While I'm waiting for David Levithan's The Lover's Dictionary, I snaffled this from the school library before it was even processed! For me, the e-book will never replace the joy of a brand new book, with perfectly smooth spine.
The book was co-written with Rachel Cohn, like Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. They alternate between the points of view of Dash and Lily and apparently emailed each other the chapters as they were done. Clearly they are in synch because it works well.
In the lead up to Christmas, Lily is looking for adventure and love, even though she doesn't realise it. She is left in the care of her older brother while her parents are in Fiji. Dash is also alone, because he has manipulated his parents into believing that he is spending Christmas with the other one of them when in fact he is looking forward to some solo time in New York. Dash comes across a red Moleskin notebook in The Strand where there are 18 miles of books! Heaven! Inside there are clues and dares that he can choose to follow. Of course, he is the perfect boy for just such a task.
This is a funny and beautifully written book. I loved the references to poetry sprinkled throughout. And I especially loved both characters joy in words. Apart from this, I thought that there were some important ideas about teen relationships. Dash comes to realise that his relationship with his ex was forced and that they're better off as friends. She wisely says:
...when people say right person, wrong time or wrong person, right time it's usually a cop out. They think that fate is playing with them. That we're all just participants in this romance reality show that God gets a kick out of watching. But the universe doesn't know what's right or not right. You do.
I see this book is being made into a film. Excellent news!
Five hoots from five.