Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

A couple of weeks ago Bookshelves of Doom reviewed Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. During the course of the review, she talked a good bit about Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. Now that review was for a different book, but it made me want to read this one. (Actually, it made me want to read BOTH of them. Naomi and Ely aren't out until next week.)

Nick & Norah are teenagers- I don't remember it ever saying exactly how old they are, but definately under 21, and at least 18. Nick plays bass in a band where he is the only straight guy. The story opens with his band playing, and his very recent ex showing up. Nick panics, and asks Norah (a complete stranger) to be his girlfriend for the next five minutes. The rest of the book takes place in the next 12 hours or so, as Nick & Norah fall in love.

I loved this book. The chapters alternate from each viewpoint, and some scenes are told twice. Nick & Norah have some hangups from exs to get past and all of that is beautifully told. The falling in love is completely believable.

Things that didn't work so well for me- the book takes place in NYC, in the punk music scene. For this book it was great, but clubs and punk music aren't my thing and I was worried when the book opened. It also opens with a lot (and continues with a LOT) of swearing. The f-bomb is used a lot. I'm not a stranger to swearing, but this IS a young adult novel, so it was surprising that it was here SO MUCH. There are a lot of sexual situations and references. They spend some time with a gay member of Nick's band, who is very blunt about what he wants from the guy he is with. There are several occasions of men kissing. There are scenes between Nick and Norah themselves (but no actual sex.) It all worked for me, but if you're not into that or think teenagers shouldn't know what sex is, you definitely won't like this book. It is steamy.

Here's what Bookshelves of Doom said, that made me interested:
The response to Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan's first collabaration, was somewhat divided. Some people (myself included) adored it. People in that camp felt it captured the whoosh feeling of a new love, that it was an urban fantasy in which the magic didn't come from faerie folk -- it came from the music and the people and the energy of an all-nighter in the city. And we loved the dialogue. Non-fans didn't like it for various reasons -- the (some say excessive) swearing (and, yes, N&N certainly do swear a whole lot), the steamy situations (and oh, were they steamy), and the dialogue. Some felt that it wasn't realistic for Nick, Norah & company to talk the way they did -- that they sounded like they were reading from scripts written by clever thirty-somethings. (I actually liked that about the dialogue. Being the sort of person who only thinks of the witty retort days after it's needed, the book's banter added to the fantasy element for me.)

Overall, I loved this book. I thought it completely captured the emotions of falling in love, and wondering how the other person feels. It was sexy in a good way. I read it in one sitting. No, this book wasn't on any of my challenge lists, but it was totally worth taking a break for. I'll certainly be going back for the authors' other books.


  1. Sounds right up my alley, f-bombs and all (but hey, know what the first word of Trevor's Song is?)!!!

  2. good review. thanks for letting me know about it. i've linked it from mine.

    have you read any others of either author's books?

  3. I have not. I always intended to but never remembered. Too many books!


Thanks for visiting, please leave a comment! Whenever possible I reply to comments via email, so please leave an email address if you want a direct reply. Anonymous users, I'm sorry, but until you stop leaving spam, you can't comment.

  © Blogger templates Psi by 2008

Back to TOP