Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

High school seniors Nick and Norah meet at a music club in Manhattan. Nick is the... read more

High school seniors Nick and Norah meet at a music club in Manhattan. Nick is the only straight member of a queercore band, and Norah’s there to keep her bad-girl/groupie best friend out of trouble. Nick needs Norah to be his stand-in girlfriend when he sees his ex, Tris, walk in. But that five-minute assignment turns into the world’s greatest, most bizarre twenty-four-hour date. The chapters are narrated in their two alternate voices, with Norah penned by Cohn and Nick by Levithan. Readers are privy to two versions of the same events in the back-and-forth exchange. The way the two portray themselves and one another is very different, and their collective hyperanalysis of love and the universe is treated with fresh, contemporary language. Music pulses throughout a night spent bouncing in and out of various clubs and serves as a major part of each character’s identity as “straight edge.” Because straight-edge teens don’t drink or do drugs, Nick and Norah’s passionate, graphic language is their rebellion and protection, and the profanity seems to lessen as trust slowly builds and their bravado and self-consciousness fall away. Like all new love, Nick and Norah’s story is tender, funny, and awkward as they retreat and move forward with every word and every song. (Age 13 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2007

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