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on 16 October 2009
This isn't my type of book. Teen romance, young adult style of American rebellious teens. I didn't think I'd be able to relate to anything in the story- I wasn't even aware there was an underground scene in New York, but I digress.

On the behest of my girlfriend I decided to give it a read, and I was sucked in right off the bat. The story progression is something I'd never come across before, and I found it to be an excellent way of conveying the points of view of different people, it helps having two authors, I suppose.

The story of the two young people caught up in a night of excitement was invigorating and I couldn't put the book down. The backstories and various nuances for each of the main characters were very good and just made sense.

I would definitely recommend to at least try reading this book, even if you don't think you'll like it. There's just something about the way that it's put together than really works. Excellent read.
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on 5 September 2014
I am such of a fan of David Levithan's I am. There have been only two books of his that I've read so far that I haven't enjoyed immensely, so when Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist was released, co-written by Levithan and Rachel Cohn, I jumped at the chance to read it, seeing as I absolutely adored Dash & Lily's Book of Dares! And I am overjoyed to say Nick & Norah is absolutely adorable!

Nick has just finished performing with his band at a gig, when he spots Tris, the girl who broke his heart almost four weeks ago. He's still having trouble getting past their break up, so to avoid talking to her, he asks the random girl next to him at the bar to pretend to be his girlfriend for the next five minutes. Norah, under the impression that as Nick is in a band, he's going to have wheels, and she really needs to get her drunk friend Caroline home, so she agrees by kissing him. But Norah is also getting over a painful break up, and this random meeting might be just what they both need to move on.

Oh my gosh this book is just beautiful! Nick is just the sweetest guy! The sweetest! And ever so slightly clueless, but in the best possible way. Accept for when it leads to misunderstandings and crossed wires. Norah is spunky and cool, but also sensible and sometimes little scared and unsure. Despite not knowing each other for very long, there is a spark between them, but one is never quite sure what the other one thinks about them, and so the night goes from one place to the next, bonding over music, as they stumble and climb through insecurity and mistakes to what's real. Oh my god, they are just so cute!

Levithan and Cohn have both very distinct writing styles, so Nick and Norah's voices are very different. I absolutely love Levithan's style, and his beautiful turn of phrase. He is so damn quotable! I find myself almost always wanting to read his parts out loud, just to hear the awesomeness of his writing, as well as read it. I really enjoy Cohn's writing too. As with Lily in Dash & Lily, her Norah is filled with a quiet bravery, despite her moments of regret, uncertainty and insecurity. She is a taker of small risks, and I love her for that. Cohn seems to write real girls, but also girls to be admired, and I really love that about these books.

The title of the book comes from something said by Nick, and so from Levithan, and it is just beautiful! I don't want to spoil how beautiful it is, but it's so in line with what you expect from Levithan. It's just the perfect title! I love it!

An incredible story! I'm really looking forward to reading Naomi & Eli next, and to watching the movie of Nick & Norah!
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on 14 October 2006
Before I start the story that is Nick and Norah, I decided we needed to get some misconceptions out of the way first.

1) I don't live in Manhattan, so I won't understand what the characters are talking about. Wrong! I don't live in Manhattan--actually, I've never been farther East than Ohio, but I still got the gist of the story quite easily. Sure, I might never have visited Times Square, but I've been on the Square in my hometown (population 3,400), and the same types of things went on there that go on in New York.

2) This book is full of cursing. Right! And if you haven't heard a lot of curse words (do I really need to spell them out?), especially from the mouths of teens, in the last twenty years or so, I'm guessing you live on a commune somewhere in the middle of Utah.

3) This book only covers one night. Right again! And oh, what a night it is! One night, filled with all the ups, downs, and sideways that being a teen in todays world brings.

Now that we've got that out of the way, we can concentrate on the story. It's about Nick, a bassist for a band with an ever-changing name, who recently had his heart broken by a b***h named Tris. It's about Norah, an uber-complicated girl with more issues than The National Enquirer, who not too long ago had her virginity broken by Tal. And then there's Caroline, and Jessie, and Uncle Lou, not to mention Dev and Thom, and Randy from Are You Randy?, and Hunter from Hunter. There's beer, and
there's drugs, and there's sex, although none of it is Nick or Norah's.

There's heartbreak, and devastation, and lust, and forgiveness, and acceptance. There's parents to deal with, and friends to attempt to deal with, and a boy and a girl who wish that, just once, they could be themselves and not deal at all. There's a love story, and a song about a girl on a street in the middle of the night, and a band that just might make it big, and a car that won't start, and a subway ride that requires jumping the turnstyle.

There's love, and anger, and disappointment, and desperation, and redemption. There's life, and then there's Nick and Norah. There's a story here, and you need to read it.

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on 25 September 2013
This book has lingered near the top of my to-read pile for close to a year now, but I took my time in making the leap to actually picking it up. I don't know why, especially after I read and enjoyed Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by the same authors, earlier this year. It's a short read and sounded exactly like the kind of story I really enjoy. But all that matters not is that I have finally picked it up and read it. I'm so glad I did.

Seeing as it's so short (just shy of 200 pages), I read it in less than 24 hours, but I think, even if it had been longer, I would have read it just as fast.
The first chapter was pretty good, introducing the reader to Nick, but I wouldn't say that I really got pulled into the story until the end of the second chapter, when I had not only seen things through Nick's perspective for the first time, but also Norah's. It was immediately clear that the two characters were pretty similar to one another (both in personality and predicament), an I knew that the chemistry between them would not take long to show.
Both are music-obsessed; Nick is the bassist and only straight member of a 'queercore' band, and Norah, who is in the crowd at their gig at the beginning of the novel, happens to be the daughter of a rich and influential music producer. As a result, both characters talk about music a lot - sometimes I understood what and who they were on about, and sometimes I didn't (my musical knowledge does not extend very far) - but I found that, either way, my enjoyment of the book was not too badly affected. I think if I had greater knowledge of the music that was being discussed I may have gotten a little more out of the book, but I don't think, overall, that it made much difference at all. I mention this because, having spoken to other readers who are yet to read this book, this seemed to be a fairly large concern, but I'm here to say that even if, like me, you have a limited knowledge of all things musical, it's still more than possible to seriously enjoy this book.

As I said, I didn't think it would be too long until the chemistry between Nick and Norah began to show, and I was right on two counts. Neither character initially knows it, but the physical attraction is mutual from the first hasty kiss that begins their packed and unforgettable night together that spans the length of the novel. But it wasn't just a physical attraction that showed (initially from the characters' thoughts in their individual chapters), but also an intellectual, deeper attraction, that became increasingly obvious as the two of them talked and began to get to know each other. In fact, I would say that this attraction, for Norah, began almost as soon as she realised who he was, through mix tapes and song lyrics he'd created for his ex-girlfriend, Tris, who happens to be a kind-of0but-not-quite friend of Norah's.
I never quite got tot he point of feeling frustrated by the constant ups and downs of Nick and Norah's fledgling relationship because I was so utterly convinced that things were going to work out between them, so I decided to sit back and enjoy the ride, and enjoy it I did. The conversations between them were witty, humorous, sometimes profound and deep, and the situations they got in together were intense, and often laugh-out-loud hilarious (particularly towards the end - you'll know what I mean, if you've read it, or decide to). I enjoyed every moment of their rollercoaster relationship.

Aside from Nick and Norah, there was another character that I really feel I should mention. Obviously there are other characters in the book beside our leading couple, but most of them took a back seat, in my opinion. Apart from one; Nick's ex, Tris.
She starts out being an almost-antagonist, 'evil-ex' kind of figure - even Norah seemed to dislike her, and I was inclined to agree, from what I'd already seen through Nick's eyes. But as is sometimes the case, the male had misunderstood pretty much everything, and the female had purposefully confused. As the novel goes on, Tris' role in it evolves, and her final appearance really surprised me. It totally changed my opinion of her, and made her a much more interesting character.

The only reason I have not given Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist the full five star rating is because it did not have the unforgettable 'wow-factor', but I did really, really enjoy it. It was infinitely entertaining, witty, funny and compelling. The characters are intelligent, well-developed and loveable, and the prose is absorbing, clever and in places, beautiful.
This is a wonderful read, especially if what you're looking for is a quick, fun and uplifting story. I highly recommend it.

Originally written for my blog, Pen to Paper ([...])
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on 24 February 2014
Nick and Norah meet by chance in a club when Nick sees his ex girlfriend, Tris, walk in with her new boyfriend. Wanting to not look like the sad sap that is still hung up on her Nick asks Norah to be his ‘girlfriend’. One kiss leads them into a night of adventure.

I loved both Nick and Norah’s characters however they weren’t without their faults. Nick was very hung up on Tris throughout the book, which did get irritating and Norah seemed very fickle. It was their interaction with each other that I loved. They seemed to balance each other out. Norah appreciates his music and Nick appreciates her humour and you could see why these two would make a good couple.

At the beginning of the book I really disliked Tris and although I can’t say that I like her character there are points in the book where she behaves like a human being and I respect her for that.

I really enjoyed the fact that this was not an instant love story. The amount of twists and turns and changing emotions made me feel like it was a little more realistic than love at first sight. Even at the end of the book when they both seem to have gotten over their demons there is still the niggling questioning thoughts in Norah’s mind and I liked that. The realistic doubts of whether to take a chance on someone and getting hurt.

It was nice to read a book that was not afraid to let the main character swear however at times the cussing felt quite excessive and I did question whether or not it was necessary.

If you are looking to read a book that is fuelled on alcohol, stale oreos and sleep deprivation I would recommend Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. However if you are offended by language I might give this one a miss.
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on 26 July 2011
So this book was such an easy, sweet read.

Nick & Norah's first meeting and first date was absolutely incredible. The music was amazing as well - even though, like Nick, I'm totally offended that Norah hates the Beatles!!! And I totally think "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" is the ultimate love song!

That being said, I think this was a really good introduction to their relationship, and even though it was a short story, it was sweet, and it was very thorough - as in, it had all the elements a longer story with a longer timeline would have. It reminded me of Before Sunrise, only with an ending that actually gives you closure.

That being said, I'm not a huge fan of the ending. The whole jumping over the turnstile - dramatizing that whole scene and making it into a leap of faith thing. I mean, after everything you've been through that night, going into an ice room with him, and getting into a car with him, and a train, and an elevator and eating and dancing and so on - all those leaps of faith you took with a person who WAS a complete stranger, you are now going to try and decide whether to jump over a turnstile and actually make that into a metaphor about your relationship with him? I don't know - a little too cheesy I thought. And very abrupt for an ending. Would've preferred it to end with him taking her home, and kissing her good night - or good morning - and her closing the door, running to her room and looking out the window to try and glimpse him one last time. But hey, that's just me.

Also, there was A LOT of making out going on. I mean, the whole thing started out with a kiss, and even though, the making out scenes fit in certain parts, I felt like there was too much talk about it?

Anyway, those two points are why I gave it 4 stars.

But over all, I did really like the book, and I very much enjoyed it. Not my favourite, and don't think it's something I'd read again even, but definitely worth keeping.
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on 15 September 2013
I picked this up (insomuch as you can pick a kindle version of a book up) after recently watching the film version for a second time. I'm always a bit wary about this, as more often than not, the 'second' version of something doesn't live up to the original - even if the 'second' version came first. Which was the case here - the film was an adaptation of the book.
Well I thoroughly enjoyed the film so I thought I'd give this a whirl.

I was slightly put off by the fact that it was described as teen, or young persons, fiction. As far as I'm concerned, once you're past 'The Hungry Caterpillar', books are for everyone, unless they're particularly violent, sexual etc. And this one, apart from apparently being sponsored by the 'F' word, given its prevalence, isn't.

It's the just the story of Nick, Norah, and the night they spend in New York after a chance meeting.

I really enjoyed it. As others have mentioned, the mechanism used by the authors, whereby the chapters alternate between Nick, and then Norah's viewpoint may not be wholly original, but it works extremely well.
And credit to the authors too, for the seemingly breathless pace they inject into the writing, particularly in the middle section of the book. Your eyes race across the page in an effort to keep up.

It helps if you're a music fan - if you aren't, then deduct one star - not for any particular mention of a band or song, but just for the way the writers evoke that familiar buzz you get from going to see a band, or just sitting around with your friends discussing music to the nth degree.

So to sum up - if you liked the film, I think you'd like the book. It's similar enough that you won't think 'Oh, it's been spoiled because they didn't do x, y or z.', but it differs in sufficiently subtle ways that it keeps your interest despite the fact that you think you know where it's going.

It's a bit short - you could probably read the whole thing in one sitting - but given that plenty of books outstay their welcome, short isn't necessarily a bad thing.,

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on 27 March 2013
I love this book. An inordinate amount. Read it when you've had a rubbish day, or when you're in bed ill. It will make you feel a thousand times better.
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on 18 October 2012
You have to read this! I don't know why I waited so long. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist is proof that books don't have to have 300+ pages to have great character development and amazing storytelling. Fair warning though; if you don't like swearing this is not for you.

The story takes place over one night and is told in alternating chapters by Nick and Norah. Yes it is a love story but there is so much more. Both Nick and Norah bring their own set of problems and it's fun to read how differently they view the same situation. Norah might have known about Nick before they met but the reality is not the guy she pictured.

During their adventure the reader is treated to a tour of a New York I'd love to see. The club, Toni and a performance of Sound of Music like no other. Nick's band mates plus Caroline and Tris all have their parts to play and as sidekicks are much more developed than expected. Tris is particular. And let's not forget the Jessie the Yugo.

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist is one marvelous adventure you do not want to miss out on.
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on 20 May 2013
I always try to read the book before I see the film, and I can now see why they picked Kat Dennings to play Norah.
I have yet to watch the film but I can already tell she'll make an awesome Norah, it's like the character was written for her.

I'm a big Rachel Cohn fan, have been since I read "You Know Where to Find Me" which is fantastic and although this is a lot different from that I still really enjoyed it. Also love David Levithan so a book by them both was a dream come true.
I love Nick and Norah, loved the alternating perspective chapters and loved how both authors bring New York to life, the only complaint I have is the book could have been longer!

A quick, quirky and sometimes laugh out loud funny book by two incredible writers, looking forward to reading more by both.
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