘Officer Black’. Officer White is black and officer Black is white. Har har. So funny. I’m not sure if it’s racist (part of me wants to say yes, but maybe I’m overreacting?), but I sure find it a weird sense of humor.
So no interesting characters, no interesting plot, no funny jokes, and a lot of the times it felt like nothing was happening. It was extremely dull and I just couldn’t wait to finish it so I could be done with it and pick up something else. I’m extremely disappointed, as I expected a fun read. Not necessarily something like Rainbow Rowell or Stephenie Perkins would write, but at least a 3-star rating book. At least the cover is pretty!
Have you read Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares? I hope you had a better experience than I did! Let me know in the comments!