While researching information for leading a talk back for the film Tiny Furniture at the Boedecker Theater, I found that the film maker, Lena Dunham, has been hired to write and direct Dash and Lily's Book of Dares for Scott Rudin. Coincidentally, I had just finished the book by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, who also wrote Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. Once again the story is told in alternating chapters with Rachel writing Lily's perspective and David voicing Dash's.
The story begins when Lily leaves a red moleskin notebook with a list of literary clues in the stacks of the Strand Bookstore in New York City. Dash, a bookish sixteen-year-old, finds it and takes the challenge to follow the clues, leaving some of his own. Both teens are on their own for the Chrismas holidays. Dash has duped his divorced parents each into thinking he is spending the holiday with the other parent, and Lily has been left in the care of her older brother while their parents take a second honeymoon. Lily challenges, “Are you going to be playing for the pure thrill of unreluctant desire?" and a bored and lonely Dash responds enthusiastically, following the clues to crowded venues to pick up messages. As the dares continue, the two teens learn more and more about each other from the pages of the notebook, and they begin to fall in love. When they finally meet under terrible circumstances, it is not the romantic interlude the reader expects. The rest of the story is spent with the two working toward a second chance at making a first impression. Well-read teens will love the words, thoughts, and emotions that these two unique characters convey.