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Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (Mti Rep) Paperback – August 26, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up What happens when two witty, wise, but vulnerable teens meet by accident at a chaotic punk rock club? They fall in love, of course. While both are dealing with the fallout of failed relationships and the infinite hurt that accompanies them, they are questioning everything about themselves, their friends, and their future paths. The passion and intelligence of these characters, along with the authors' intimate knowledge of and complete respect for their audience, make this novel unique. Told in alternating chapters over the course of a single night, the narratives create a fully fleshed-out picture of both teens, informed by their love of music, their devotion to their friends, and their clear-eyed view of the world. These kids don't drink or do drugs and it's solely their obsession with music that takes them to these clubs. One of Norah's relatives calls her a potty mouth, and that's no exaggeration. Throughout the book, the expletives fly fast and furious, but they are more about personal expression and in-your-face attitude than about strong emotions. Yet, there is also considerable depth and sensitivity. Norah explains the Jewish concept of tikkun olam the responsibility to heal a fractured world and Nick comes up with an original spin on it. There are many heart-stopping, insightful moments in this supremely satisfying and sexy romance. A first-rate read. Tracy Karbel, Glenside Public Library District, Glendale Heights, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr. 10-12. Cohn and Levithan contribute alternating chapters in this high-energy romance that follows two high-school seniors through a single, music-fueled night in Manhattan. Nick, the "nonqueer bassist in a queercore band," is playing with The Fuck Offs, when he spots his ex-girlfriend, Tris. Once offstage, he propositions a girl he has never met, hoping to make Tris jealous: "Would you mind being my girlfriend for five minutes?" Norah, also heartbroken (and hoping Nick will drive her home), agrees. What begins as a spontaneous ploy turns into something surprising and real in the course of one night as Nick and Norah roam Manhattan, listen to bands, confront past hurts, and hurtle toward romance. The real-time pacing may slow some readers, and a few Manhattan in-jokes ("Hunter from Hunter") may exclude teens in the wider world. Still, many readers will respond to the tough, clever, amped-up narratives, which include mosh-pit coarse language (Nick sound-checks the microphones with the words "Fuck. Shit. Cock," for example) and the characters' wild yearning for love, and music, which feels powerful and true. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
I loved the novel, and am of the opinion that it is definitely the best of what Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written together. It is gritty, artsy and embodies the soul of New York and garage bands. The characters are all painted with bright colours and flaws making them all loveable in individual ways.
Norah’s dry sarcasm juxtaposes with being such an introvert, confidence is a big issue for her – and straight away creates conflict for nearly everything she does, making Norah a compelling character. Enter Nick, an all-around good guy seemingly out of his element. But that is just it – he’s not. He embodies the millennium man. Age, race, gender and sexual orientation mean little to Nick, as he takes everyone on face value and how they treat him. Together, they both appear to not belong to the club and music scene in New York, but on closer inspection embody the pulse of the industry. And it takes meeting and accepting each other to start realising their place and the start of their journey.
Although the narrative is witty, and such edgy symbolism is planted throughout, ‘Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist’ suffered from two of my biggest turn-offs in books: the flashback, and excessive embellishment of a scene (otherwise known as mental wanderings). I think if it hadn’t exceeded my expectations in all other areas I would have abandoned it early on.
It is a very quick read, but heavy on content. Also, being true to the contemporary genre it concludes in a way you can interpret it as an ending or not… you must read between the lines to get the most out of this book.
Yes, I did see the movie before I read the book. I love the movie so I thought I would read the book. It's a good book, but the plots vary more than I would have liked. There's stuff in the book that would have been great in the movie and vice versa. If I were to read the book first, I probably would have thought the movie was terrible and that it didn't follow the book.
The book never follows Norah's (kind of) infinite struggle to find Caroline. It also never talks about all the mishaps that Caroline gets into while Norah is looking for her. I loved that part of the movie. There's an entire restaurant scene in the book that I thought should have been in the movie.
They are both good in their own way, but not nearly as similar as they should have been.
Nick and Norah are two normal teenagers who both have recently had their hearts broken. They never think they'll be able to love again, but what happens when they decide to be a five minute couple? It soon takes their two worlds spiraling out of control. Nick's Yugo takes them all around Manhattan on an adventure that will change their lives. They have more in common then they think. They have one major connection...music. Their same taste in music brings the closer together as the book progresses on. It keeps bringing them together again, even when they try to go separate ways. But in order to be together, they need to learn to let go of past loves and find new ones. But, nobody knows if they'll be able to do that.
The plot of this book reminds me a lot of the book Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn. They both have two characters who meet through one certain object. As the stories go on, that object keeps pulling the two people together even after everything else tries to pull them apart, even themselves. In the end the only way that they can ever end up together is learning to let go of the past and fight for what they want, even if they are unsure if that is what is right.
Most people while reading will fall in love with the protagonist character and learn to dislike the antagonist character. Norah, being the protagonist character, I thought was very bossy and rude. Sure, at times she was nice, shy, sweet, and even funny, but there were times when she would just be so mean that I would hate reading about her. The antagonist character, Tris, starts off as mean. She's cruel, annoying, and your basic mean girl. She breaks Nick's heart and Norah thinks Tris used him but "he said 'I love you' and, you know, I was just not feeling it back...I felt like now it was time to set him free, so he could find someone else...so I took the brutal route"(Cohn/Levithan91) which means Tris broke up with him so she wouldn't lead him on, but in the end she still looked like the bad guy. As the story goes on I soon realized why she did the things she did and how there is a more deeper meaning to them than I thought. She may be mean and cruel, but she doesn't hide herself behind a wall of innocence, and most of what she does is out of kindness, even if nobody else can see that.
Most of the book is seeing things from Norah's and Nick's thoughts. Every chapter will switch over to the other character's point of view and I got to see their point of view on the current situation. I feel like that was an important element that the 2 authors put into the book simply because I got to see how they reacted differently in their head to each situation that was happening, I thought it was much better than reading the dialogue which never really went into depth. The dialogue never really taught me anything about the characters, but reading their thoughts helped me understand what kind of people they are.
To me, this book would more appeal to teenage girls. It may be interesting for some guys, but it is nothing but love and music. For the music part, I recommend people who like metalcore and alternative to read it. That is what most of the music in this book is and if they listen to that genre of music, they may feel some sort of connection to it like I did.
In the end, I thought this book was amazing. I liked the storyline and how they switched between two characters, especially one being a boy and one being a girl. The plot kept me interested. I like how the music genre in it was more metalcore and alternative because most books that have to do with music never think to use those genres. I thought the book was excellent and it is a definite read.
Most recent customer reviews
I read this book after really enjoying the movie and I wanted to see how it compared.Read more