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Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (2006)

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (2006)

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3.75 of 5 Votes: 2
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0375835318 (ISBN13: 9780375835315)
alfred a. knopf books for young readers

About book Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (2006)

A few years ago I posted a far-too-personal blog on MySpace (ok, so maybe it was more than a few years ago) offering a retrospective analysis of select mortifying excepts from my circa-age 14 journal (note: not a diary). It's the only year I kept one, and thank god, because while it's perhaps worthwhile to have a snapshot of what I was thinking and feeling at that particular, tumultuous time in my life, what I was thinking and feeling was stupid and the way I went about putting it into words was even worse and no one should ever have to revisit their emotional idiocy in such stark and concrete fashion. Ever. As a rule, teenagers are not good at analyzing the world, or their feelings, or their feelings about the world. Because they are idiots.Take, for example, the lead characters of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist: they are idiots. This account of their madcap adventures, both sonic and sexual, across a very busy night in Manhattan during their senior year of high school is a lot of fun to read, but it's also excruciating, because it is written so accurately in the alternating dear-diary voices of a teenage boy and a teenage girl, respectively, and wow, you probably don't really want to be quite so inside a 17-year-old's mind, even one as seemingly jaded and witty as Norah, the cynical rich daughter of a recording industry exec who meets cute with tragically sensitive emo punk & damaged romantic Nick. Because all of her oh-so-learned insights about the world, which probably would have seemed really wise-beyond-her-years if she was real and I knew her when I was 17 myself and totally in love with her even though I would never actually say anything to her about my feelings? Self-centered, self-indulgent claptrap. And don't get me started on Nick: his chapters are even worse. Whether he's moping about his big breakup or waxing poetic about his new attraction to Norah, he sounds like nothing so much as if he is stringing together crappy lyrics from bad emo songs ("I open my mouth and she opens my mouth and it's like she's breathing right through me. And her body is wet and it's right against mine and I want, I want, I want."). There's this section where he goes on and on about how beautiful and wonderful it is to just stand out in the rain, to really be in the rain, you know? And this part is just so painful for me to read because my very own diary journal has a long section about how I was feeling confused and conflicted about this girl so I just went out at night and went rollerblading in the rain and it was just so quiet and true and man do I want to punch 14-year-old me in the face (though it did subsequently spark the creation of my own bad emo song parody, Rollerblading in the Rain, which goes like this: "Needing you/ wishing you/ hoping you/ wanting you/ is like rollerblading in the rain/ you might slip and fall but you'll/ pick yourself up again").So what exactly does it mean that N&NIP is written so accurately in the voices of its characters that it is regularly frustratingly twee and trite, because hey, what are the musings of teenagers if not twee and trite? It's like the Showgirls conundrum: is that a really really bad movie about a stripper, or is it a really really smart, intentionally bad genre parody? Either way, both entertainments are actually entertaining, even if I remain unconvinced of their genius, so I guess that's something.A side note about Nick & Norah: The Movie - I like it. I think it benefits from a more focused structure and a wider cast of characters to take the pressure off the occasionally insufferable leads. Plus it has a great soundtrack. On the other hand, the book doesn't have Michael Cera's terrifying face. Who expected he would grow up to so closely resemble The Penguin?Facebook 30 Day Book Challenge Day 13: Book whose main character is most like you. (Most like me as a teenager anyway.)

Novels written by two authors can go one of two ways: they can be really cool, or really bad. Happily, writers of young adult novels seem to have a knack for working in collaboration. "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" (from 2006) was written by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. Cohn wrote Norah's part and Levithan wrote Nick's part, but they are not really Nick and Norah.The story starts in the middle of the night (or is it the beginning of the morning?) at a club on Ludlow Street in New York City. Nick is "the nonqueer bassist in a queercore band who is filling the room with undertone" as his band tears through their set. His life is seeming pretty great when Tris, The Ex, walks into the club. That's where Norah comes in.Norah is "the daughter of an Englewood Cliffs-livin', fat-cat record company CEO" who happens to be in the right place at the exact time that Nick really needs a five-minute girlfriend. That also happens to be right when Norah needs to get a ride for her friend.So it all kind of works out. It also sets the stage for the novel: a first date that makes it through the club scene in New York, a date where everything goes wrong (or maybe it goes right), a date that goes on and on--in a good way, mostly.In other words, "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" is a fast story. Events jump around and the prose moves just as quickly. Cohn and Levithan keep up this speed with their narratives (Nick and Norah get alternating chapters) which have the verve appropriate to a hip, teen novel.Because this book really is firmly grounded in the Young Adult genre. Older readers who have an interest in music (or the upcoming movie) might be interested but the novel is very centered on teen concerns and interests. None of which is a bad thing since this is a YA novel.The narrative here is really tight. Cohn and Levithan do a great job keeping the story coherent as they alternate chapters without getting redundant. I really like the style here. The duel narratives overlap enough that readers get to see key events from Nick and Norah's point of view. This technique helps to give a fuller version of the story as well as humorously showing how differently two people can see the exact same thing.My only qualm with the novel is the language. There is a lot of cursing. That doesn't bother me ideologically, but it does start to seem over the top. About two thirds into the novel I started to wonder if anyone could really curse that much in day-to-day conversation (Norah is a self-proclaimed "potty mouth" to be fair), but maybe I just hung out with a different kind of set when I was younger."Nick and Norah's Playlist" is a crazy ride of a novel. It has music, borscht, romance, and some great dialogue. Readers familiar with Levithan's other novels ("Boy Meets Boy" to name one) will recognize his frank writing style here. I haven't read any of Cohn's other novels ("Gingerbread" to name one) but she's definitely on my watch list now.

Do You like book Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (2006)?

Ok, I don’t think I’ve ever read the word f*&k so many times (sheesh), but I like this book for its innovative and true representation of the current teenage mind. I’m sure not all teenagers are like Nick and Norah (I know I wasn’t), but many are the dialog in this books is insightful. It’s written in alternating chapters from Nick & Norah’s POV. It’s great to see what’s going on in their head simultaneously. Whoa to the person who could put up with it in everyday life. Anyway, Nick and Norah learn to let go, live, and love again. Great lines...Nick (Chapter 9) - “There isn’t any loneliness, only this twoliness. There’s only one way to test it, and that is to dare a movement, to push it farther and see if she wants to go there.” Twoliness? That’s a great word and you all know it!Norah (Chapter 10) – “I hate Nick right now, too, but there’s someone else higher on my list, someone I hate more than Saddam Hussein and any asshole named Bush combined, hate more than that f*&khead to cancelled My-So-Called Life and left me with a too-small boxed DVD (…) I need to f*&king find the person I hate the most, so I can hopefully at least kill that other hate, the once called regret.” I couldn’t agree with Norah more here. She is inside my brain and saying my thoughts out loud. I don’t think Norah’s quite old enough to have a true appreciation of My-So-Called Life, but she understands my pain. Thank you Rachel Cohn, thank you.

Pane bože! Pane bože! Tyhle slova normálně při psaní nepoužívám (abych byla upřímná, bohužel i já takhle mluvím... ale psát takhle, to je něco úplně jiného), ale tohle... tohle mám tendenci pořád psát! Tahle knížka... no ty brďo! Nikdy jsem si nemyslela, že se toho tolik může udát za jedinou noc a nevyznít to... co já vím... divně... ale... ty jo! Tahle kniha vypráví o jedné noci dvou lidí. Dvou lidí, kteří za sebou mají svůj vlastní příběh, osud, pocity, zklamání, lásky, nevyřešené účty. Dva lidi, které svede náhoda dohromady. Příběh dvou lidí plný muziky. Příběh dvou lidí, který jsem si naprosto zamilovala.Nick a Norah se během jedné noci poznávají. Ze začátku to může vyznít vážně zvláštně. Mně to tak alespoň přišlo. Nedokázala jsem si představit, že by někdo mohl napsat knížku o jedné noci. Vůbec jsem neměla ponětí, co od toho očekávat. Ale vážně jsem si to zamilovala. Zamilovala jsem si Nicka i Norah. To jak pochybovali, jak se různě vyvíjeli, jak se snažili srovnat, vyřešit, neřešit svoje problémy... Vážně skvělá knížka! Jediné, co mi trochu vadilo, byl ze začátku styl psaní. Já nevím, jestli je to tím, že poslední dobou čtu jenom v angličtině a překlady mi poté připadají zvláštní, prostě nevím. Ale pokud se píší v českých knihách věci nespisovný typu - voko namísto oko, mám velmi velký problém se s tím srovnat. Asi jsem v tomhle směru moc konzervativní. Ale díky bohu, nebylo to tam tak často, jak jsem se po začátku trochu bála a já jsem knížku doslova zhltla. Výborná odpočinková knížka, mně pomohla krásně vypnout po náročném dnu. Vřele (!!!!) doporučuji!

Street Corner TBR ChallengeMay Pick #5 per Tina.I don’t know if I have ever read a book that I had already watched the movie for. If I have I can’t think of it. I usually read the book first and make myself wait to watch the movie. But, for whatever reason I didn’t wait with Nick and Norah. Hearing the movie was better than the book might have gave me the push…. It was a cool experience though. I knew exactly how to picture the characters; I imagined them the entire time. I kept picturing scenes from the movie, always with a smile, almost like remembering old friends. I knew where the book was going to go, but I received some needed insight into Nick and Norah’s minds. I will say though, the movie did a good job of following the book. I can’t pick which one I like better. They both entertained me. I’ve got to give props to the book; even though I had seen the film, I wasn’t bored… that’s got to tell you something. It’s all in the writing; Rachel Cohn is my girl-writer-crush, especially when paired up with Levithan. They complement each other so well. The quirkiness is so refreshing. I am definitely feeling Nick and Norah!!!! And, now I want to go and re-watch the movie! Like I said, I’m into N&N!!!I 100% adore the acknowledgements playlist. What makes N&N such a good, fun read??? Originality and well, it’s good and fun!!!4.5 stars, highly recommend.

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