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Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel…
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Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (edition 2008)

by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,3241412,716 (3.88)132
Member:chernezk
Title:Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist
Authors:Rachel Cohn
Other authors:David Levithan
Info:Ember (2008), Edition: MTI, Paperback, 183 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:music, relationships, New York City

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Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn

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I read this book after taking one of those tests on Facebook that asked which female YA protagonist I was most like. The answer came out to be Norah from this book, so I thought I should read it. In fact, I am nothing like Norah, except perhaps for her lack of clothing style, but I loved the book anyway (or maybe, because of that!).

Nick is “the nonqueer bassist in a queercore band” and Norah is at the club where he is performing. He’s doing great until he sees Tris, the girl he was really into, who dumped him three weeks earlier. And to make matters worse, she came with another guy. Nick, who happens to be standing next to where Norah is sitting at the bar, turns to her and says: "I know this is going to sound strange, but would you mind being my girlfriend for the next five minutes?”

Sounds predictable, right? You know right away the five minutes is going to go on longer, and that the result of this meet-cute will probably be a hook up. But you would be wrong to dismiss the story so easily. The writing, deeply reflective of the punk rock scene, sparkles with energy.

Rachel Cohn takes the voice of the female protagonist and David Levithan of the male in this short novella, and they do a great job. The alternating chapters by each author/narrator riff off one another with chemistry that’s almost palpable, evincing cleverness, charm, and a remarkable and eclectic knowledge of the music scene. The variety of the sexual and gender identities and relationships woven so casually into the story is refreshing and uplifting for anyone tired of the same old rigid heterosexual lines in most books.

Discussion: This is teenage dialogue at its finest (although not necessarily at its most sanitized). I loved this reaction by Nick when he and Norah encounter Norah’s ex-boyfriend Tal:

"…this guy I’ve never seen before leans into Norah’s window and says, ‘Hey, baby, you ready to pick up where we left off?’

What. the. fuck?

Okay, maybe I hang with the queercore crowd and all, but still - I never, ever, in a million zillion years would have imagined that a guy would use the phrase ‘hey, baby’ and mean it. He says it like he’s whistling at some girl’s boobs as she walks down the street. Who does that?”

Norah in fact confirms she has been with a jerk when she freaks out after Nick is kind to her:

"I know you probably think I’m a horrid bitch from the planet Schizophrenia, but Im honestly not trying to mess with your head. … I think you’re nice to me and that scares the fuck out of me. Because when a guy’s a jerk or an asshole, it’s easier because you know exactly where you stand. ….”

And at one point, when Norah leaves in a cab, Nick’s reaction is just the best. It’s worth reading for that chapter alone. And Norah’s feelings in the following chapter? Priceless.

Evaluation: This book is a quick read, but it’s full of memorable moments of feeling awkward, feeling hope, feeling hurt, feeling love, and feeling the magic that accompanies the discovery of someone new. If a lot of “language” doesn’t put you off, this book is terrific.

Note: A movie was made from this book in 2008 (that I did not see) starring Michael Cera and Kat Dennings. ( )
1 vote nbmars | Feb 2, 2015 |
While I enjoyed this book, after being so intrigued by Every Day, it was hard to live up to expectations. Very well written and felt like a genuine capturing of teen inner-dialogue. A fun book. ( )
  asawyer | Dec 31, 2014 |
I've wanted to read this for a while, because I wanted to watch the movie and you know I always prefer to read FIRST - but sadly I didn't like it any more than Dash and Lily's Book of Dares. It was a quick read, quite fun, quite amusing - but also 100% forgettable. As with Dash and Lily, there were some brilliant little moments and some profound lines in there, but it wasn't enough to redeem the book as a whole and I've already forgotten all but the bare basics. I'm glad I borrowed it from the library instead of shelling out for a copy of my own! ( )
  elliepotten | Oct 24, 2014 |
I was worried about this book. The other book I read by Cohn and Levithan I didn't like. It's on my TBR because David Levithan is an author whose bibliography is one I'm determine to complete, since I love his writing so much. But I didn't like how juvenile Dash and Lily's Book of Dares was. This book was very different; much more vulgar. The vulgarity is the reason I rated it so low. Too many ‘fucks’ and ‘shits’ for my liking. It’s a very explicit young adult book, an adult young-adult book. But I did like it more than Cohn and Levithan’s other co-authored book. An easy five hours of listening. ( )
  Kassilem | Apr 9, 2014 |
I'm thinking David Levithan is my favorite author. He's books are always on my shelf and I never think to read them. And when I do it is the best surprise. This love story is fantastic and musical. People think the genre New Adult is new but Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is definitely New Adult. I did tire of the cursing, at first it was fun and shocking but then it began to feel trite and distracting. I will read Noami and Eli's No Kiss List next. ( )
  SparklePonies | Apr 5, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 140 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rachel Cohnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Levithan, Davidmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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The day begins in the middle of the night.
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"Maybe that's it," I say gently. "With what you were talking about before. The world being broken. Maybe it isn't that we're supposed to find the pieces and put them back together. Maybe we're the pieces."
She doesn't reply, but I can tell she's listening carefully. I feel like I'm understanding something for the first time, even if I'm not entirely sure what it is yet.
"Maybe," I say, "what we're supposed to do is come together. That's how we stop the breaking."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 037584614X, Paperback)

NOW A MAJOR motion picture starring Michael Cera (Juno and Superbad) and Kat Dennings (The 40 Year-Old Virgin)! Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is a comedy about two teens thrust together for one hilarious, sleepless night of adventure in a world of mix tapes, late-night living, and, live, loud music. Nick frequents New York’s indie rock scene nursing a broken heart and Norah is questioning all of her assumptions about the world. Though they have nothing in common except for their taste in music, their chance encounter leads to an all-night quest to find a legendary band’s secret show and ends up becoming the first date that could change both their lives.

From YA fan-favorites Rachel Cohn and David Levithan comes the story of Nick and Norah. This movie tie-in edition also includes an 8-page photo insert from the film, as well as a map of Manhattan, detailing all of the sites Nick and Norah go to on their all-night date.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:25 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

High school student Nick O'Leary, member of a rock band, meets college-bound Norah Silverberg and asks her to be his girlfriend for five minutes in order to avoid his ex-sweetheart.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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