Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Release Date – May 23, 2006
Publisher – Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages - 183
My Rating- 8/10
Here is the synopsis from Good Reads
So you're a guy; you're at a band show and your ex, the girl who dumped you, walks in with the new guy. Looking for a safe exit, you ask the girl you happen to sitting with to be your girlfriend for five minutes . You're a girl; you're at a get-together and your least favorite female strolls in. The stranger sitting next to you asks you to be his five-minute date. So what do you? You lock lips . Nick and Norah's instant connect begins a roller-coaster "first date" that takes them through Manhattan and into themselves.
I picked this up because I enjoyed Dash and Lily’s book of Dares (see review here). I knew that there was a movie made from this book but had not seen it. I am so glad I hadn’t.
Nick and Norah both seemed very well developed and interesting. As in Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares the authors rotated chapters so we get to see things from each of their points of view. It provided you with two unique perspectives and with two main characters that I fully enjoyed. I liked that they both had their own issues and insecurities. It made them more relatable.
The premise of the book is that a chance encounter leads Nick and Norah to a “first date” that could turn into something more. I love that their meeting didn’t seem unusual. It seemed like it could actually happen. Too often in novels and movies the characters meet in an incredibly cute but illogical way. The highs and lows happen during their date make you realize how unique a first date is. It’s all there - nervousness, hope, interest, and promise. We all look for something on a first date (a relationship, a connection, a spark) and the authors capture that very well. They also capture the self cautiousness, and worry that can also be present.
The most important part of the book is the relationship or non-relationship that it building between Nick and Norah. The chemistry had to be there and the authors made it work. I honestly bought into the chemistry and was hoping for them to get together.
This book is filled with amazing pop culture references. My favourites were the Dirty Dancing and Heathers references. I love both movies so it was awesome to see them quoted. The fact that Nick and Norah played off each other using pop culture references was adorable (it might just be because I love quoting them myself).
The only warning I might give is that there is quite a bit of swearing in the book. It feels like it should be there and seems authentic to the characters so you don’t really notice it, but if you are sensitive to it you may want to consider it before picking up the book.
New York is almost a character itself. Nick dancing in Time Square in the room, to the hot make-out session in a hotel, to the few clubs they visit. You get a sense of what “hipster” New York would be like. The dialogue and locations seemed very “cool” and “hipster”. It was different from Dash and Lily but so much fun to read.
If you enjoyed the previous work by either author, or love pop culture (or even just New York) this is worth a read.