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  • Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
  • Written by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
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Written by Rachel CohnAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Rachel Cohn and David LevithanAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by David Levithan



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On Sale: October 26, 2010
Pages: 272 | ISBN: 978-0-375-89668-2
Published by : Knopf Books for Young Readers RH Childrens Books

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Read by Ryan Gesell and Tara Sands
On Sale: November 16, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-307-91587-0
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ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR
AWARDS AWARDS
Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

“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?

Co-written by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, co-author of WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON with John Green (LET IT SNOW, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS), DASH & LILY'S BOOK OF DARES is 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 Hardcover edition.

Excerpt

-Dash-    
December 21st  

Imagine this:  

You're in your favorite bookstore, scanning the shelves. You get to the section where a favorite author's books reside, and there, nestled in comfortably between the incredibly familiar spines, sits a red notebook.  

What do you do?  

The choice, I think, is obvious:  

You take down the red notebook and open it.  

And then you do whatever it tells you to do.      

It was Christmastime in New York City, the most detestable time of the year. The moo-like crowds, the endless visits from hapless relatives, the ersatz cheer, the joyless attempts at joyfulness--my natural aversion to human contact could only intensify in this context. Wherever I went, I was on the wrong end of the stampede. I was not willing to grant "salvation" through any "army." I would never care about the whiteness of Christmas. I was a Decemberist, a Bolshevik, a career criminal, a philatelist trapped by unknowable anguish--whatever everyone else was not, I was willing to be. I walked as invisibly as I could through the Pavlovian spend-drunk hordes, the broken winter breakers, the foreigners who had flown halfway across the world to see the lighting of a tree without realizing how completely pagan such a ritual was.  

The only bright side of this dim season was that school was shuttered (presumably so everyone could shop ad nauseam and discover that family, like arsenic, works best in small doses . . . unless you prefer to die). This year I had managed to become a voluntary orphan for Christmas, telling my mother that I was spending it with my father, and my father that I was spending it with my mother, so that each of them booked nonrefundable vacations with their post-divorce paramours. My parents hadn't spoken to each other in eight years, which gave me a lot of leeway in the determination of factual accuracy, and therefore a lot of time to myself.  

I was popping back and forth between their apartments while they were away--but mostly I was spending time in the Strand, that bastion of titillating erudition, not so much a bookstore as the collision of a hundred different bookstores, with literary wreckage strewn over eighteen miles of shelves. All the clerks there saunter-slouch around distractedly in their skinny jeans and their thrift-store button-downs, like older siblings who will never, ever be bothered to talk to you or care about you or even acknowledge your existence if their friends are around . . . which they always are. Some bookstores want you to believe they're a community center, like they need to host a cookie-making class in order to sell you some Proust. But the Strand leaves you completely on your own, caught between the warring forces of organization and idiosyncrasy, with idiosyncrasy winning every time. In other words, it was my kind of graveyard.  

I was usually in the mood to look for nothing in particular when I went to the Strand. Some days I would decide that the afternoon was sponsored by a particular letter, and would visit each and every section to check out the authors whose last names began with that letter. Other days, I would decide to tackle a single section, or would investigate the recently unloaded tomes, thrown in bins that never really conformed to alphabetization. Or maybe I'd only look at books with green covers, because it had been too long since I'd read a book with a green cover.  

I could have been hanging out with my friends, but most of them were hanging out with their families or their Wiis. (Wiis? Wiii? What is the plural?) I preferred to hang out with the dead, dying, or desperate books--used we call them, in a way that we'd never call a person, unless we meant it cruelly. ("Look at Clarissa . . . she's such a used girl.")  

I was horribly bookish, to the point of coming right out and saying it, which I knew was not socially acceptable. I particularly loved the adjective bookish, which I found other people used about as often as ramrod or chum or teetotaler.  

On this particular day, I decided to check out a few of my favorite authors, to see if any irregular editions had emerged from a newly deceased person's library sale. I was perusing a particular favorite (he shall remain nameless, because I might turn against him someday) when I saw a peek of red. It was a red Moleskine--made of neither mole nor skin, but nonetheless the preferred journal of my associates who felt the need to journal in non-electronic form. You can tell a lot about a person from the page she or she chooses to journal on--I was strictly a college-ruled man myself, having no talent for illustration and a microscopic scrawl that made wide-ruled seem roomy. The blank pages were usually the most popular--I only had one friend, Thibaud, who went for the grid. Or at least he did until the guidance counselors confiscated his journals to prove that he had been plotting to kill our history teacher. (This is a true story.)  

There wasn't any writing on the spine of this particular journal--I had to take it off the shelf to see the front, where there was a piece of masking tape with the words DO YOU DARE? written in black Sharpie. When I opened the covers, I found a note on the first page.      

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.      

The handwriting was a girl's. I mean, you can tell. That enchanted cursive. Either way, I would've endeavored to turn the page.      

So here we are.  

1. Let's start with French Pianism.  

I don't really know what it is,  
but I'm guessing  
nobody's going to take it off the shelf.  
Charles Timbrell's your man.  
88/7/2  
88/4/8  
Do not turn the page  
until you fill in the blanks  
(just don't write in the notebook, please)      


From the Hardcover edition.
Rachel Cohn|David Levithan

About Rachel Cohn

Rachel Cohn - Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
People often ask me why I decided to become a writer, and my answer is simple: I became a writer because I had to do something with all the voices in my head, or I’d go crazy. Fiction writing seemed the most logical—and healthy—outlet for these voices.
 
What happens is this: I’ll be walking along the street in New York City, where I live, and I will see something that piques my interest—for instance, a sign for the annual Mermaid Parade in Brooklyn. All of a sudden, there’s a fourteen-year-old girl inside my head begging, “I wanna go! I wanna go!” She’ll literally shout ideas and thoughts through my brain until not only do I have to go the Mermaid Parade, but I also have to investigate her story. Who is she, exactly? Where does she live? Who are her family? Why does she want to go to the Mermaid Parade so badly? Trying to figure her out can also cause me to almost be hit by the many people and buses whose paths I cross, because I am too busy transcribing her voice from my head into my iPhone to remember when I finally sit down to write her story that I become neglectful about watching where I’m going. Oops. Working on that.
 
A lot of people assume that the writer’s life is very glamorous, and I’m not going to lie to you. It is. I have two cats, named Bunk and McNulty, who wake me up early in the morning to be fed and played with. It turns out they also like their thoughts and feelings to be present in my books, so my working day begins immediately with some cozy fur-rubbing to ignite it. There’s no dress code for my job, so I often spend the whole day wearing jammies. I have no set lunch hour, so if I want to nibble M&Ms at my desk all day, who’s to say I can’t? And hey, if no one’s around my desk, why not blast music loudly while working, too? So there you have it, the essence of my writer’s day: characters’ (human and feline) voices in my head demanding their stories be told, while I wear PJs and eat M&Ms, to the beat of very blasted music.
 
The best part of my job? Readers like you, when I get to meet them and hear how the voices inside my head that got turned into stories that became books that someone actually read . . . and related to! In my opinion, that right there is the real glamour of my job. Though the kitties and pajamas and candy and tunes aren’t so bad, either. Just sayin’.

About David Levithan

David Levithan - Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Photo © Beth Levithan

"A story doesn't have to always reflect reality; it can create reality as well."--David Levithan

David Levithan is a children’s book editor in New York City. He lives in Hoboken, NJ.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Levithan finds it downright baffling to write about himself, which is why he's considering it somewhat cruel and usual to have to write this brief bio.  The factual approach (born '72, Brown '94, book '03) seems a bit dry, while the emotional landscape (happy childhood, happy adolescence - give or take a few poems - and happy adulthood so far) sounds horribly well-adjusted.  The only addiction he's ever had was a brief spiral into the arms of diet Dr Pepper, unless you count My So-Called Life episodes as a drug.  He is evangelical in his musical beliefs and deathly afraid that his bio will end up sounding like the final paragraph in an on-line dating ad.
 
Luckily, David is much happier talking about his book than he is talking about himself.  Boy Meets Boy and The Realm of Possibility started as stories he wrote for his friends for Valentine's Day (something he's done for the past sixteen years) and turned themselves into teen novels. When not writing during spare hours on weekends, David is a senior editor at Scholastic, and the founding editor of the PUSH imprint, which is devoted to finding new voices and new authors in teen literature. With Boy Meets Boy, he basically set out to write the book that he dreamed of getting as an editor - a book about gay teens that doesn't conform to the old norms about gay teens in literature (i.e. it has to be about a gay uncle, or a teen who gets beaten up for being gay, or about outcasts who come out and find they're still outcasts, albeit outcasts with their outcastedness in common.)   He's often asked if the book is a work of fantasy or a work of reality, and the answer is right down the middle - it's about where we're going, and where we should be.
 
Of Boy Meets Boy, the reviewer at Booklist wrote:  "In its blithe acceptance and celebration of human differences, this is arguably the most important gay novel since Annie on My Mind and seems to represent a near revolution in the publishing of gay-themed books for adolescents" - which pretty much blew David away when he read it.  Viva la near revolution!


PRAISE

BOY MEETS BOY
“In a genre filled with darkness, torment, and anxiety, this is a shiningly affirmative and hopeful book.”—The Bulletin, Starred

“Levithan’s prophecy of a hate-free world in which everyone loves without persecution makes this a provocative and important read for all young adults, gay or straight.”—School Library Journal, Starred
Awards

Awards

FINALIST Bank Street Child Study Children's Book Award
WINNER ALA Best Books for Young Adults
WINNER Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices
NOMINEE New York State Charlotte Award
NOMINEE Pennsylvania Young Readers Choice Award
NOMINEE Texas TAYSHAS High School Reading List
WINNER Virginia Young Readers Program Award
WINNER Young Adult Services Division, School Library Journal Author Award

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