Review: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

But I guess you don’t see the planets when you’re staring at the sun. You get blinded

Title: Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist

Author(s): Rachel Cohen and David Levithan

Published: 2006

Book Type: Library Book

Rating: 2.5/ 5 stars

Pages: 183

Dates Read: 25 April – 30 April

Summary: Two teens will go on an unexpected adventure over the course of one night and an infinite playlist. Nick is heartbroken over Tris, who left him weeks ago. Now, Tris is at the show with her new toy. In a panic, he asks the girl next to him to pretend to be his girlfriend for 5 minutes.

Norah just wants to enjoy the show and forget about her ex and the questionable choices she made lately. Plus, she needs to keep an eye on her best friend, Caroline, who is drunk. Norah also wants to avoid speaking to her not-friend Tris, who has shown up with a guy who can’t be nearly as great as the ex who made her mixed CDs that Norah was jealous of. So when the boy next to her asks her to be his girlfriend for 5 minutes, Norah figures why not? 

That decision leads to a surprising kiss, and then a series of unexpected adventures. Some wonderful. Some horrible. But all will teach them about each other and themselves. All their “first date” really needs, is the perfect soundtrack.

Review: I have been wanting to read this book for YEARS. Unlike many “older” YA novels, this one has not budged from its spot on the shelf, making it somewhat of a classic in the YA section. I was expecting something heartfelt, whimsical, and thought provoking. After all, older YA novels tend to focus on “first love” and lots of teen angst. This book certainly delivered in the teen angst department.

My first mistake was looking up the movie trailer for the book because for some reason, Michael Cera was casted as Nick.

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I have nothing against Michael Cera. He was fantastic in Arrested Development. Perfect casting. Although I haven’t see the movie of Nick and Nora, I just feel that casting Cera was…. off, somehow…

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(Again, nothing against Michael Cera… just…. yeah…)

ANYWAY…

I ended up reading all of Nick’s chapter’s in Michael Cera’s voice, which was weird. So very weird.

The book just seemed to zig zag in regards to emotions and what was going on, which fits with the “angst” thing, but it made Nick and Norah really unlikable, even for teens. Nick’s chapters were pretty tolerable, but Norah’s were difficult to read because there were so many thoughts happening at once that I felt like I was being suffocated.

On one hand, that’s a pretty cool writing technique because I felt Norah’s fear and anger. But it also got old pretty quickly. Norah just didn’t seem to have many redeeming qualities, and Nick was pretty one note.

I’ve seen quite a few people complain about the amount of cussing that happens in this novel. Personally, the cussing did not bother me. I tend to cuss a lot in my mind, though I do try to mind my use of f-bombs when speaking, which neither Nick or Norah do. Again, didn’t bother me, but if you’re not a fan of curse words, then you’re gonna wanna pass on this book.

My coworker told me that Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist makes a great teen bookclub book because it’s short and very deep. While I do agree that there were some deep themes in the book, the lack of character development really hindered them. Both characters were clearly conflicted, but they were not complex and after a while, their internal struggles felt tiresome and repetitive.

When it became clear Nick was catching feels for Norah, I was like…

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Overall, this book missed the mark for me. I loved the idea of a spontaneous first date, but the lack of character development and depth really made this story difficult to like. In the end, I didn’t care if Nick and Nora decided to be together or not. I just wanted them to go home. Since they both took turns constantly storming off, it felt like the romantic energy was dead.

But, honestly, what do I know about love?

Have you read Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist? Did you like it? Tell me about it!

Love, always,

Syl.

 

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