Monday, December 14, 2009

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan + Contest!

First published in 2006.

Nick's just seen the girl who dumped him walk in . . . with a new guy. What else can he do but ask the strange girl next to him to be his new girlfriend for the next five minutes?

Norah would do anyt
hing to avoid conversation with the not not-friend girl who dumped Nick . . . and to get over the Evil Ex whom Norah never really totally dumped. What else can she do but answer Nick's question by making out with him?

With one electric, unexpected kiss, the five-minute couple of Nick and Norah set off on an uncharted adventure called the "first date" that will turn into an
infinite night of falling in and out (and in and out, and maybe in and maybe out) of love. Theirs is a first date of music, laughter, heartache, confusion, passion, taxi driver wisdom, and a jacket named Salvatore. And of course a killer soundtrack.

As Nick and Norah wander through the middle-of-the-night mystic maze of Manhattan, they share the kind of night you want to never end, where every minute counts and every moment flickers between love and disaster.
(book back blurb)

You know, I really liked this book. I was a little worried I wouldn't because I kept hearing all over the place that the language was a little too hip for its own good and when I think of something like that, I automatically think of those trying-too-hard Clique-type of books that just overreach to the point of dislocation. So I was half-expecting something like that but I got was language that was really grounded and really normal.

Okay, not totally normal but what teen is? It borders on stream-of-consciousness with punctuation (thank god, I can't stand walls of text without a break to mimic "real" SoC, blech) and it actually feels like you're in the alternating heads of Nick and Norah as the story bounces back and forth between the two. Some of their thoughts are pretty out there, but then again, so are most of mine but they're situationally charged. They make sense in the moment. They're realistic, not superfluous. They're true to the voice of the character, not the author writing the character. I loved it. I thought the swearing as a little much. I mean, I swear like a fucking sailor and even I don't say "fuck" that much. Other than that, I thought the voices, the moments, the crazy thoughts, were totally cool and totally true to the makings of Nick and Norah.

The only character that I didn't truly believe was Trish, Nick's ex-girlfriend. I thought she was a little much and I just had a hard time believing that someone could actually be like her and still be taken as seriously as Norah tends to take her. She just didn't hit the right nerve with me. It's kind of hard to put my finger on but it has to do with all the "bitch" she says and what she gets away with. It irked me.

I liked how Norah isn't Trish. You know what I mean? Norah is the rich girl from the rich neighborhood with the dad who knows all the celebrities, but she's not Trish. She's not a bitch, she's not popular, people don't strive to be like her. She just is. In flannel. And Nick isn't a jock. He's not even really that cool of a band guy. He's the nerd that doesn't get any ass. Doesn't help that he doesn't want the ass that's thrown at him but that's besides the point. He's normal. He's attainable. He isn't a prick that all the girls fawn over (really?). He just is. In ugly shoes.

My favorite part about this book was the relationship. Again, REAL. This isn't love this story is talking about (although the blurb would say otherwise). It's SOMETHING. It's something that feels awesome and could so be taken to another level but thank god for that old couple that walked in at just the right time to make them realize that maybe they shouldn't be doing that just yet and let's just step back because I Wanna Hold Your Hand.

That, right there, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, is the essence of this book. Nick brings it up a couple of times and it makes so much sense and its so ingenious. It isn't about this gut-wrenching, wrist-slitting love that all these books talk about because you don't get that right away. Eventually if you're lucky, but not right now. In the beginning, and maybe for a while, there's just I Wanna Hold Your Hand. It's a simple act of caring that screams so much and means so much more than fucking and sucking and biting and stalking. It just is. You can chase and be chased. You can like without grabbing. You can have fun without hauling overboard. You can work shit out and still have someone standing there when you're done. It's simple and it's in that simplicity that it's so great and fathomable and deeper than any sparkly glitter love could offer. Nick and Norah know more about each other in one night than Edward and Bella know about each other in four agonizing books. There's more than smell and hotness. There's hand-holding. There isn't a fear that that person won't be there or won't call because you know they will. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon. There's no need in agonizing. It'll be okay. Your hand will be held.

If you want a realistic budding relationship, something that has longevity, that burrows far below superficiality and into a person's being, into a person's hand, if that's your type of love story, then pick up this book. This is probably the most realistic teen book I've read yet with the most realistic characters (not to mention the most relatable), the most realistic situations and a plot that'll just suck you in and spit you out and have you wondering if you just got laid or a beat down. Awesome. Totally awesome.

Contest Time!!!

You want my copy of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist? Just fill out the form below!

The question, name and email are all requirements. +2 for new followers/subscribers, +3 for old followers/subscribers, +3 for links up to 3 (for a total of +9).

The contest will end on January 5th at midnight, EST! Good luck!


Sandy said...

Best review for Nick And Norah's Infinite Playlist! You mention everything that I LOVED about the book. I only wish that it weren't so short! :)

Justine said...

Haven't read this book yet :) But I totally want to!

And one question: Is this contest open to Canada?

JG said...

That was a fantastic review!

CallMeKayla said...

I loved the movie, it was so funny!


Jo said...

Awesome review! I am so looking forward to reading this book!

I've entered the contest, but is it open internationally? I hope so!

Donna (Bites) said...

Thank you very much! And yes, the contest is open internationally, especially since I forgot to make that distinction! LOL! It's ok, I need to have them every once in a while!

Lauren said...

Fantastic review. I've seen the Nick and Norah movie, so I was hesitant about getting the book because while I enjoyed it, I wasn't sure there'd be enough 'more' to get out of the story by reading it. You've absolutely convinced me there is.

Liviania said...

I read and loved this book years ago, but it was a library copy. Have you seen the movie? It isn't perfect, but it's pretty true to the book and enjoyable.

Bingo said...

Would love to finally read a Nick and Nora book...filled out the form..thanks!

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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