Author: David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
Publication: Oct. 11, 2011, Ember
Format: Paperback, 260 pages
Source: Borrowed from schoolmate! (Thanks Joemar!)
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"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."
So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a cosmic mismatch of disastrous proportions?
Funny, romantic and slightly delusional. That was basically the first thought I had when I was reading the book. There were instances were I just couldn't help but laugh and at times feel like they've bummed themselves out too many times. It's probably just part of the deal.
But because of it, he seemed to be the best part of Christmas so far. I wanted to keep them all for myself.
So the book started with Dash finding a red Moleskin notebook at the Strand-a famous bookstore in New York- and sees that inside was a list of passages from other books found at the Strand. So Dash is curious and wants to find out who wrote it, so he searches for them and gets it and leaves clues for the one who owns the notebook. Lily, the owner of the book, did not at all expected someone would even notice the notebook. That's when the exchanges started and both their lives took a turn.
I like the fact that it was set in Christmas being festive and all. There are lots of activities where they can hide their clues from one another. But the truth is that I enjoyed the polarities of their Christmases, where Dash's is something he does not enjoy while Lily anticipates it. The red Moleskin notebook ties these two lives together and they get to know each other. Personally, I think that's great. To be honest, I have better communication skills when written than when I say it. I think there's really a comfort to having the notebook around. And with the notebook, they got to at least know each other. Expectations though.
Be careful what you're doing, because no one is ever who you want them to be. And the less you really know them, the more likely you are to confuse them with the girl or boy in your head.
It was quite hard to go through the novel without thinking that those two will fall in love with each other but only through what they know from the notebook. Expectations are built and you must know how hard that feels! At first I was confused at why exactly would they even want to make it a secret from each other? Are they that introverted or they just like the mystery of it. Sofia was right. It's going to be all in their head.
I felt somehow immersed by the idea of the word exchanges. The dares to me weren't exactly dares. They posed as more like missions so I thought it would be more exciting but it talked mostly about failed Christmases and family, which is not bad but I might've expected a bit more thrill to it than I could've expected. See? So much expectations! Hurts like freakin' heck!
Characters from the book are either borderline crazy or just well, crazy. From cousin Mark, to Boomer, to the crowd of angry moms, the book does definitely serve up quite the diverse mix of people. My favorite would have to be Dash.
"Dash," I told her.
"It's short for Dashiell.", I explained.
"I never said it wasn't."
I just love Dash's character! I dunno, angst and all, it just got to me like when I say I love CHEESE! HAHA! Lily was adorable, but yes, I hate her Shrilly-ness. But she is adorable. What really made the book shine is Dash and his relationships really. I honestly love Sofia but I guess you can never have what you want. Again expectations. This book is built on so many of them.
The flow of the story is clear and quick. You are taken from the pre-Christmas days up to Christmas day itself to New Years with not much of the hassle. It's not really that fast-paced but just right. It's the matter of how you appreciate the characters in each situation that would get you continuing on reading.
I love New York and I think setting it up on Manhattan and all the other related places just complemented the hustle and bustle of some of the scenes. I'd really love to visit the Strand. David and Rachel giving us an imaginative tour (I haven't been there), proved my desperation to go there when I get rich and make it big.
The writing style is exactly how I predicted David and Rachel will handle it. David would be the guy's perspective and Rachel will be the girls. I did notice hints of David's obsession with words through Dash. I really love the fact that this book was rather unplanned for, which is also quite noticeable on the unforced takes on the conversations and situations. What I really appreciate about this book is that there is less swearing and it's fluffier in context than Nick and Norah.
It was rather awkward, insofar as we were both teetering between the possibility if something and the possibility of nothing.
I think every book that you'd ever read will prove to be something that could send your hopes high or drop it down like a hot potato. There is a wonderful feeling to the ending of the book though assurances could never be made. I really liked how they ended it and I wish there could've been more to be honest.
About The Authors:
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David Levithan (born 1972) is an American children's book editor and award-winning author. He published his first YA book, Boy Meets Boy, in 2003. Levithan is also the founding editor of PUSH, a Young Adult imprint of Scholastic Press.
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Rachel grew up in the D.C. area and graduated from Barnard College with a B.A. in Political Science. She has written many YA novels, including three that she cowrote with her friend and colleague David Levithan. She lives and writes (when she's not reading other people's books, organizing her music library or looking for the best cappuccino) in New York City.
That's it for this review. More are coming so, don't miss a beat! Got it? Good.