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Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

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It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City—and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.

This he said/she said romance told by YA stars Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a sexy, funny roller coaster of a story about one date over one very long night, with two teenagers, both recovering from broken hearts, who are just trying to figure out who they want to be—and where the next great band is playing.

Told in alternating chapters, teeming with music references, humor, angst, and endearing side characters, this is a love story you’ll wish were your very own. Working together for the first time, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have combined forces to create a book that is sure to grab readers of all ages and never let them go.

194 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 1, 2006

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About the author

Rachel Cohn

37 books2,216 followers
Rachel grew up in the D.C. area and graduated from Barnard College with a B.A. in Political Science. She has written many YA novels, including three that she cowrote with her friend and colleague David Levithan. She lives and writes (when she's not reading other people's books, organizing her music library or looking for the best cappuccino) in New York City.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,175 reviews
Profile Image for Joel.
554 reviews1,622 followers
June 20, 2011
A few years ago I posted a far-too-personal blog on MySpace (ok, so maybe it was more than a few years ago) offering a retrospective analysis of select mortifying excepts from my circa-age 14 journal (note: not a diary). It's the only year I kept one, and thank god, because while it's perhaps worthwhile to have a snapshot of what I was thinking and feeling at that particular, tumultuous time in my life, what I was thinking and feeling was stupid and the way I went about putting it into words was even worse and no one should ever have to revisit their emotional idiocy in such stark and concrete fashion. Ever. As a rule, teenagers are not good at analyzing the world, or their feelings, or their feelings about the world. Because they are idiots.

Take, for example, the lead characters of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist: they are idiots. This account of their madcap adventures, both sonic and sexual, across a very busy night in Manhattan during their senior year of high school is a lot of fun to read, but it's also excruciating, because it is written so accurately in the alternating dear-diary voices of a teenage boy and a teenage girl, respectively, and wow, you probably don't really want to be quite so inside a 17-year-old's mind, even one as seemingly jaded and witty as Norah, the cynical rich daughter of a recording industry exec who meets cute with tragically sensitive emo punk & damaged romantic Nick. Because all of her oh-so-learned insights about the world, which probably would have seemed really wise-beyond-her-years if she was real and I knew her when I was 17 myself and totally in love with her even though I would never actually say anything to her about my feelings? Self-centered, self-indulgent claptrap.

And don't get me started on Nick: his chapters are even worse. Whether he's moping about his big breakup or waxing poetic about his new attraction to Norah, he sounds like nothing so much as if he is stringing together crappy lyrics from bad emo songs ("I open my mouth and she opens my mouth and it's like she's breathing right through me. And her body is wet and it's right against mine and I want, I want, I want."). There's this section where he goes on and on about how beautiful and wonderful it is to just stand out in the rain, to really be in the rain, you know? And this part is just so painful for me to read because my very own diary journal has a long section about how I was feeling confused and conflicted about this girl so I just went out at night and went rollerblading in the rain and it was just so quiet and true and man do I want to punch 14-year-old me in the face (though it did subsequently spark the creation of my own bad emo song parody, Rollerblading in the Rain, which goes like this: "Needing you/ wishing you/ hoping you/ wanting you/ is like rollerblading in the rain/ you might slip and fall but you'll/ pick yourself up again").

So what exactly does it mean that N&NIP is written so accurately in the voices of its characters that it is regularly frustratingly twee and trite, because hey, what are the musings of teenagers if not twee and trite? It's like the Showgirls conundrum: is that a really really bad movie about a stripper, or is it a really really smart, intentionally bad genre parody? Either way, both entertainments are actually entertaining, even if I remain unconvinced of their genius, so I guess that's something.

A side note about Nick & Norah: The Movie - I like it. I think it benefits from a more focused structure and a wider cast of characters to take the pressure off the occasionally insufferable leads. Plus it has a great soundtrack. On the other hand, the book doesn't have Michael Cera's terrifying face. Who expected he would grow up to so closely resemble The Penguin?

Facebook 30 Day Book Challenge Day 13: Book whose main character is most like you. (Most like me as a teenager anyway.)
Profile Image for Anna.
936 reviews105 followers
June 30, 2008
This book left such a bad taste in my mouth! Where do I begin...?

First, the language was ridiculous. This is supposed to be a young adult book, yet I can't tell you how many times the authors [over]used the word "fuck." Why? In most of the situations it was totally unnecessary and sounded like they were trying too hard to impress their young readers. I understand that "fuck" is a word just like anything else, but just like every other word in the English language, it does not need to be the only verb or adjective ever used to describe anything!

Secondly, I was really disappointed by the way these authors portrayed Norah, the female protagonist. She was a really weak female character. Her self-esteem seemed to depend entirely on how the men in her life felt about her. Whether it was ex-bf Tal or Nick or even her dad, Norah cared more about what the males thought of her than how she actually saw herself. A sad fact and a sad message to be sending young girls who read this book.

Also, I did not like the fact that the girls called each other "bitch." Again, this is blatant overuse of a swear word for the purpose of creating shock value. This way of talking, where you use misogynistic terms so easily, is disrespectful and gets at girls' self-esteem, whether or not she realizes it. Civil people don't use the word "bitch" and "fuck" every five minutes. I promise. I am an adult. I use it when I need to but not every other word out of my mouth is "fuck this" and "bitch that." It's not cool and it saddens me that this book is sending the message that it is.

In general, I was pretty disappointed by this book. I think it glorified all the wrong things and sent the message that being "cool" is all about what kind of music you listen to and who you know, not the kind of person you actually are. I was terribly annoyed with the seemingly endless pretentious-sounding references to pop culture, punk rock, and the Manhattan lifestyle.
Profile Image for Keith.
56 reviews26 followers
May 13, 2009
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.
Profile Image for Minli.
359 reviews
January 10, 2010
This book is FUCKING EPIC. So there.

I think all YA lit is exaggerated in a sense, not in a bad way, but in an interesting way--who wants to read about just the ordinary? Of course, I could just be saying this because it was done well here. I bet you anything the next YA book I read, I'll be griping about it being 'too unrealistic.'

What's the difference then? Writing. Levithan and Cohn's writing is sooo gorgeous in that 'witty but not so witty you're annoying and pretentious' kind of way.

And even if Nick and Norah's circumstances were 'extraordinary' the emotions and doubt and pain and redemption of being young were real and relatable. I loved softy-sensitive-ambiguously-straight!Nick and I loved bipolar-affectionate-non-frigid!Norah. And I loved Tris. TRIS! You aren't just a ho-bag, you're actually a pretty decent person even if you're full of problems. And fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. See the word? It's just a word. Young people, and some old people, talk like this.

I'm a sap, I love 'soulmate' stories, and this one's funny and touching and adorable. Fucking adorable!
Profile Image for Jennifer Wardrip.
Author 6 books479 followers
November 8, 2012
Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com

Before I start the story that is Nick and Norah, I decided we needed to get some misconceptions out of the way first.

1) I don't live in Manhattan, so I won't understand what the characters are talking about. Wrong! I don't live in Manhattan--actually, I've never been farther East than Ohio, but I still got the gist of the story quite easily. Sure, I might never have visited Times Square, but I've been on the Square in my hometown (population 3,400), and the same types of things went on there that go on in New York.

2) This book is full of cursing. Right! And if you haven't heard a lot of curse words (do I really need to spell them out?), especially from the mouths of teens, in the last twenty years or so, I'm guessing you live on a commune somewhere in the middle of Utah.

3) This book only covers one night. Right again! And oh, what a night it is! One night, filled with all the ups, downs, and sideways that being a teen in todays world brings.

Now that we've got that out of the way, we can concentrate on the story. It's about Nick, a bassist for a band with an ever-changing name, who recently had his heart broken by a b***h named Tris. It's about Norah, an uber-complicated girl with more issues than The National Enquirer, who not too long ago had her virginity broken by Tal. And then there's Caroline, and Jessie, and Uncle Lou, not to mention Dev and Thom, and Randy from Are You Randy?, and Hunter from Hunter. There's beer, and there's drugs, and there's sex, although none of it is Nick or Norah's.

There's heartbreak, and devastation, and lust, and forgiveness, and acceptance. There's parents to deal with, and friends to attempt to deal with, and a boy and a girl who wish that, just once, they could be themselves and not deal at all. There's a love story, and a song about a girl on a street in the middle of the night, and a band that just might make it big, and a car that won't start, and a subway ride that requires jumping the turnstyle.

There's love, and anger, and disappointment, and desperation, and redemption. There's life, and then there's Nick and Norah. There's a story here, and you need to read it.
Profile Image for John Winston.
Author 6 books936 followers
November 4, 2016
This is probably the worst book I’ve read to date, and I wouldn’t post this review if I thought it would have a negative impact on the authors’ careers. But it won’t so here goes. There’s absolutely no character development here, none. The love story never really gets started (or I probably had something else in mind for a story).

We stay in Norah’s mind soooo much it feels claustrophobic, and trust me, that’s not a mind you want to be in for too long. The F bomb is dropped on almost every page by every character, which would be OK if it was realistic, but it’s not. The run on sentences by author, Rachel Cohn in particular make an irritating read even more annoying. There’s no reason for them. They don’t add anything. Author intrusion by Cohn is also stark, evidenced by an unrealistic playlist, constant political and religious jabs (not teenager-like), and this pre-occupation with sexual diversity. I’m all for multiculturalism and diversity, but it should play out naturally, not be rammed down our literary throats.

Speaking of multiculturalism, where are the brothers and sisters, the people of color, any kind of color? Just sayin’. I only finished this book for two reasons; it was short at less than 200 pages, and it was part of a book club, so I saw it as my literary duty. Ugh! Two stars are pushing it on this. On a good note, David Levithan’s good writing shines through, and the two stars are his and his alone. I like his character, Nick, and his chapters, but half a book does not a whole book make. And the movie was just as bad. There’s enough great stories out there. Who options this stuff?
Profile Image for Madita.
523 reviews19k followers
August 24, 2022
I just want to say that sometimes cussing so much is actually weird.
I am telling you right now every second word in this book was fuck. On top of that the writing was just super boring from the beginning to end and let's not even talk about the weird fetishisation of gay men and lesbian women in this book. I do not like that.

Profile Image for Carlos De Eguiluz.
226 reviews191 followers
March 21, 2017
Antes que nada, me gustaría disculparme por haber estado tan perdido de esta red, por no haber leído lo suficiente y también por no estar ahí para recomendarles libros. La única excusa que creo que es valida para justificar mi ausencia es el hecho de que "The Vampire Diaries" terminó; y aunque no era la mejor serie del mundo, fue una gran e importante parte de mi vida desde que la empecé por allá del 2010. Como se imaginarán, quedé devastado por un tiempo luego de ver el último capítulo, sin embargo, estoy de vuelta.
Una muy sincera disculpa.

Retomando la reseña...

En este libro, David Levithan y Rachel Cohn se unen como dúo maravilla para escribir un libro lindo, joven y lleno de energía. Los autores nos regalan la historia de un romance que ocurre en una noche y acaba cuando nosotros decidimos que lo haga. Cuenta la historia de dos "musical soulmates": Norah Silverberg, una chica que cree ser frígida, atascada en una relación tóxica que parece nunca terminar, y Nick O'Leary, un joven músico de una queercore band que aún no puede superar el hecho de que su ex lo botara. En una loca y tierna noche, estos chicos lograrán conocerse y ¿quién sabe? Tal vez hasta se enamoren.

Acerca del libro y de la película:

Okay, lo acepto, vi la película antes de leer el libro y sé que eso es un pecado mortal. Sin embargo, creo que ambos —tanto la película como el libro—, son buenos, los dos ligeramente distintos pero con toques sutiles de exorbitante hermosura... okay no. Ambos son geniales, graciosos e ingeniosos.

Mi opinión sobre la escritura:

Leyendo otras reseñas me encontré con el dilema de que este libro posee un lenguaje muy pobre, con constantes maldiciones y demás. En mi muy personal opinión creo que tienen razón, pero ese motivo no es suficiente para "otorgar una estrella", pues, creo que hay muchas más cosas buenas que eclipsan los errores en la novela; además, se trata de adolescentes que están por entrar a la universidad, personas normales y no pretenciosas. No podemos esperar que hablen como adultos. Creo que la novela es muy real, y no me arrepiento de haberla leído. Es más, hasta me gustaría que me pasara algo similar.
Profile Image for darmera.
30 reviews227 followers
June 1, 2021
This was cute and short, I think It would have been brilliant if it had been more expanded with some more intricate plot lines, but I do acknowledge the charm of a fast read.
Profile Image for Suzanne.
584 reviews31 followers
January 8, 2008
Finally done. Just over a week to get through a slim 183 pages. Blech.

17-year-old Suzanne would have loved this book. 30-year-old Suzanne hated it. I feel like it tried too hard. And the f-bomb is used way too gratuitously. It's not even used for emphasis's sake.
Normal Human: I am going to take out the trash right now.
Nick and/or Norah: I am going to f*@%ing take out the f*@%ing trash right f*@%ing now.
Is this how the teens are talking these days?
Profile Image for Amanda.
282 reviews315 followers
October 2, 2013
Nick and Norah meet in a punk rock club one night when Nick asks Norah to be his 5 minute girlfriend. Why? Because Nick's ex, Tris, is in the club with her new man and Tris broke Nick's heart. From that point on, Nick and Norah recognize the chemistry between them, but their feelings are compromised by their previous relationships.

The book is okay. Just okay. Told in stream-of-consciousness chapters alternating between Nick's point of view and Norah's, some of it becomes repetitive (although this technique does allow the reader to see how each experienced and interpreted various situations differently).

My main complaint: Nick and Norah are cool. Obnoxiously cool. They are so much smarter and edgier than everyone else and, here's the thing with characters like that, there are people who are genuinely edgy and cool and original--and then there are those who are trying too hard to be so. Nick and Norah fall into the "trying too hard" category. They make obscure cultural references (many of which seem to be more in keeping with the time period of the authors' teenage years and not so much today's teens; for instance, maybe the movie Heathers and the television show My So Called Life are still a big deal to today's teenage crowd, but I somehow doubt it), they have both have a single-minded devotion to on-the-fringe punk bands, and engage in endless fashion critiques regarding what a person's dress reveals about character. They're trying so hard I wonder if and when they'll ever have any fun in life.

Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder

Profile Image for N.
811 reviews195 followers
March 16, 2008
On the emo (punk? oh whatever, EMO) music scene in New York City, Nick and Norah meet and fall in love over a single, remarkable night. Unfortunately, what had the potential to be a great book fails in its execution.

The trouble with a co-written book (Cohn and Levithan wrote alternating chapters, sending the manuscript back and forth) is that half the writing I liked a lot (Cohn's) and half the writing I damn near hated (Levithan's). I like wordplay. I do not, however, like it nearly as much as Levithan. After about ten pages of his incessant wordplay, I wanted to stab myself in the face. Also, for such a slender novel (even for a teen novel), there was a hell of a lot of ramble. I suspect this is a result of the unplanned, back-and-forth way the novel was written. (There's also a bit near the end where the fourth wall is all but demolished: Levithan screws up the continuity on who exactly Dev's boytoy is; Cohn uses Norah as a mouthpiece to ream him about it during the next chapter.) Perhaps inevitably, after the first few chapters, the story descends into "and then this happened, and then this, and then, and then, and then". I like novels to have a tight story arc. This novel was a sprawling mess.

Billed as a love story, it's really not. There's about 30% falling-in-love stuff. The rest is angst about ex-boyfriends and -girlfriends. Realistic? Sure. Fun to read? No. There are chapters and chapters where Nick and Norah do nothing except obsess over their exes. It would be more forgivable if what love stuff there was didn't veer into rather cloying, romance novel territory.

The thing to love about this novel is how well the authors inhabit a generation. So much of it rings true. The authors evoke the current youth culture impressively well. (I sound so old. "Young culture". Whatever. It's not my generation. And for the record, an eighteen-year-old would not mourn the cancellation of MSCL. She would have been SEVEN when it was airing. Jeez.) These are the kids I recognize from shows and I'm pretty thrilled to read a book that does them justice. I suppose my beef with the novel is that it tries so hard to be original, but fails. It's only a stale story rebranded for a new generation.
Profile Image for Jahanzaib Asim.
101 reviews61 followers
May 28, 2017

Someone: What's your least favorite book?
Me: *has flashbacks of gagging while reading this book*





Profile Image for MissBecka Gee.
1,494 reviews597 followers
January 26, 2020
Finally got around to checking out the film. This is one of those rare times where I would have enjoyed everything more had I watched the movie before reading the book.

Original review:
This was goodish?

I kept waiting for something more to happen that never arrived.
I am curious to see how this translates to film given all the inner monologues.
Profile Image for Emma.
2,893 reviews352 followers
March 2, 2018
Novels written by two authors can go one of two ways: they can be really cool, or really bad. Happily, writers of young adult novels seem to have a knack for working in collaboration. "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" (from 2006) was written by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. Cohn wrote Norah's part and Levithan wrote Nick's part, but they are not really Nick and Norah.

The story starts in the middle of the night (or is it the beginning of the morning?) at a club on Ludlow Street in New York City. Nick is "the nonqueer bassist in a queercore band who is filling the room with undertone" as his band tears through their set. His life is seeming pretty great when Tris, The Ex, walks into the club. That's where Norah comes in.

Norah is "the daughter of an Englewood Cliffs-livin', fat-cat record company CEO" who happens to be in the right place at the exact time that Nick really needs a five-minute girlfriend. That also happens to be right when Norah needs to get a ride for her friend.

So it all kind of works out. It also sets the stage for the novel: a first date that makes it through the club scene in New York, a date where everything goes wrong (or maybe it goes right), a date that goes on and on--in a good way, mostly.

In other words, "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" is a fast story. Events jump around and the prose moves just as quickly. Cohn and Levithan keep up this speed with their narratives (Nick and Norah get alternating chapters) which have the verve appropriate to a hip, teen novel.

Because this book really is firmly grounded in the Young Adult genre. Older readers who have an interest in music (or the upcoming movie) might be interested but the novel is very centered on teen concerns and interests. None of which is a bad thing since this is a YA novel.

The narrative here is really tight. Cohn and Levithan do a great job keeping the story coherent as they alternate chapters without getting redundant. I really like the style here. The duel narratives overlap enough that readers get to see key events from Nick and Norah's point of view. This technique helps to give a fuller version of the story as well as humorously showing how differently two people can see the exact same thing.

My only qualm with the novel is the language. There is a lot of cursing. That doesn't bother me ideologically, but it does start to seem over the top. About two thirds into the novel I started to wonder if anyone could really curse that much in day-to-day conversation (Norah is a self-proclaimed "potty mouth" to be fair), but maybe I just hung out with a different kind of set when I was younger.

"Nick and Norah's Playlist" is a crazy ride of a novel. It has music, borscht, romance, and some great dialogue. Readers familiar with Levithan's other novels ("Boy Meets Boy" to name one) will recognize his frank writing style here. I haven't read any of Cohn's other novels ("Gingerbread" to name one) but she's definitely on my watch list now.

You can find this review and more on my blog Miss Print
February 17, 2021
"...¿Por qué nos molestamos siquiera? ¿Por qué nos exponemos tan fácilmente a que nos hagan daño? ¿Se trata de soledad? ¿De miedo? ¿O se trata solo de experimentar durante unos instantes esa sensación de complicidad con otra persona?..."

Me he enamorado de esta brevísima pero intensa historia que transcurre en una sola noche.

Mis dos grandes pasiones se unen en este libro: la música y el amor!! Cuando lo cogí ya sabía que tendría los ingredientes necesarios para gustarme :)

Un guitarrista sensible con el corazón destrozado y una chica insegura pero fuerte que quiere dejar atrás una relación tóxica se conocen por casualidad en un garito de punk neoyorquino. Todo parece que será cuestión de unos minutos pero los infortunios se van alineando para que la noche no acabe nunca. Y ¿quién sabe? Quizá hasta lo pasen bien juntos.

Los protagonistas son de gran complejidad. Se alternan como narradores en cada capitulo, proyectando así sus sensaciones y pensamientos. Es maravilloso el realismo que esto le da a la historia y revela todo lo que cualquiera puede llegar a sentir cuando se siente atraíd@ por primera vez por una persona.
Los escritores utilizan un lenguaje claro y contundente, propio de chicos adolescentes, que se mueven en un mundo donde los tabúes sociales (como la inclinación sexual) no existen.

El tiempo verbal en el que está escrito hace que sea muy rápido de leer y transmite el frenético suceso de las situaciones. Hay muchísimas referencias musicales, pero también he podido observar alguna que otra errata (que puede ser debida a la traducción).

Si amas la música y las relaciones inesperadas que pueden convertirse en un "algo más..." ¡¡¡Este libro lo vas a disfrutar mucho!!!
Profile Image for Morgan.
807 reviews21 followers
June 3, 2014
I noticed this book in our house--my mom was reading it, and the cover both intrigued me and repelled me. However, after my mom's recommendation, I read this book--and loved it. It is one of the most dead-on accurate books I've ever read about young emotions and feelings. The initial plot is slightly contrived: a heartbroken teenager sees his ex with her new guy and asks a girl to pretend she's his girlfriend. However, the story is told by both Nick and Norah's point of view, so the reader is allowed into the minds of both characters, allowing for deeper insights into these young people. Rachel Cohn and David Levithan co-wrote this book, and as I said, completely nailed the angst, heartbreak, humor, tragedy, and hope that young love brings. This book is also extremely honest: characters are gay, doped up, drunk, sexual, and misguided. But the honesty and genuine emotion separate this book from the thousands of other young-adult novels from which to choose. A must-read for anyone currently in or who survived their teenage years.
Profile Image for booksnpenguins (wingspan matters).
764 reviews2,359 followers
October 18, 2017
Read this back in high school. All the music and the love got me completely obsessed.
And don't even let me start on the huge girl crush I had on Tris, please.

I'm still not over how disastrously awful the movie adaptation was, though, especially the cast choices.
They casted Michael Cera as Nick.
I'll never not be mad about it.
Profile Image for Obsidian.
2,736 reviews940 followers
February 7, 2017
Please note that I did not give this book any stars. I rounded up to one star on Goodreads.

I read this for Romance Book Bingo 2017: Insta-love square.

This is going to be a bit ranty so I apologize in advance. I loathed this book. From beginning to end. I can't believe that a movie that I enjoyed spun off from this source material. I think at one time I wonder how many times Nick said the "f" word and decided I was too lazy to do a search via my Kindle because I just wanted this book to be over. At least it counted towards a romance book bingo. I realized after I finished I could count it towards the insta-love square. I initially was told that this was New Adult. It's not, it is Young Adult, though due to the actions of this two nitwits you have to think it was for a bunch of middle schoolers.

The book shifts POV between Nick and Norah. I am trying to think of something positive to say. I got nothing. This whole book is just a cliche wrapped in something terrible. Like lima beans. I hate lima beans. So let's go with this book is wrapped in lima beans. It has been left outside to rot in the sun for seven days as well. And then a dog comes along, sniffs it, carries it away, and buries it in the backyard.

Nick is performing with his band in New York City. He is still recovering from having his heart broken by his ex-girlfriend Tris. When he sees her in the audience with another dude, he pretty much starts spiraling. He goes up to Norah and asks her to be his girlfriend for five minutes in order to make Tris jealous (middle school actions). And then somehow they are kissing and feeling something has happened between them. I don't think they even told each other their names at this point by the way. Norah finds herself attracted to Nick, but tells herself because of her breakup with her ex Tal (by the way why the hell are these exes names beginning with the letter "T"?) that she is frigid (GOD JUST GET THROUGH THIS SO YOU CAN STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS BOOK) that Nick can't possibly want to be with a girl like her.

Deep breath.

I maybe started rocking back and forth with the whole frigid talk. Cause I don't think that the character Norah got what it meant and I am pretty surprised the author didn't seem to get she was using that word wrong. And don't get me started on how Nick was the one to get Norah to thaw out. SHUT UP BOOK! Deep breath again.

And considering that Nick at one point was like one freaking second away from never leaving his room again and writing bad break-up poetry, I have some feelings toward the way he was all yes I guess I am no longer in love with Tris. I mean, I have given John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars" rightful crap for how teens are portrayed, but man. I feel like going back and upping my rating on that book due to this mess.

The secondary characters are Cliche 1, 2, 3, and 4. I refuse to go back and tell you who is who besides Tris who I started calling Cliche 1. Cause apparently, she realizes that Nick loves her too much, and she doesn't feel that way, so you know, break up. Though she still wants him I think. But she doesn't. And gives her used to be friend Norah tips on how to kiss by actually kissing her outside. And Norah somehow is getting turned on (and wonders if she is really frigid again). I at one point wondered did I somehow wonder onto the Literotica site and realized, nope, still reading this book and thought about hunting down the Book gods and sacrificing 10 dictionaries in order to have something like this never happen to me again this year. I can't read any more terrible books. I may go into a reading slump and not climb out for three months like the year before last.

The plot is just two teens chasing each other around New York playing a game of do you really like me. That's all I got.

The writing felt and read very amateurish to me too. And repetitive.

“Fuck this.
Fuck this wondering. Fuck this trying and trying. Fuck this belief that two people can become one ideal. Fuck this helplessness. Fuck this waiting for something to happen that probably won't ever happen.”

“We are the ones who take this thing called music and line it up with this thing called time. We are the ticking, we are the pulsing, we are underneath every part of this moment. And by making the moment our own, we are rendering it timeless. There is no audience. There are no instruments. There are only bodies and thoughts and murmurs and looks. It's the concert rush to end all concert rushes, because this is what matters. When the heart races, this is what it's racing towards.”

“My heartbeat accelerates. I am in the here, in the now. I am also in the future. I am holding her and wanting and knowing and hoping all at once. We are the ones who take this thing called music and line it up with this thing called time. We are the ticking, we are the pulsing, we are the underneath every part of this moment. And by making this moment our own, we are rendering it timeless. There is no audience. There are no instruments. There are only bodies and thoughts and murmurs and looks. It's the concert rush to end all concert rushes, because this is what matters. When the heart races, this is what it's racing toward.”

The flow of the book was not great either. It just snaps back and forth between Nick and Norah. And since when we see Norah's POV, Nick seems kind and control, and when we switch to Nick he is too busy thinking of the "f" word or some other damn thing, I was not getting this kind, wise, and sweet guy that she was. Also who the hell falls in love in like a few hours? Ugh. I have to stop, I just want this book done.

New York would not be a place I want to visit after finishing this book. It never comes alive. We have Nick and Norah rushing from points A to B throughout the book and I never got a sense at all where the heck they were. I just gave up and kept reading so I could finally be at the end.

Bah to the whole ending.
Profile Image for Anthony Chavez.
121 reviews69 followers
August 11, 2012
I envision Nick working somewhere like The Strand which was featured in "Dash & Lily's Book of Dares" and now I understand some of the places that were mentioned in that book and the bathroom writing on the wall they mentioned in "Dash & Lily's Book of Dares" by the same authors.

After reading it I was trying to think of what the writing reminded me of, what with all the musical references and the language used, and I went back to my Textual Healing review and thought, "YES." It's like a feel good teen romantic comedy, loaded with musical and pop culture references. I imagined the soundtrack that would be playing to the background of it as I was reading it and would often flip to the beginning of the book to see the map and "The Acknowledgements Playlist," I really dug that those were included.

Many reviews of the book harp on the use of the F word. I don't know, maybe I have become desensitized to the word but either I didn't notice it and it didn't matter or it just flowed with the book and I skimmed right past it without another thought. It fit. It worked. Let's move on past the small details.

There is nothing special about the storyline, that's not what grabs the reader in my opinion. It's a typical boy-meets-girl/girl-meets-boy type of story but its the execution of the story that seals the deal. The switching of points of view and way it is written while at the same time not taking itself too seriously. I like the non-cliche and non-sappy poetic lines thrown by both Nick and Norah on their alternating chapters, and the lyrics Nick throws together throughout the evening. It drives the point home that every sentence in the book is well thought out.

I wasn't entirely taken with the ending. I mean, after everything you've been through that night, going into an ice room with him, and getting into a car with him, and a train, and an elevator and eating and dancing and so on - all those leaps of faith you took with a person who WAS a complete stranger, you are now going to try and decide whether to jump over a turnstile and actually make that into a metaphor about your relationship with him? AND after already making a BIG decision and ditching him once in a taxi. I don't know - it was a little cheesy I thought, but it works. I think it would have been nice if at the end he takes her home, kisses her good night/good morning, she closes the door, runs to her room and looks out the window to try to get one last glimpse of him to remember this night and their meet cute. But hey, that's just me.

In my opinion this story is a wild adventure AND all taking place in the span of one night which makes it even wilder. A lot of teenagers and even adults can relate to it though, it touches sensitive areas from intimacy, getting over an ex, making plans for the future, etc. And as I have said before it is one for music lovers as well. It was a fun light read, and a good escape for a week. It was also a good follow up to Paper Towns, another good young adult/teen read. Recommended for the romantic teen comedy types out there.
Profile Image for Francisca Viegas.
177 reviews81 followers
March 1, 2015
We are graced, and we are together, and the twoliness is trumping the loneliness and the doubt and the fear.

I actually liked this a lot. I had a minor issue with it, but other than that it was a fun and short read. I've come to expect great things from David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. Their characters are always so real and believable, and the struggles we read about are things most of us have actually been through and therefore can totally relate to.

The worst:
♫ The language in this is way too overdone with swearing.
I mean, they're only the best punk band out there right now, named for the fucking apathy of a xenophobic fucking nation oblivious to the fucking terror it's leaders wreak on the rest of the world (...)

Seriously? I would take the essence of this thought much more seriously if there wasn't unnecessary swearing in it. Who talks like this?

The best:
Finally, there's a book with the right idea.
Maybe the simple diagnosis of either hetero or homo is misleading. Maybe there's just sexuality, and it's bendable and unpredictable, like a circus performer (...)

Wouldn't our lives be so much simpler if we didn't have to worry about labels? If we could just be and not be thin or fat or homossexual or...?

"Maybe," I say, "what we're supposed to do is come together. That's how we stop the breaking."
Tikkun olam.

Profile Image for Joanna .
426 reviews84 followers
February 19, 2019
Hello Book Peeps

When I saw the cover for this book and the movie poster when it came out in theatres, I believed that this was going to be some kind of rom com that was sweet, inspirational and maybe even deep. Instead what I found out, in about half a minute into the 1st chapter of this audiobook, was that I was not going to find any of the above mention in this book. What I was going to get was an answer to Axel Rose's infamous question: "Do you know where you are?" Yes Axel, I do. I'm in the jungle baby.

Welcome to the Jungle and pretty much every track off the Appetite For Destruction album is the perfect soundtrack for this book about Nick and Nora's very first and very long date. Its hard to believe that this book took place all in the span of one evening. I mean we have all had that night out with friends that started with a plan and quickly took a turn which lead to a series of unfortunate events accompanied by a playlist.

Nick and Nora are made for each other. They are super pretentious and judge-y for sure but they are also pretty hilarious too. I did find myself laughing at a lot of the shenanigans they got up to through out the book but they were not characters that I would ever want to re read again.

This is a really niche specific type book and I feel that if you are not even remotely comfortable in that niche then your just going to think these two are douches. Who knows, maybe this is the type of story that can only be told as a movie. I guess I will find out when I finally get around to watching it. In the meantime...

Happy Reading

Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,449 reviews7,555 followers
September 16, 2013
What happens when Nick's ex-girlfriend shows up while he’s trying to have a decent night? He makes quick introductions to Norah and strikes a deal to be each other’s date for the next 5 minutes. Add in a sighting of Norah's ex-boyfriend and the 5 minutes extend little by little into an all night getting-to-know you and maybe falling a little bit in love experience.

This book has a certain writing style that should just drive me mad. It’s. So. Abrupt. Halting. Aggressive. Angry. Confused. Generally I’d want to pull my hair out while reading these half-sentence snippets, but somehow for “Nick and Norah” they work. They work because Nick and Norah are aggressive. angry. confused. Hell, they’re teenagers, of course they are all of the above (and more). Yes, the idea that these two high school kids with never-ending witty repartee are the hippest hipsters to ever grace the streets of Manhattan is not believable. The fact that she’s brilliant and he’s in a super-hot punk band before ever graduating high school and none of their parents care that they wander New York all night is utterly unfathomable. And yet? Who f-ing cares? The book is adorable. Levithan and Cohn are a great partnership (taking a silver medal to Levithan and John Green’s collaboration in “Will Grayson Will Grayson”). “Nick and Norah” was a total easy reader that made me feel good while reading it.

Things I loved: (1) The simple fact that this book embraces the idea that a soundtrack plays behind it. I’m ALWAYS hearing the potential songs that would play if such and such book were actually a movie. (2) Cohn and Levithan are REALLY good at using the “F” word. (3) Songs like “Ride Like the Wind” are included so old geezers such as myself realize their fave songs are still valid.

Things that I didn’t love: (1) Nick quotes “no one puts baby in a corner”, but a few chapters later has no idea who Johnny Castle is. Really? Nitpicky, I know, but it irked me. (2) Thought the last one was nitpicky? It gets even worse. Thank God I’m a loyalist to books, because the casting of Nick in the movie version is absolutely unforgiveable and I WILL NOT ever watch the film now.

This, my friends, is NOT Nick. This is George Michael Bluth. Oh, you may have seen him in Juno or Superbad or Year One or Scott Pilgrim, but if you haven’t seen Arrested Development just trust me that he’s always THE SAME FREAKING CHARACTER. He’s not some hot rock star. He’s George Michael Bluth.

 photo georgemichael_zpsd92d7a6f.png

This is Jordan Catalono. He was the desire of every girl I knew when I was growing up and after reading this book and the many references to "My So-Called Life" I’m fairly certain the same can be said for Rachel Cohn (and probably David Levithan as well). The movie Nick should have looked more like this.

 photo jordancatalano_zps65c05837.jpg

Needless to say, if those are my two big complaints (one of which is about the movie rather than the book), this was probably a pretty decent read.
Profile Image for Mags.
237 reviews43 followers
February 10, 2017
While Twilight was a psychological nightmare, I found it more tolerable to read than Nick & Norah. I was/am more ashamed of myself when I had wasted time having reached halfway of this book than when I read a few free chapters of Twilight. The Nick and Norah characters—well, to be honest, all the characters—were shallow. Let me summarize the book to those who haven’t read it, from Nick’s POV: “Ex is coming over. Time to protect ego. Find the next girl and have her pretend she’s my new girlfriend. Norah spotted.”

If that wasn’t already a bad, immature plot unraveling, the book was written in alternating voices, which in actuality, were just Nick and Norah rephrasing what the other was saying! Take out all the repetitive events and what you’d have left is a 10-minute gossip, tops. I have read Flipped at a young age—another alternating-POV novel—and it’s still one of the richest novels I’ve ever had my hands on.

But what I really hate most about this book? The authors made “fuck” an adjective, a noun, and an adverb. After failing to read the book twice, the third time I just merely flipped through it because hey, third time might be the charm. Turns out it wasn’t. By the third try, I realized that there were at least ten usages of “fuck” in all shapes and sizes per page. Now, I have nothing against people who curse. I love cursing. But the overuse of the bleeping word comes across to me as though the authors were trying too hard to make it sound like the voices were actual teenagers. They weren’t. They were cardboard. And what’s even more painful is the book is being sold under YA. And then they complain about why young adults “kiss their mothers with that mouth.”

This is not a bash on the book just because it's “popular.” I've never heard of it before I picked it up, nor did I know that it had a movie adaptation until I realized that I was looking at the movie tie-in edition. I picked it up because I love twenty-four-hour stories, more so if they were written beautifully. I also liked playlists and novels that are music-related, so all three wrapped in one book? Glory! But as much as I tried, it was trash—three times.

A friend asked for my copy and while I would love to get it out of my hands, I feel like it’d be much better to lock it inside a trunk where it couldn’t hurt anyone anymore.
Profile Image for Kristy.
592 reviews87 followers
May 26, 2011
Street Corner TBR Challenge
May Pick #5 per Tina.

I don’t know if I have ever read a book that I had already watched the movie for. If I have I can’t think of it. I usually read the book first and make myself wait to watch the movie. But, for whatever reason I didn’t wait with Nick and Norah. Hearing the movie was better than the book might have gave me the push…. It was a cool experience though. I knew exactly how to picture the characters; I imagined them the entire time. I kept picturing scenes from the movie, always with a smile, almost like remembering old friends. I knew where the book was going to go, but I received some needed insight into Nick and Norah’s minds. I will say though, the movie did a good job of following the book. I can’t pick which one I like better. They both entertained me. I’ve got to give props to the book; even though I had seen the film, I wasn’t bored… that’s got to tell you something. It’s all in the writing; Rachel Cohn is my girl-writer-crush, especially when paired up with Levithan. They complement each other so well. The quirkiness is so refreshing. I am definitely feeling Nick and Norah!!!! And, now I want to go and re-watch the movie! Like I said, I’m into N&N!!!

I 100% adore the acknowledgements playlist.

What makes N&N such a good, fun read??? Originality and well, it’s good and fun!!!
4.5 stars, highly recommend.
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,084 reviews17.5k followers
August 26, 2017
This book was such a disappointment for me.

The characters seem overly quirky, like something out of John Green novel (which isn't a positive for me, sorry). There's just nothing special about this book. It's yet another addition to the aggressively heterosexual, aggressively quirky genre, which shocked me coming from David Levithan.

This genre works when the characters and realities of life truly shine through, in books like Perks Of Being A Wallflower and some of David Levithan's other books. However, this book and many like it simply come off as trying too hard.

I really don't recommend this at all.
Profile Image for alexandra.
230 reviews1,503 followers
September 3, 2020
3.75/5 ★

i've been in a slump these past few months so managing to finish this novel in less than 24 hours is a huge shocker. which is to say, i thoroughly enjoyed NICK & NORAH'S INFINITE PLAYLIST. i didn't realize but i needed something light, fun, carefree, and cliché. this was exactly that.

this book was short and addictive. i loved the predictable situations and unique characters. although i didn't find anything deliberately special about this novel, i'm very grateful to have picked it up because i think it cured my slump. :))
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