Paperback, 260 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Ember
(First published October 26th 2010)
My shelves: books-i-own, christmas-books, cover-appeal, read-in-2011, realistic-fiction, young-adult, contemporary, really-good
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Description via Goodreads
“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 New York Times 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 comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?
Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.
From the very first page, I knew that I would love this book. It grabbed me from the first page and failed to let me go. Although I was slightly disappointed by Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, written by the same two authors, I was still very excited to read this book and rightly so.
The story is told in two alternating points of view from Dash and Lily. Both characters are very well developed and their personalities are very distinct. I loved both characters as they both felt very unique and it was easy to connect with both of them. Dash is described as a bookish, snarly type and Lily is a quirky but usually sensible girl, looking for some adventure. The characters both felt very natural and unlike others that I have read about before. Dash and Lily had fantastic chemistry and they complimented each other. Their friendship and the progression of it wasn't cliché and it had all of the awkwardness that you'd expect from two people meeting in the way that they did - this made them all that more endearing. The humour in this book was also excellent and give me a lot of laughs throughout.
I thought the main form of communication in this novel - notes via a red Moleskine notebook - was fantastic! It immediately made me want to go to a book shop and hunt down a book that may be waiting for me, or to start an adventure of my own in a similar way. The whole idea of communicating with someone unknown felt thrilling, intriguing and slightly dangerous. I felt as though I was with Dash and Lily on each step of their journey, starting and ending in The Strand, the bookshop where the whole adventure began.
Although this book is set during Christmas, this is a book that could be read at any time of the year as Christmas is simply the backdrop - theirs a light festive feeling behind the whole thing, but it certainly doesn't dominate the book. The characters and plot are the main focus and it's better off this way as it's very effective.
This book is definitely something that I'd recommend to anyone who enjoys contemporary young-adult stories, quirky characters and fantastic humour.