I was originally going to write this review as a Book Battle, but the more I thought about it, I just couldn’t decide where I stood on the book or what it was comparable to.
Dash and Lily are two teens growing up in New York City. They both have loving, if slightly absent parents, and both are a bit too “quirky” to fit into any specific group at their respective schools. The book opens with Dash perusing the aisles at his favorite used book store, and in the section where his favorite author resides (Salinger), he finds a red notebook, which dares him to embark on a mission. As the book unfolds, Dash and Lily (the one who planted the notebook… kind of) develop a friendship, a flirtation, a budding romance. I liked this part of the book a lot. It wasn’t particularly believable, but that’s ok. It was cute and fun seeing the romance unfold and I was on the edge of my seat, wondering how and when they would finally meet.
The problem I had with this book has already been hinted at above… The characters in the book seemed very contrived. For example, Dash, a teenager, is hanging out, by himself, in a used book store, looking for books by J.D. Salinger… There’s almost a sense of the authors trying too hard to make these characters into caricatures. Dash is incredibly pretentious (to borrow a word from many of the goodreads.com reviews), though his love for words was a nice touch. Lily is a better written character, but she is very self-centered and it does not come off in a cute way.
I don’t want to write this book off entirely. I think the authors had a brilliant idea that still ends up being a good read. It’s just too bad it didn’t reach its full potential.