Author: David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
Published: April 2008 (Knopf Books for Young Readers) (First published in 2005)
Genres: Young Adult
Rating: Four Stars
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.
Purchase: Barnes and Noble / Amazon / Book Depository
Cover Thoughts: I really love the text font. New York City in the background was really nice and isn’t something that immediately sticks out. The title definitely grabbed my interest.
First Line: The day begins in the middle of the night.
First Thoughts: It was only a kiss, how did it up like this? It was only a kiss, it was only a kiss… (Mr. Brightside by The Killers)
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist was magical. It reminded me of Where She Went (If I Stay #2) by Gayle Forman and The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith, two books I highly enjoyed. Except a bit grungier and with a bit more language.This New York centric story captured the New York atmosphere from Where She Went and the interpersonal connections two strangers can make like in The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight.
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is told from both Nick and Norah’s viewpoints, alternating chapters. We meet Nick in the first chapter who has been dumped by his girlfriend. Nick is in a band that is currently called The Fuck Offs which is sure not to be a permanent name with as often as Nick’s bandmates like to change it. I loved reading about the band aspect, it really added to the atmosphere that the club had. He’s completely focused on the music until he sees his ex, with another guy. In an effort to avoid her, he decides to ask Norah, a girl he’s just met to pretend to be his girlfriend. Norah with her own similar motive, decides to do it.
There were many things about Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist that I like. The biggest one is the music aspect that sort of carries the story. From clubs to favorite bands to mix tapes, every musical aspect is here. I loved how in love with music Nick and Norah were. Nick is the bassist of The Fuck Offs, as well as a closeted songwriter who Norah appreciates. Norah’s own connection with music comes from her dad being a big time music producer.
I like how Norah sort of knew Nick even before they had ever met. Norah goes to Convent of The Sacred Heart with Tris. Neither girl gets along with the other, but they have one friend in common, Caroline, her best friend. Norah’s one focus of the night until Nick shows up. Norah says that her parents love Caroline, which is good because Caroline’s own parents don’t really care about her. Caroline is what Norah isn’t, a disappointment. Norah wears flannel and turned down Brown University in order to take a gap year.
Norah isn’t quite fond of Tris and Tris doesn’t care too much about Norah. Norah already knows about Nick due to going to school with Tris. Nick would make Tris mixtures, which she would throw in the trash, uninterested. Norah ends up getting the mixtures and listening to them and sort of falling in love with the person who made them.
Norah was a really interesting character to read about. I liked her personality even though it was cynical, frigid and she had low self esteem. One of the interesting things she says s that because her parents have been married for a quarter of the century, there’s no chance for her to find real love. I loved how much Norah cared about Caroline. When we meet Caroline, she’s drunk and about to hook up with a guy from another band called Are You Randy?. It’s Norah’s job to get Caroline home, which she does in an interesting way that I wouldn’t quite advise doing so.
I liked reading in Nick’s perspective to see what he thought of Tris and Norah. I was annoyed at how obsessed he was with Tris though because she didn’t seem to be the right girl for him, which Tris knew. I liked that Nick was a songwriter and disliked that Tris never really cared about that.
I liked viewing Tris from Nick and Norah’s perspectives. By seeing her through both their eyes, I was able to get a better perspective of her. Tris doesn’t immediately seem like a great person. Norah dislikes her, Nick’s obsessed with her. There was definitely more to Tris than meets the eye, even if she first seems like the typical bad, breaking hearts, completely wrong, girlfriend, mean popular girl. Tris is kind to Nick and Norah at different parts in the books and explain why she broke Nick’s heart.
After Nick and Norah kiss, a night full of adventures happens. Once Caroline’s safely home, Nick and Norah go visit stripping nuns, walk around New York, disconnected and reunite. It’s a story of first and second chances. There’s forgiveness, heartbreak, family aspects, friendship, romance and lust. Like The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist really made me just want to go to a New York club of my own and find love.
I loved how realistic Nick and Norah were. There characters weren’t perfect, both had low self esteem, a bit of a language problem, didn’t know quite what they wanted, whiny, cynical, and had relationship issues. Despite all that though, it made them more appealing to me. I really loved how much took place over just hours. There were a few things I didn’t like like as all of the cursing which I felt was excessive, though added to the New York, grunge scene that the characters were in. It may turn off some people though who don’t like to read a lot of cursing in books. I didn’t like how the characters at times. Some of their actions just made me frustrated.
When reading the book, I read online that David Levithan and Rachel Cohn wrote this story through email, each sending a chapter to the other and picking the story up there. I thought it flowed extremely well.
Overall I really loved Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. The setting was perfect, the characters, relatable and the storyline, interesting. I would recommend this.