So this isn't a proper teaser, not least of which because I've shared from this book before, but also because I'm not finding the passage at random. And it's a passage, not a teaser. I've been proclaiming the wonders of Dash and Lily's Book of Dares all over Facebook, because I really want all my friends to read it and revel in the delight that it is. Word lovers, Christmas lovers, and happiness lovers should all enjoy this book even more than the average person.
So this is the passage that, even if I hadn't previously fallen prey to the charms of this book, would have had me hooked. It's a conversation between Lily's Great-Aunt Ida and Dash:
"Before I ask you some questions, perhaps you would like some tea?"
"That would depend on what kind of tea you were offering."
"So diffident! Suppose it was Earl Grey."
I shook my head. "Tastes like pencil shavings."
"I don't drink beverages named after beheaded monarchs. It seems so tacky."
"Might as well sip butterfly wings."
"You can't be serious."
The old woman nodded her approval. "I wasn't."
"Because you know when a cow chews grass? And he or she chews and chews and chews? Well, green tea tastes like French-kissing that cow after it's done chewing all that grass."
"Would you like some mint tea?"
"Only under duress."
I clapped my hands. "Now you're talking."
First: Would that I could write that well. Second: This is exactly how I feel about tea. Well-meaning friends have pressed all the above-mentioned flavours upon me at one time or another, but I only drink breakfast tea. It doesn't strictly have to be English; I'm perfectly happy with Scottish or Irish breakfast (although those three are the full extent of my experimentation with breakfast teas. Why mess with a winning formula?).
Anyway, this is great holiday reading. Run out and get it now before your local library/bookstore closes for the weekend. But I do want to add my usual caveat that it really is young adult; it's probably not a good one for your younger kids. And really, I can't imagine anyone younger than about 12 having sustained interest in this plot line anyway.
Have you read Dash and Lily? Did you like it? Do you have any other good holiday reading recommendations?