May 23rd, 2006

wings, believe

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

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.
books

Interview: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

DARE TO BE INFINITE
An exclusive interview with authors Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
by Little Willow

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. (Read the rest of my book review.)

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 recently had the opportunity to interview the authors simultaneously and praise them for this honest, realistic, and daring novel.

Little Willow: What inspired Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist?

Levithan: Well, Rachel had always wanted to write a back-and-forth novel with a guy writer, and I just happened to be the lucky guy writer nearest by. I thought it sounded like a cool idea. We set up some loose parameters -- most involving the fact we wouldn't talk about it with each other as we wrote. Then we were off.

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Special thanks to Noreen Marchisi for her assistance in arranging this interview, and to the authors for taking part.

Bookmarks:
http://www.nickandnorah.com/
http://www.davidlevithan.com/
http://www.rachelcohn.com/

Check out the chapter-by-chapter playlist I created for this book.

Read my 2007 interview with Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.