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Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

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Overview

It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City—and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.

This he said/she said romance told by YA stars Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a sexy, funny ...

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Overview

It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City—and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.

This he said/she said romance told by YA stars Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a sexy, funny roller coaster of a story about one date over one very long night, with two teenagers, both recovering from broken hearts, who are just trying to figure out who they want to be—and where the next great band is playing.

Told in alternating chapters, teeming with music references, humor, angst, and endearing side characters, this is a love story you’ll wish were your very own. Working together for the first time, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have combined forces to create a book that is sure to grab readers of all ages and never let them go.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
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. A novel concept that works.
From the Publisher
"Electric, sexy . . . and genuinely poignant, this is a compelling story of the risks and thrills of burgeoning intimacy." - The Bulletin, Starred

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Publishers Weekly
This compulsively readable novel takes place in less than 24 hours. At a New York club one night, Nick convinces a stranger to pose as his girlfriend in order to fool Tris, the girl who broke his heart. He does not guess (though readers may) that kissing Norah will lead to a long, complicated evening, and a new chance for love. Levithan (Boy Meets Boy) and Cohn (Gingerbread) reveal the clever construction of the book in an authors' note: they sent chapters back and forth, he writing as Nick, she as Norah. The novel has that pumped-up feeling of a story passed among friends who each add a section, spontaneously incorporating unforeseen elements. Levithan again creates outrageous characters and witty wordplay (a "Playboygirl Bunny" bouncer asks Nick, "How long have the two of you been the two of you?"), and Cohn brings to life another rich punk rock girl. The two see a secret show on the Lower East Side, pig out in a Russian diner, and get caught making out in an ice room at the Times Square Marriott, all the time wondering if they can let go of their past loves and risk another heartbreak. Much of the novel's energy comes from the rapid-fire repartee between the two leads, plus perhaps the most vivid character, Tris-Nick's Id-driven ex and a classmate of Norah's, who ends up giving Nick advice and Norah kissing lessons. Readers will likely enjoy the ride, even if it is obvious where these two are headed. Ages 14-up. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Cars that won't start, bands called Where's Fuzzy?, and vintage gasoline attendant jackets with names embroidered under the station logo--all are part of a novel that is sure to become a staple among high school kids. It is written in highly engaging alternating chapters from the perspectives of Nick and Norah, who spend one really long evening (into morning) together in New York City. It starts off with Nick asking Norah, "I know this is going to sound strange, but would you mind being my girlfriend for the next five minutes?" Nick is a Jersey boy, the only straight member of a homosexual band called The !@#$ Offs, and Norah is a flannel wearing daughter of a high-powered music executive who turned down Brown in order to follow her former boyfriend to a kibbutz. The two unwittingly share a number of things: a love of punk bands, recently broken (as in ripped out, spat upon and trampled) hearts, and the fact that they are both straight-edgers, meaning that neither of them smoke, drink or do drugs. The authors have numerous young adult publications of their own; Cohn's include Gingerbread and Shrimp, and Levithan's include Boy Meets Boy and Are We There Yet? This is their first book together. While it contains a great deal of profanity and numerous sexual passages; all of that notwithstanding, it is still a recommended read for high schoolers. 2006, Alfred A. Knopf/Random House, and Ages 14 up.
—Cindy L. Carolan
VOYA
When he spots Norah in a packed bar, under-aged bass player Nicks asks her to be his girlfriend for "the next five minutes." This great readers' hook is actually a ploy for Nick to conceal himself from Tris, his ex. Norah, who has turned down acceptance into Brown, plays along with a lingering kiss, but the improvisational romance hits a rocky start. She does not want to be "some 7-Eleven quick stop on his slut train." From there, a wild ride of attraction, anger, uncertainty, lust, and finally love blasts through a single Manhattan night into dawn. Laced with musical name droppings of punk, heavy metal, and even oldies songs and groups (Abba gets a nod), the accomplished authors create an alternating-points-of-view romance that is edgy, sexual, and oh-so realistic. Hip and bold descriptive phrases highlight this book-a novel that will achieve cult status with older teens. Readers become part of a club's unrestrained chaos when the band plays a Green Day cover and the pair becomes "seven years old and dancing like we spit out the Ritalin while Mom wasn't looking." Nick and Norah, both recovering from lousy relationships, lug around emotional baggage that helps them to connect. The would-be lovers are funny, do stupid things, doubt themselves, and teens will adore them. F-bombs are dropped throughout the book, but it works. These characters are not "gosh" or "shucks" people. Repartee spices up the dialogue-perhaps a tribute to William Powell and Myrna Loy, the Nick and Nora Charles of the 1934 film The Thin Man. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended forYoung Adults). 2006, Knopf, 192p., and PLB Ages 15 to Adult.
—Rollie Welch
School Library Journal
Gr 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 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The wattage goes way up as two of the bright lights of contemporary writing for teens come together for an incandescent he said/she said night of storytelling. Nick from Hoboken is the songwriter, bassist and token straight guy for a queer/punk band; Norah from Englewood Cliffs is the privileged daughter of a recording exec who loves nothing better than the music. The story's written in alternating chapters in their two voices over a single madcap night. Nick's still hurting from his breakup with Tris, a blonde bombshell, and Norah from Tal, for whom she was never Jewish enough, vegan enough or political enough. When Nick sees Tris at the club where he's playing, he asks Norah to be his "girlfriend for five minutes" and a luscious kiss. On to another club, through various hardcore bands, rain on a Sunday morning, an encounter in the ice and soda alcove at the Marriott Marquis-all the while rooting for these smart-mouthed, but vulnerable teens to reach each other through all the kissing and music. There's perfectly captured teen music-geek talk and delicious stuff about kissing and what lies beyond. Sensual and full of texture. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375835315
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 5/23/2006
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 1020L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.17 (w) x 8.53 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

David Levithan
Rachel Cohn is the author of critically-acclaimed YA novels Shrimp, Pop Princess, Gingerbread, and middle-grade novel The Steps. A graduate of Barnard College, she lives and writes in Manhattan. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is Rachel's first book for Knopf.

David Levithan is a children's book editor in New York City. The author lives in NYC; Hoboken, NJ.

Good To Know

In our interview with Levithan, he shared some fun factoids with us:

"This book started out as a Valentine story I sent to friends; I've done that for the past 15 years, and this one happened to turn into a novel."

"Since January 1, 2001, I've taken a photograph every day, part of a New Year's resolution that shows no signs of stopping."

"My friend Kristin and I decorate each other's offices for our birthdays, and as a result I am surrounded by a year's worth of small celebrations, from mobiles to woodcuts of the Eiffel Tower to (this year's decoration) photos from my childhood.

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    1. Hometown:
      Hoboken, New Jersey
    1. Date of Birth:
      1972
    2. Place of Birth:
      New Jersey
    1. Education:
      B.A., Brown University, 1994

Read an Excerpt

1. NICK
I find Dev at the bar, talking to a guy our age who looks familiar in that Type kind of way. When I get to where they’re standing, I’m introduced as “the bass god, Nick,” and he’s introduced as “Hunter from Hunter.” Dev thanks me for being equipment bitch, and from the way the conversation doesn’t continue from there I know I’m interrupting. If it was Thom, my agitation would probably be noticed. But Dev needs you to spell emotions out for him, and right now I’m not in the mood. So I just tell him where I left the stuff and pretend I’m going off to search for a clear spot on the bar to summon the bartender from. And once I’m pretending that’s the truth, I figure it might as well be the truth. I still can’t see Tris, and there’s a small part of me that’s wondering if it was even her in the crowd. Maybe it was someone who looked like Tris, which would explain the guy who didn’t look like anybody.

Are You Randy? stop playing their instruments one by one, until the lead singer croons a final, a cappella note. I wish for their sake I could say the club falls into silence at this, but in truth the air is one-half conversation. Still, that’s better than average, and the band gets a lunge of applause and cheers. I clap, too, and notice that the girl next to me puts two fingers in her mouth to whistle old-fashioned style. The sound is clear and spirited, and makes me think of Little League. The girl is dressed in a flannel shirt, and I can’t tell whether that’s because she’s trying to bring back the only fashion style of the past fifty years that hasn’t been brought back or whether it’s because the shirt is as damn comfortable as it looks. She has very pale skin and a haircut that reads private school even though she’s messed it up to try to hide it. The next band opened for Le Tigre on their last tour, and I figure this girl’s here to see them. If I was a different kind of guy, I might try to strike up a friendly conversation, just to be friends. But I feel that if I talk to someone else right now, all I’ll be able to do is unload.

Thom and Scot would probably be ready to go if I wanted them to, but I’m pretty sure Dev hasn’t figured out yet whether he’s coming back with us or not, and I’d be an asshole to put him on the spot and ask. So I’m stuck and I know it, and that’s when I look to my right and see Tris and her new guy approaching the beer-spilled bar to order another round of whatever I’m not having. It’s definitely her, and I’m definitely fucked, because the between-band rush is pressing toward me now and if I try to leave, I’ll have to push my way out, and if I have to push my way out, she’ll see me making an escape and she’ll know for sure that I can’t take it, and even if that’s the goddamn truth I don’t want her to have actual proof. She is looking so hot and I am feeling so cold and the guy she’s with has his hand on her arm in a way that a gay friend would never, ever think of, and I guess that’s my own proof. I am the old model and this is the new model and I could crash out a year’s worth of time on my bass and nothing, absolutely nothing, would change.

She sees me. She can’t fake surprise at seeing me here, because of course she fucking knew I’d be here. So she does a little smile thing and whispers something to the new model and I can tell just from her expression that after they get their now-being-poured drinks they are going to come over and say hello and good show and—could she be so stupid and cruel?—how are you doing? And I can’t stand the thought of it. I see it all unfolding and I know I have to do something—anything—to stop it.

So I, this random bassist in an average queercore band, turn to this girl in flannel who I don’t even know and say:

“I know this is going to sound strange, but would you mind being my girlfriend for the next five minutes?”

2. NORAH
Randy from Are You Randy? insists the bassist from the queercore band is a ’mo, but I told him No, the guy is straight. Whether or not he’s responsible for his band’s shit lyrics (Fuck the Man / Fuck the Man—what’s that trite crap?), I have no idea, but he’s ‘no ’mo. Trust me. There are certain things a girl just knows, like that a fourth minute on a punk song is a bad, bad idea, or that no way does a Jersey-boy bassist with Astor Place hair who wears torn-up, bleach-stained black jeans and a faded black T-shirt with orange lettering that says When I say Jesus, you say Christ, swing down boy-boy alley; he’s working the ironic punk boy–Johnny Cash angle too hard to be a ’mo. Maybe he’s a little emo, I told Randy, but just because he doesn’t look like a Whitesnake-relic-reject like all of your band, does not automatically mean the guy’s gay.

The incidental fact of his straightness doesn’t mean I want to be NoMo’s five-minute girlfriend, like I’m some 7-Eleven quick stop on his slut train. Only because I am the one loser here who hasn’t lost all her senses to beer, dope, or hormones do I have the sense to hold back my original instinct—to yell back “FUCK, NO!” in response to NoMo’s question.

I have to think about Caroline. I always have to think about Caroline.

I noticed NoMo loading equipment after his band’s set while his bandmates abandoned him to score some action. I understand that scene. I am that scene, cleaning up everyone else’s mess.

NoMo dresses so bad—he has to be from Jersey. And if Jersey Boy is equipment bitch, he has a van. The van’s probably a piece of scrap metal with a leaking carburetor that as likely as not will pop a tire or run out of gas in the middle of the Lincoln Tunnel, but it’s a risk I have to take. Somebody’s got to get Caroline home. She’s too drunk to risk taking her on the bus. She’s also so drunk she’ll go home with Randy if I’m not there to take her back to my house where she can sleep it off. Groupie bitch. If I didn’t love her so much, I’d kill her.

From behind him I don't see Caroline but I do see that stupid bitch, Tris, rhymes with bris, cuz that's what she'll do to a guy, rip apart his piece. She's doing her Tris strut with her big boobs sticking out in front of her, wiggling her ass in that way that gets the instant attention of every dumb schmo in her wake, even the gay boys, who seem to be highly represented here tonight, NoMo notwithstanding. She's coming right toward me. No No NOOOOOOOOOOO. How did she find out Caroline and I would be here tonight? Does she have lookouts with text pagers set up every place Caroline and I go on a Saturday night, or what?
Boyfriend to the rescue! I answer NoMo's question by putting my hand around his neck and pulling his face down to mine. God, I would do anything to avoid Tris recognizing me and trying to talk to me.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 55 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(32)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 55 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2008

    amazing book!

    This book was sooooo amazing. It was a little short but it was funny and the characters are so loveable. It isn't like most books written for teenagers, you could actually see this happening to someone even though it might be a little over the top.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2008

    WOW!WOW!WOW!!!!

    This Book is Amazing!!!!When i read it i could not put it down!!!!I literally brought it everywhere!!!I Love every single thing about this book!!It was the second cohn book i have read!!Everything in this book is so unexpected!!!I didnt want it to end!!!I cant wait to see the movie!!!!If you havent read this...GO GET IT!!!!ITS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2008

    nick & norah's is loveee,

    i absolutely fell in love with this book. it gave me a feel of reality. the whole story was like an incredible song that you can't stop listening to. yes, it may have some vulgar words, but thats just your average teenager. i think its great how it is written in both the girl & the guy perspective. it relates to both guys and girls. although, i wouldn't really recommend this book to anyone other than teenagers. unless you're like, a nosy parent who whats to know what goes through your teen's mind, then go for it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2013

    Great read. Great love story.

    Great read. Great love story.

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  • Posted March 27, 2012

    This book is truly incredible. I absolutely love that each chapt

    This book is truly incredible. I absolutely love that each chapter goes through a scenario in both Nick and Norah’s eyes. However, I would not recommend it for all ages. As said by anonymous, "It does contain swear words and intense sexual actions." The book is great for teenagers and even young adults, but I would never recommend this book for children or adults.
    There are pretty much three reasons why this book should be only for teenagers. One, as previously mentioned, is the amount of swearing. Truly, barely a page goes by without some type of swear on it. I personally don’t mind. I think it enhances the book by really giving us the feeling and thoughts of an older teenager. For example, chapter six begins with, “Oh f***. F*** F*** F*** F***********!!!!!!!” (Cohn and Levithan 47). I know that often, I swear inside my head. Not only does this book share the thoughts and feelings of both protagonists, but it shows it accurately as if the characters had truly written everything exactly as they had thought it. Also mentioned before, I love the way the point of view goes back and forth each chapter, and that the chapter titles are only “Nick” and “Norah,” so you know who’s speaking. Also, even without the chapter titles, the way the style of writing changes makes it clear who is who. Nick’s chapters give more of a feeling of nervousness and astonishment, where Norah’s are more confident, more mature, and more aware of her surroundings. Lastly, the characters are all so diverse and interesting that I loved reading about each and every one of them. From Caroline, the drinking party-er that sleeps around, to Dev and Thom, the gay leaders of Nick’s band currently titled “The F*** Offs” to Nick and Norah themselves, who windup together through mere coincidence. All of these put together really make this book shine and make it a great book for teens to identify with.
    My favorite character would have to be Norah. She’s smart, witty, and getting to see events through her eyes brings a new perspective I wouldn’t have even thought about. The way she gets worked up over some things and not others, how she feels about Caroline to how her parents feel, and more than anything how she feels about Nick. Their first interaction really defines her and her bold personality. “I answer [Nick’s] question by putting my hand around his neck and pulling his face down to mine,” (Cohn and Levithan 12-13).
    Lastly, my favorite quote would have to be, “I grab hold of his warm hand. Deep breath. Ready. Set. Jump,” (Cohn and Levithan 183). This is my favorite quote because even though it's actually only about jumping over a turnstile, I think it's actually more of a metaphor for how she plans to go about her life from now on, hand in hand with Nick, and ready to jump into any scenario. I loved reading this book and would recommend it for any teenager.
    Hope this was helpful!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Fantastic Read!

    SUCH A GOOD BOOK. Although if you are at all offended by language, I suggest you take caution when reading. I love the chemistry between Nick and Norah and all the situations they find themselves in during their night. Definitely a must read.

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  • Posted December 5, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I liked it.

    As some of the other reviews say this book was a little boring at times. But all in all I liked it. I liked the book better then the movie that's for sure. Dev was my favorite character! :D<BR/>HOLD MY HANDDDD. :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2008

    AMAZING

    I really enjoyed this book. All my friends have read it and agree also. We're SO pumped for the movie comming out in October

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2007

    A reviewer

    Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is an outstanding book!! I knew I'd enjoy reading it the moment I read the synopsis but I never imagined it would become one of my favorites! I wound up reading it in a matter of hours (I just couldn't put it down!!) The writing was great and the characters amazing...you'll find yourself falling into their insane, wonderful world from the very first page! I promise you'll love it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2007

    one of the best books i ever read.

    i don't know what some of the other people are talking about, this story being boring. I thought that it was one of the best books ever. In the first chapter, I got a little confused, but once I read on the whole story started to make sense. This is a definite read for anyone who like a teen angst novel, but minus all the a. high school drama and b. the same old story that you read in every other book. 5 stars!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2007

    UGH

    i read the first 7 or so chapters of this book, and got really bored. There was some good parts, But overall, what i read was quite disappointing and defiantly not a page-turner.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2007

    Must read for ALL Teens!!!

    I think this book was one of the best books I've ever read. There is romance and drama combined in a whole different way. I personally recommend this book to everyone of my friends. It is that great..I give it two thumbs up.! 33 =P

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2007

    Caught me by suprise.

    There are no words to describe this book. It's straight to the point & completely refreshing. Yeah, yeah...there is loads & loads of cussing in this book but honestly? That's what made it so real for me. No one really says 'eff you' as much as the people in this book but I found it entertaining. This is such a great pleasure book. One that you won't forget.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2007

    I Loved It

    I loved it to death the only thing i could live without was the numerous use of the 'F' word but other than that i was in Love with Nick and it was great I'd give it a 6 but there wasn't a choice so ... Keep reading

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2007

    Fell in love at first sight

    I saw my friend reading this book, and i read the first two chapters quickly in class. Then i decided wow, i NEED to finish this so i went to the library and got a copy. Now that i'm done i'm going to buy it so that i could read it over and over.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2007

    Not as good as I thought it would be

    This book disappointed me. It was not very good. Poorly written and confusing. Also a lot of swearing which made it not flow.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    I actually can't believe i read abook in less than 3 months and i didn't skip to the end of the book! wow! loved it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2007

    superb!

    this book was amazing. i loved everthing about it, except the heavy use of curse words. Here's the review i wrote on it for my school paper: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist was co-written by David Levithan, who writes as Nick, and Rachel Cohn, writing as Norah. Both Cohn and Levithan have been highly acclaimed for their seperately written young adult novels. This is their debut novel writing together. Upon seeing his ex-girlfriend, Nick turns to the girl next to him at the concert venue, and asks, 'I know this is going to sound strange, but would you mind being my girlfriend for the next five minutes?' Norah answers him by giving him the best kiss he's ever had. They are entranced by one another, and the night that ensues involves a car that won't start, apologetic exes, queercore bands, a cellphone mix up, deep conversations, comfortable silences, a restaurant called Veselka, a sexual incident in a hotel's ice room interrupted by an old couple, and vulgar lyrics. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is a great teen romance novel with incites on life and love. I highly recommend it for anyone musically inclined, as it has iPod-friendly song lists and heartfelt poetry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2007

    Out of this world.

    In my opinion i could not get enough of this book. I am actually considering re-reading it. I believe that it is most deffinately not a candy covered book. It does contain swear words and intense sexual actions. However, I think it totally made the book. I believe that it if you cant handle 'bad words' and sex then you should not read this book. Personally i didnt enjoy the queercore band that nick was in. Although it made his character stand out and helped to make the book it is. This book is not a novel, so dont expect it. This book is a quick read(which is always great in my view) and not a life lessons book. Nick&Norahs Infinite Playlist is simply a good inbetween book that you will hope to god that will have another to follow by these extremely talented authors.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2007

    Crude and Boring

    I saw this book and thought it'd be great, so i got it for Christmas and started reading immediately. What I found was that it was full of cursing, sexuality, and bitchy girls. I didn't enjoy this book very much. Sure, it kept me reading, but I feel as if I could've been reading a better book as I read this one. Also, there tends to always be one book in every few by older people that is a poor portrayal of teenagers and their behavior, thought train, you get it. This was one of those books. I recommend this only to those people who never read and curse a lot and drink and have sex.

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