Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Current Mood: geeky
Current Song: Law & Order: SVU theme song
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist is not your typical boy meets girl story. Sure, it starts when boy meets girl - but then boy asks girl to pretend to be his girlfriend for the next five minutes, and girl agrees.
Over the course of one night, two perfect strangers fall in and out of love with life, music, friends, cars, food, the city, and maybe - just maybe - each other.
The book is many things: Honest. Engrossing. Funny. Daring. Most of all, it feels real. The teenage characters talk and act like teenagers. For example, Nick is a self-proclaimed straight-edge boy; he doesn't smoke, drink, or do drugs. That doesn't stop him from swearing, nor does it stop him doing things on impulse, as evidenced by the first thing he ever says to Norah.
The rapid-fire dialogue and the quirky narration move the story along quickly. Combine these elements with the overnight plot and you get a story that feels as if it is moving along in real time. Readers are along for the ride, watching things as they happen.
And oh, what a ride. Nick and Norah tell their story in alternating chapters, with David Levithan writing for bass player Nick and Rachel Cohn writing for complicated Norah. I already thought well of the authors based on their previous works (most notably, Levithan's Boy Meets Boy and Cohn's Gingerbread and The Steps) so I had rather high expectations for this book. Not only did it meet those expectations but it exceeded them. This only elevated my opinion of the authors.
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist is fueled by passionate, memorable characters. Don't let it - or them - pass you by. Get it, get ready, and hold on. You'll want to put this Playlist on repeat.
View my chapter-by-chapter playlist for the book.
I discussed the book at length with Jackie in this roundtable post.
I have had the honor of interviewing the authors of Nick & Norah twice - once in 2006 and again in 2007.
If you liked Nick & Norah, you'll also like Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway.