Brian Hodges's Reviews > Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn
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's review
Jan 23, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: ya-mg, better-than-the-movie
Read in February, 2009

This YA book was a little bit "High Fidelity" a little bit "Can't Hardly Wait", a little bit Chuck Klosterman and a little bit "Go" with a heavy PUNK vibe.

The story is told in double-first-person switching back and forth each chapter between Nick and Norah's point of view. Nick is the eighteen-year-old guitar player in a "queercore" punk band who has recently been dumped by the girl he thought he was in love with. When said girl shows up at one of his shows, he can't bear to face her, so he turns to some chick named Norah and asks, "You you mind being my girlfriend for five minutes?"

That one line launches them into the most insanely wild, romantic, confusing, badass, angsty, funny, self-conscious, self-aware, punk rocking, tender, sexy, back-and-forth first dates EVER.

The whole book was seriously one long ride where you find yourself cheering for and getting annoyed at the two main characters as they dance around and toward each other in a series of events that make you say, "Wait these kids are in HIGH SCHOOL." Yes, the mature, wordly, sexually experienced self-awareness exhibited by the characters made me frequently think, "These sound like 25-year-olds," and I often pictured the cast of "Go" as opposed to "Dawson's Creek". But I just as frequently found myself saying, "Damn, these are the coolest mutherf---ers you have ever met and I would have given anything in high school to hang out with them."

This book was for me what I think "The Notebook" was for women. Just once, I wish I had had one night with a girl that was as emotionally "all out" as the one these two kids experienced traipsing through Manhattan and the underground punk scene. It's an unrealistic fantasy that you can't help but believing.

This is supposedly a Young Adult book, but it is INCREDIBLY mature both in language and sexuality... yet funnily and sweetly, the two main characters are surprisingly chaste and straight-edge. All in all this one is definitely worth picking up. It's a fast read and a faster ride.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Rory David Levithan and Rachel Cohn are two of my favorite authors and they wrote this book so well together

Brian Hodges I actually put him on my to read list after reading one of your blogs. :-)

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