Keith's Reviews > Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn
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's review
May 13, 2009

it was amazing

My wife loved this book and dragged me to the movie shortly after it came out. I thought the movie was cute---a better than average teen romance set in my old stomping grounds of New York City's Greenwich Village and Soho. On leaving the theater, I soon heard from my wife how much better the book was, and how disappointing the movie was. I guess it's all a question of what you're expecting going in...

I started reading the book as soon as we got home.

It opens with a great hook. Nick sees his ex-girlfriend at a club and doesn't want to face her. So he turns to the girl next to him, Norah, and asks her to be his girlfriend for five minutes. Surprisingly, she responds by kissing him. Over the course of an all-night adventure in New York, they get to know each other better while each wrestles with their own doubts and insecurities and tries to figure out what to think of the other.

I loved it! And my wife was right about the movie.

The lead characters were likable and realistic. Their concerns and doubts, their hopes and fears, the roller coaster of she loves me, she loves me not, all resonated with the distant memories of my teen years. The fact that the story is set in a realistic New York City was a bonus. The story wasn't always predicable (despite having seen the movie!) and included a nicely humorous touch to keep things from getting too serious (or too overwhelmed with teen angst).

In reading through other reviews, here and on other sites, I'm surprised by the number of people who find the casual cursing and implied sexuality objectionable. I don't know quite how to respond. It's realistic fiction. And these things are part of reality, especially for teenagers on the cusp of adulthood. Obviously younger kids are probably not ready for, and wouldn't understand, some aspects of the real world. But I think this book would be fine for most high school kids. I doubt they will find much here (except perhaps the night life of New York) that they haven't heard about, thought about, and talked about with their peers. In fact, the biggest surprise for a high school reader may be the authors' empathy for the doubts and fears and ups and downs of teen life.
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02/18 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

exactly my thoughts!

Laura Absolutely, I agree with you two. I dislike the idea of "overprotecting" teenagers in books, or giving them strong condescending moralistic messages, although I suppose it is easy for me to say, as my kids are still little!
I have never been in New York, but I loved the setting and it is great to hear that the night life, the streets and bars are depicted in a realistic way. It certainly felt real to me, something I could relate to.

Mars Great review!! I liked the movie, but I loved the book!! I have read this book many times.

I just love the connection between Nick and Norah, and I have heard a lot of cursing when I was in High School.. nothing new here!!

message 4: by Jolene (new)

Jolene Dretzka Great review! I've seen the movie a million times & was wondering if the book was worth reading & you just helped me make up my mind, thank you, I can't wait to get the book & read it. I can't believe how many people on here wrote reviews saying that teenagers NEVER talk this way or that it was overly crude for the age level. I'm glad those people have lived nice wholesome lives where they were sheltered, but I wasn't & I like a little realism & feel that the wholesome lifestyle isn't the only lifestyle that deserves representation. It's nice to see a book every now & then that shows the gritty side of some young adult lives, because it exists & if what you said is true about the book, I'm sure I'll enjoy it. It's also cool to see a couple that watches movies & read books together. You're other half is very lucky. While I can get my boyfriend to watch the movie & he really likes it, often suggesting it to watch since I own it on DVD, he hates reading. So, what I've got to do is read it then fill him in on how the book went next time we watch it, which I'm sure will drive him nuts, but I really have fun dong it,lol,

Stacy Tanner The movie is one of my absolute favorite movie. I'm so excited to read the book, I'm sure I will love it.

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