Review: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

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. –From Goodreads

Seeing the movie version of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist became my introduction to David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, who have both written a number of wonderful books both together and apart. The movie is fun and quirky, reminiscent of Juno, which I suppose should be expected given Michael Cera’s lead role. I was pleased to find that the book was just as good. In the course of just one night, Nick and Norah take us on an angsty journey through New York City, one song at a time, their own emotional dramas playing out against the playlists of their lives.

Quotable Quotes from Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

” I shouldn’t want the song to end. I always think of each night as a song. Or each moment as a song. But now I’m seeing we don’t live in a single song. We move from song to song, from lyric to lyric, from chord to chord. There is no ending here. It’s an infinite playlist.”

“The way you’re singing in your sleep
The way you look before you leap
The strange illusions that you keep
You don’t know
But I’m noticing

The way your touch turns into arcs
The way you slide into the dark
The beating of my open heart
You don’t know
But I’m noticing”

“Maybe that’s it, […] [w]ith what you were talking about before. The world being broken. Maybe it isn’t that we’re supposed to find the pieces and put them back together. Maybe we’re the pieces.” […] “Maybe […] what we’re supposed to do is come together. That’s how we stop the breaking.”

“Caroline’s about to say something really harsh, but suddenly Hunter and Dev launch into a fucking Green Day cover, and we’re all seven years old again and dancing like we spit out the Ritalin while Mom wasn’t looking.”

“‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand.’ First single. Fucking brilliant. Perhaps the most fucking brilliant song ever written. Because they nailed it. That’s what everyone wants. Not 24-7 hot wet sex. Not a marriage that lasts a hundred years. Not a Porsche or a blow job or a million-dollar crib. No. They wanna hold your hand.”

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