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

Nick seems a little confused. He plays bass for a queercore band, whose name is ever changing, and doesn't have a drummer. He's hung up on his ex, who is already parading around with some other guy. He drives a car that is probably illegal in 30 states, and he's the only one who can get it to go. So when he turns to a girl, desperate to ignore his ex, and asks her to be his girlfriend for the next 5 minutes, the last thing he expects is Norah...

Norah kisses him, hard on the mouth. It isn't like her, but she needs a change. She knows this boy, or knows of him-Tris's ex, who always made her the amazing mix CDs. She has admired this boy from afar, and she isn't sure how to tell him that. Maybe agreeing to his plan is a good first step.

The night starts out relatively well, with Nick's bandmates asking Norah to show him a good time, and offering to take care of Caroline (her best friend, and general lush). Then things start to go downhill. As Nick's car refuses to start, who walks up but Tal, Norah's ex?!

In a style that is fresh and vibrant, Cohn and Levithan take turns telling us the story of Nick and Norah's first night. It's awkward and brilliant; hot and then cold; full of stops and starts, moments of uneasiness and perfection woven together in a way that you won't soon forget. Unabashedly following each person's thought process, and subsequent actions, it unfolds a believable love story that is fraught with all the problems of real relationships.

The movie has Nothing on the book, and I was disappointed by the missed opportunities in the film. There is so much about young, budding relationships that is less than attractive. These authors capture this quality so well. The focus on music will attract readers who may otherwise be turned off to a 'traditional' love story, and the twists in plot keep you guessing. The risks that we all take as we embark on a new path with a potential partner are raw and exposed in this text, and made beautiful by the way they are experienced so sincerely. Highly recommended.

"Because he said 'I love you' and, you know, I was just not feeling that back. And I know it must suck to say that and not have the other person say it back, but I felt like now was the time to set him free, so he could find someone else, someone who could say that back to him, because someone should say that back to him. I figured it would hurt him much worse later if I had let him believe he had something he didn't, so I took the brutal route," (Levithan and Cohn pg. 91, 2006).

*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:
Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
King Dork by Frank Portman
Debbie Harry Sings in French by Meagan Brothers

Cohn, Rachel and Levithan, David. (2006). Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. Alfred A. Knopf: New York, NY.

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