Tag Archives: Rachel Cohn

Review: Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Published August 28, 2007 (Orig. published 2006)

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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.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used frequently. On one page the f-bomb drops no less than 25 times.

Sexual Content
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.

Spiritual Content
Norah comments somewhat sarcastically in prayer a couple of times.

Violent Content

Drug Content
The club where the band plays serves alcohol and some underage drinking occurs. (Nick and Norah drink virgin drinks at the burlesque club.)


Review: You Know Where to Find Me by Rachel Cohn

You Know Where to Find Me
Rachel Cohn
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Published March 4, 2008

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Two cousins share a world of made up stories, dreams and long summer days until one, the perfect, beautiful one, chooses the unthinkable: to end her life. In the wake of that loss, the one left behind, Miles, must find her own way through her first summer without Laura. Friends and family rally around her to try to draw her out of her deepening isolation and depression, but their efforts often fall short and they are unable to touch the gaping wound inside of her. Miles’s story is a powerful, emotive tale of a girl walking through grief not knowing what is on the other side and if she can make it through and who, if anyone, will stick with her through that dark journey.

This was a tough read for me. I felt like the drug abuse was portrayed as this kind of glamorous experience, even though there were some consequences. It was explicit enough to almost feel like a how-to in some places, which was really too much for me. I deeply invested in the characters, but that investment also made it difficult for me to get through some of the darker parts of the story. Normally, I’m up for all the angst. I’m not sure why this one really haunted me (not in a great way) or what. Sensitive readers may find this one to be a bit too much to bear.

Language Content
Light. Very little bad language.

Sexual Content
In one scene, the main character touches a boy inappropriately on top of clothes. The scene is very brief. Laura’s father is gay, but the story does not delve into his relationships. Two men kiss near a fountain in the background of one scene.

Spiritual Content
Miles, despite calling herself an atheist, expresses anger toward God and briefly discusses the possible existence of heaven with another character, who expresses a belief that it does exist.


Drug Content
Yeowza. Before Laura’s death, the girls shared pharms like percs and oxys they snatched from parents’ unused prescriptions. Twice Miles visits the home of a renown drug dealer and checks out his stash. She depends more and more on the pharms and their effects after Laura kills herself and presents them as really benevolent for much of the duration of the story, though other characters do encourage Miles needs to quit using.

While Miles drug use is pretty explicit, the consequences include an accidental overdose and a commitment to rehab. She feels relieved to be breaking free of her addiction, even though she knows it’s going to be an uphill battle.