Reviews for Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist


Booklist Reviews 2006 April #1
Gr. 10-12. Cohn and Levithan contribute alternating chapters in this high-energy romance that follows two high-school seniors through a single, music-fueled night in Manhattan. Nick, the "nonqueer bassist in a queercore band," is playing with The Fuck Offs, when he spots his ex-girlfriend, Tris. Once offstage, he propositions a girl he has never met, hoping to make Tris jealous: "Would you mind being my girlfriend for five minutes?" Norah, also heartbroken (and hoping Nick will drive her home), agrees. What begins as a spontaneous ploy turns into something surprising and real in the course of one night as Nick and Norah roam Manhattan, listen to bands, confront past hurts, and hurtle toward romance. The real-time pacing may slow some readers, and a few Manhattan in-jokes ("Hunter from Hunter") may exclude teens in the wider world. Still, many readers will respond to the tough, clever, amped-up narratives, which include mosh-pit coarse language (Nick sound-checks the microphones with the words "Fuck. Shit. Cock," for example) and the characters' wild yearning for love, and music, which feels powerful and true. ((Reviewed April 1, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Fall
When a split-second decision leads to a passionate kiss between strangers Nick and Norah, the two teenagers soon find themselves cavorting through Manhattan's queercore music scene. In alternating first-person narratives, Nick and Norah document their new-relationship giddiness, past heartbreak, and present vulnerability. Full of sarcastic witticisms and gratuitous expletives, this one-night-of-freedom romance packs a satisfying dose of sexy teenage drama. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2006 April #2
The wattage goes way up as two of the bright lights of contemporary writing for teens come together for an incandescent he said/she said night of storytelling. Nick from Hoboken is the songwriter, bassist and token straight guy for a queer/punk band; Norah from Englewood Cliffs is the privileged daughter of a recording exec who loves nothing better than the music. The story's written in alternating chapters in their two voices over a single madcap night. Nick's still hurting from his breakup with Tris, a blonde bombshell, and Norah from Tal, for whom she was never Jewish enough, vegan enough or political enough. When Nick sees Tris at the club where he's playing, he asks Norah to be his "girlfriend for five minutes" and a luscious kiss. On to another club, through various hardcore bands, rain on a Sunday morning, an encounter in the ice and soda alcove at the Marriott Marquis-all the while rooting for these smart-mouthed, but vulnerable teens to reach each other through all the kissing and music. There's perfectly captured teen music-geek talk and delicious stuff about kissing and what lies beyond. Sensual and full of texture. (Fiction. YA) Copyright Kirkus 2006 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2006 May #1

This compulsively readable novel takes place in less than 24 hours. At a New York club one night, Nick convinces a stranger to pose as his girlfriend in order to fool Tris, the girl who broke his heart. He does not guess (though readers may) that kissing Norah will lead to a long, complicated evening, and a new chance for love. Levithan (Boy Meets Boy ) and Cohn (Gingerbread ) reveal the clever construction of the book in an authors' note: they sent chapters back and forth, he writing as Nick, she as Norah. The novel has that pumped-up feeling of a story passed among friends who each add a section, spontaneously incorporating unforeseen elements. Levithan again creates outrageous characters and witty wordplay (a "Playboygirl Bunny" bouncer asks Nick, "How long have the two of you been the two of you?"), and Cohn brings to life another rich punk rock girl. The two see a secret show on the Lower East Side, pig out in a Russian diner, and get caught making out in an ice room at the Times Square Marriott, all the time wondering if they can let go of their past loves and risk another heartbreak. Much of the novel's energy comes from the rapid-fire repartee between the two leads, plus perhaps the most vivid character, Tris--Nick's Id-driven ex and a classmate of Norah's, who ends up giving Nick advice and Norah kissing lessons. Readers will likely enjoy the ride, even if it is obvious where these two are headed. Ages 14-up. (May)

[Page 65]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2007 August #1
When Nick convinces Norah to pose as his girlfriend in an attempt to make an ex jealous, the two inevitably discover a mutual attraction in this "compulsively readable novel that takes place in less than 24 hours." Ages 14-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2006 May

Gr 9 Up -What happens when two witty, wise, but vulnerable teens meet by accident at a chaotic punk rock club? They fall in love, of course. While both are dealing with the fallout of failed relationships and the infinite hurt that accompanies them, they are questioning everything about themselves, their friends, and their future paths. The passion and intelligence of these characters, along with the authors' intimate knowledge of and complete respect for their audience, make this novel unique. Told in alternating chapters over the course of a single night, the narratives create a fully fleshed-out picture of both teens, informed by their love of music, their devotion to their friends, and their clear-eyed view of the world. These kids don't drink or do drugs and it's solely their obsession with music that takes them to these clubs. One of Norah's relatives calls her a "potty mouth," and that's no exaggeration. Throughout the book, the expletives fly fast and furious, but they are more about personal expression and in-your-face attitude than about strong emotions. Yet, there is also considerable depth and sensitivity. Norah explains the Jewish concept of tikkun olam -the responsibility to heal a fractured world-and Nick comes up with an original spin on it. There are many heart-stopping, insightful moments in this supremely satisfying and sexy romance. A first-rate read.-Tracy Karbel, Glenside Public Library District, Glendale Heights, IL

[Page 120]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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VOYA Reviews 2006 April
When he spots Norah in a packed bar, under-aged bass player Nicks asks her to be his girlfriend for "the next five minutes." This great readers' hook is actually a ploy for Nick to conceal himself from Tris, his ex. Norah, who has turned down acceptance into Brown, plays along with a lingering kiss, but the improvisational romance hits a rocky start. She does not want to be "some 7-Eleven quick stop on his slut train." From there, a wild ride of attraction, anger, uncertainty, lust, and finally love blasts through a single Manhattan night into dawn Laced with musical name droppings of punk, heavy metal, and even oldies songs and groups (Abba gets a nod), the accomplished authors create an alternating-points-of-view romance that is edgy, sexual, and oh-so realistic. Hip and bold descriptive phrases highlight this book-a novel that will achieve cult status with older teens. Readers become part of a club's unrestrained chaos when the band plays a Green Day cover and the pair becomes "seven years old and dancing like we spit out the Ritalin while Mom wasn't looking." Nick and Norah, both recovering from lousy relationships, lug around emotional baggage that helps them to connect. The would-be lovers are funny, do stupid things, doubt themselves, and teens will adore them. F-bombs are dropped throughout the book, but it works. These characters are not "gosh" or "shucks" people. Repartee spices up the dialogue-perhaps a tribute to William Powell and Myrna Loy, the Nick and Nora Charles of the 1934 film The Thin Man.-Rollie Welch PLB $18.95. ISBN 0-375-93531-2. 4Q 4P S A/YA Copyright 2006 Voya Reviews.

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