Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Published August 28, 2007 (Orig. published 2006)
When the girl who just dumped him walks into the club where Nick’s band is playing a show, he resorts to the extreme and asks the random girl standing next to him if she’ll be his girlfriend for five minutes.
Though Nick’s request at first infuriates Norah (what kind of cheap trick does he take her for?), the approach of her not-quite-friend prompts her to take some desperate measures of her own. Like yanking almost-stranger-Nick into an electrifying kiss.
The agreed on five minutes stretches into a whole night of adventure, misunderstanding, reflection and romance. Cohn and Levithan weave a tale full of teen angst, hormones, confusion and of course music. It’s a wild ride from start to finish.
I sometimes feel like the odd one out on this book. So many people rave about it, and I felt like I just didn’t get it. I didn’t find either Nick or Norah particularly likeable. Some of the plot elements felt a little too convenient to me. When Norah ends up in the bathroom with another girl who kisses her, to show her how to kiss a boy, I remember thinking, this is what some men wish happened in women’s bathrooms. It felt more like a fantasy rather than a believable element to the plot.
Also, the language was pretty over the top. I mean, I get that the scene in which the F-bomb gets grossly overused was supposed to be ridiculous, but it was just way too much for me.
If you’re really into boundary-pushing books about music and unrealistic relationships, this might be exactly the book for you.
Several scenes of same sex kissing. Twice Nick and Norah retreat to some measure of privacy to have sex. Those scenes are pretty heavy and specific. Several times sex and sexual topics are discussed in conversation. The couple also goes to see a burlesque show that features “nuns.”
Nick and Norah do not actually have sex in the story… both times they’re interrupted for different reasons, but it’s by a hair’s breadth.
Norah comments somewhat sarcastically in prayer a couple of times.
The club where the band plays serves alcohol and some underage drinking occurs. (Nick and Norah drink virgin drinks at the burlesque club.)