Monday, May 22, 2006

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

"I know this is going to sound strange, but will you be my girlfriend for five minutes?

I answer by putting my hand around his neck and pulling his face down to mine."

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan are both well known in the world of teen literature. Cohn's novel Gingerbread and its sequel, Shrimp, are on several of the "Best" lists compiled by ALA and educators, and Levithan has won awards and accolades for his books Boy Meets Boy; The Realm Possibility and Are We There Yet? So, when these two friends joined together to write Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, expectations from their fans were high.
Cohn and Levithan don't disappoint. Written from alternating points of view (Cohn writes Norah while Levithan writes Nick), Nick and Norah is the story of an accidental meeting that turns into a date, a night spent together, and, maybe, a real relationship. Trying to escape his ex, Nick asks Norah, a stranger, to pose as his girlfriend. Hoping to score a ride home for her drunk friend, Norah agrees. What starts out as something of a business transaction becomes something more when both notice the chemistry between them. Soon they find themselves on a date (arranged by his friends, unbeknownst to Nick), taking in a burlesque show and a secret performance by their favorite band. But both are packing baggage from their exes, and jumping into a new relationship - or even a one-night stand - might be more than either is ready for.
Nick and Norah will have appeal for teens, but it's a mature book that will also find an audience among college students and other twenty-somethings. Full of quick music and pop culture references, set in some of the trendiest clubs in NYC, Nick & Norah is a great night out on the town.

Cohn, Rachel and David Levithan. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. New York: Alfred K. Knopf, 2006.

What I'm Reading: Rose of No Man's Land by Michelle Tea
On My Bookshelf: Chicks With Sticks; Johnny Hazzard, Maya Running


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