Saturday, March 21, 2009

"Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist" by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Summary: Nick and Norah, two high school seniors, are thrown together at a club late one night when Norah agrees to be Nick's "five-minute girlfriend" in order for Nick to avoid his ex-girlfriend (who he's still in love with), Tris. From there Nick and Norah are thrown together for a crazy night around New York City where they learn to move past their hangups and fall for each other.

Musings: Although I'm a fan of young adult fiction, this probably isn't a book I'd pick up on my own. But, on a whim, my husband checked it out from the library (we'd seen the movie last year, also on a whim), and he really liked it and insisted I read it.

Nick & Norah is through and through a teenage novel, which does not necessarily make it bad. Each chapter alternates from Nick's to Norah's point of view, and both characters are full of obscenities, pop-culture and music references, and intense teenage self-reflection. Nevertheless, the characters felt more real than others I've seen in teen-oriented entertainment. Like most high schoolers, they aren't hopelessly geeky (falling on the floor when a girl approaches) or super cool (i.e. football players in movies). They are normal people entering a confusing and new relationship while still working over their past relationships.

I can't imagine their experiences coming close to what most "ordinary" teenagers go through (really, who lets their teeange children spend all night--literally until 6am--carousing around New York City?), but that's probably part of the fun.

The book satisfyingly brings two likable people together in a quick novel that is full of fun sexual tension. It wasn't a great book for me, but I can see it being engaging for high schoolers.

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