Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Released: May 23, 2006
Age Group: Young Adult
So you're a guy; you're at a band show and your ex, the girl who dumped you, walks in with the new guy. Looking for a safe exit, you ask the girl you happen to be sitting with to be your girlfriend for five minutes.Confession: I never really read YA when I was a YA. I didn't read much at all when I was in high school, and when I did it was usually a Nicholas Sparks novel. Then came college, and as a religion major, I didn't have much time for reading anything that wasn't required. It wasn't until I was in my early twenties and out of school that I started to read for pleasure again, and then it was mostly adult titles. Until I picked up Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.
You're a girl; you're at a get-together and your least favorite female strolls in. The stranger sitting next to you asks you to be his five-minute date. So what do you do? You lock lips.
Nick and Norah's instant connect begins a roller-coaster "first date" that takes them through Manhattan and into themselves. A novel concept that works.
I was shocked by how much I loved it. Rachel and David are so freaking amazing at capturing the essence of being a teenager - all the angst and drama and heartbreak and confusion. And you don't need to be a teenager to get it. Granted my teenage years weren't all that long ago, but I'm sure everyone must remember what that time in life was like. Reading Nick and Norah is sort of like reliving all the best parts.
Nick and Norah takes place in a single night, and oh, what a night it is. It is a whirlwind of clubs, exes, and emotions in the city that never sleeps. The dialogue is witty and snarky and funny, and I still, two years later, can't believe how spot on it is. David Levithan has this way of saying everything you've ever thought or felt but could never convey. Never have I loved the written word as much as I have since discovering David's writing.
This novel was made into a major motion picture back in 2008. I saw the movie before reading the book, so I really enjoyed it. Many people who read the book first were very disappointed in the film due to plot changes, casting, etc. I can definitely see where these people are coming from (Memo to Casting Director: Did you read the book!?! Michael Cera is NO Nick.), but I believe if you can look at the book and movie as two separate entities you can enjoy them both. But hey, that's just me.
There are few I know who've had negative feelings toward this book. The few who have were mostly put off by the casual cursing and sexual situations. Neither of these things bothered me in the least, but I will warn those who admittedly have a problem with these things. That said, never did I feel anything to be inappropriate or unrealistic.
I've revisited this book twice since I originally read it, and each time is just as fun as the first. I'm really hoping to make BEA this May and my list of things to do in New York includes dining at Veselka's and visiting Electric Lady Studios all while keeping an eye out for a yellow Yugo.