Saturday, October 12, 2013

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
published: Knopf Books, 2006
Pages: 183

When Norah accepts Nick's request to be his five-minute girlfriend, she doesn't know what she is getting herself into. She doesn't know that this particular Nick is still lovesick over his three-weeks-three-days ex-girlfriend who just so happens to be the girl for whom she has a deep-seeded hatred. And she also doesn't understand why she is responsible for her drunk best friend's safety every time they go into Manhattan. All she wants is to have a good time, and is it too much to ask for that night to be tonight?

I find myself thinking that my 14-year-old self would have loved this book. It has everything I liked at that stage of life: music, romance, adventure and teenage rebellion.  Now, it has just a tad too much needless swearing for my taste. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed the book, but maybe I would have liked it more with a little less tastelessness. (Although, I do get that some teens speak like that so it's natural for the characters as well.)

One of the things I really liked about this book is that it's told from two different points of view: Nick and Norah's.  Their thoughts let us know so much more about them than their actions.  We know more about both characters than they know about each other and that's something I always love. Norah specifically drew me in with her unsure inner-thoughts and tough, bad-ass demeanor.  She very clearly is three dimensional and realistic. 

David Levithan and Rachel Cohn definitely have writing chemistry. I thoroughly enjoyed how their writing weaves together to create a story through two very different people. What they learn about each other, they also learn about themselves. The combination of these two things made me like this book. 

Starts: 3/5


"Electric sexy...and genuinely poignant, this is a compelling story of the risks and thrills of burgeoning intimacy."
     --The Bulletin, starred review

"This compulsively readable novel's... energy comes from the rapid-fire repartee between the leads.  Readers will likely enjoy the ride, even if it is obvious where these two are headed."
     --Publishers Weekly

"The wattage goes way up as two of the bright lights of contemporary writing for teens come together for an incandescent he said/she said night of storytelling."
     --Kirkus Reviews

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