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Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by [Cohn, Rachel, Levithan, David]
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Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 184 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • File Size: 1899 KB
  • Print Length: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (November 13, 2007)
  • Publication Date: April 27, 2008
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0018G4HAE
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,729 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Before I start the story that is Nick and Norah, I decided we needed to get some misconceptions out of the way first.

1) I don't live in Manhattan, so I won't understand what the characters are talking about. Wrong! I don't live in Manhattan--actually, I've never been farther East than Ohio, but I still got the gist of the story quite easily. Sure, I might never have visited Times Square, but I've been on the Square in my hometown (population 3,400), and the same types of things went on there that go on in New York.

2) This book is full of cursing. Right! And if you haven't heard a lot of curse words (do I really need to spell them out?), especially from the mouths of teens, in the last twenty years or so, I'm guessing you live on a commune somewhere in the middle of Utah.

3) This book only covers one night. Right again! And oh, what a night it is! One night, filled with all the ups, downs, and sideways that being a teen in todays world brings.

Now that we've got that out of the way, we can concentrate on the story. It's about Nick, a bassist for a band with an ever-changing name, who recently had his heart broken by a b***h named Tris. It's about Norah, an uber-complicated girl with more issues than The National Enquirer, who not too long ago had her virginity broken by Tal. And then there's Caroline, and Jessie, and Uncle Lou, not to mention Dev and Thom, and Randy from Are You Randy?, and Hunter from Hunter. There's beer, and there's drugs, and there's sex, although none of it is Nick or Norah's.

There's heartbreak, and devastation, and lust, and forgiveness, and acceptance.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm not a teen (and I can't say as I miss being one), but I recently read Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan and loved it. It's gritty, fast-paced, angst-ridden without being whiny, and full of fun facts about pop music from several decades.

The characters of this book are vivid, the timeline oh-so-brief, and each scene so well-constructed that despite the fact that it's not a long book, it is completely fulfilling. It approaches the lives, interests, and concerns of teens today from a much more contemporary viewpoint than I've read in any other books (for instance, private versus public schooling, alcohol and drug use, homosexuality, my car's a piece of crap ...) . The true beauty to the book, though, is that the authors have pared all of the language down to the necessities instead of cluttering it up. It was fast read for all that it was thought-provoking, and although I doubt most young readers have any idea about the original Nick and Nora, I think Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is definitely worth their time.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is great! Yes, it's set in the late night music/club scene in New York. But that's not what it's about. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is about what it feels like to meet that special someone, and be interested right away, while having doubts, and baggage, and difficulties that get in the way. All compressed into a zany time period of one very long night. It reminded me a little bit of the movie Dazed and Confused, and I can totally see it working as a movie.

Through the alternating chapters, we explore this falling in love from both sides. We see each person's doubts, and how the other is perceiving him or her at the same time. It's a bit confusing sometimes - I had to stop and think "who's talking now?", because both narratives are written in the first person. But mostly it works.

I wouldn't recommend this title for younger kids, or for people who are easily offended by profanity or sex. The "f" word features very prominently, and there are some pretty overt (though not not unduly graphic) sexual references. And yet, if you can get past that, the two main characters are actually quite straight-laced. They don't drink, they don't do drugs, and they both want stable, monogamous relationships. I think that the language is the authors' way of keeping Nick and Norah, especially Nick, from being too good to be true.

There's poetry in some of the text, too. And not just when Nick or Norah is thinking about song lyrics. Here is an early throwaway line describing Nick shifting gears from performer to person taking down band equipment: "I go from chords to cords, amped to amps.
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Format: Paperback
What there is to love about this novel is immediately apparent. The authors evoke a music scene that is powerful and invigorating. They also succeed impressively at representing the current generation of emo-punk kids. Near the beginning, Norah comments that Tris's outfit is all Hop Topic poseur; soon after, Nick thinks about how it makes her look like a sexy superhero. It's these wonderful, zeitgeisty disconnects that almost make the writing style worthwhile. Did you catch that almost? Uh huh...

The trouble with a co-written book is that half the writing I liked a lot (Cohn's) and half the writing I damn near hated (Levithan's). I like wordplay. I do not, however, like it nearly as much as Levithan. After about ten pages of his incessant wordplay, I wanted to stab myself in the face. Also, for such a slender novel (even for a teen novel), there was a hell of a lot of ramble. I suspect this is a result of the unplanned, back-and-forth way the novel was written. (There's also a bit near the end where the fourth wall is all but demolished: Levithan screws up the continuity on who exactly Dev's boytoy is; Cohn uses Norah as a mouthpiece to ream him about it during the next chapter.) Perhaps inevitably, after the first few chapters, the story descends into "and then this happened, and then this, and then, and then, and then". I like novels to have a tight story arc. This novel was a sprawling mess.

Billed as a love story, it's really not. There's about 30% falling-in-love stuff. The rest is angst about ex-boyfriends and -girlfriends. Realistic? Sure. Fun to read? No. There are chapters and chapters where Nick and Norah do nothing except obsess over their exes. It would be more forgivable if what love stuff there was didn't veer into rather cloying, romance novel territory.
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