by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
9780375866593, Knopf (Random House), $16.99, Pub. Date: October 2010
This was my first foray into the brilliant David Levithan/Rachel Cohn author combo. Yes, I admit it, I never picked up Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (9780375835339) or Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List (9780375844416). Clearly now I'll have to, because I unabashedly LOVED Dash & Lily.
Maybe it's because this is one of the bookiest romances I've ever read. Maybe it's because a lot of the story takes place in The Strand. Maybe it's because you get to experience all the good and all the bad of the holiday (Christmas) season, which is coming up shortly and yes, I've already listened to Christmas carols, so all you purists waiting until December 1st can just ignore that last part. Maybe it's because David Levithan and Rachel Cohn have the incredible talent of making the everyday profound and of showcasing the idealism versus reality that [should] lives in all of us.
Dash is exploring his favorite haunt, The Strand, when he spies a red moleskin notebook on a shelf. He picks it up, opens it, and reads these words:
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.
How many times have I wished for that very thing to happen to me? Haven't we all? To find mystery and adventure and possibly love hidden away in a place that is meaningful to only us (and the 50 million other people who feel the same way, but we won't think about them right now).
Dash follows the clues, and so begins an epistolary adventure in which he and Lily communicate solely by clues in a notebook they hide all over New York, from the madhouse of Macy's and F.A.O. Schwartz in the days leading up to Christmas, to Madame Trousseau's Wax Museum, to the most well-known houses that showcase Christmas lights.
Romantic, yes? But what happens when they meet up? Will they live up to each others' expectations? Or will the person they've created in their heads be too strong for them to allow for the imperfections of the very real human standing in front of them?
Written in alternating chapters between characters & their authors, this is the perfect book to hand to any teen or tween or hell, adult, who needs a little shot of belief in the spirit of love.