Wednesday, January 21, 2009

nick & norah's INFINITE PLAYLIST- my thoughts

Notice: This post contains the F-bomb. I normally do not like to post this word on my blog so I apologize in advance if I offend anyone....that is not my intention. However, I felt that I needed to keep the word and use it within the context of the book.

nick & norah's INFINITE PLAYLIST by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

from the inside jacket: Nick's just seen the girl who dumped him walk in...with a new guy. What else can he do but ask the strange girl next to him to be his new girlfriend for the next five minutes? Norah would do anything to avoid conversation with the not not-frient girl who dumped Nick...and to get over the Evil Ex whom Norah never really totally dumped. What else can she do but answer Nick's question by making out with him? With one electric, unexpected kiss, the five-minute couple of Nick and Norah set off on an uncharted adventure called the "first date" that will turn into an infinite night of falling in and out (and in and out, and maybe in and maybe out) of love. Theirs is a first date of music, laughter, heartache, confusion, passion, taxi driver wisdom, and a jacket named Salvatore. And of course a killer soundtrack. As Nick and Norah wander through the middle-of-the-night mystic maze of Manhattan, they share the kind of night you want to never end, where every minute counts and every moment flickers between love and disaster.

The jacket blurb had me sold. I couldn't wait to take this ride and music, I love music!! But let me tell you I couldn't name 1/3 of the bands listed in this book. I'm too old!!! I wanted to love this book but unfortunately I feel very luke-warm towards it. The biggest contributor to this feeling is that the authors over use the word f&^*. I’m not a prude, I don't mind this word being used in a book, heck I throw it around every now and again, but on one page this word showed up 25 times in just 3 paragraphs!!! After a while it just became weary to hear this word coming out the mouths of these characters that I really wanted to like. I think the authors could’ve developed Nick and Norah personalities, made them more than just teenagers who can’t express themselves without using excessive profanity. They did try to give them some depth towards the end of the book but for me it was too late. I had already made up my mind that this read was o.k., nothing stellar and certainly not one that I would rave about to others, especially my middle-school kids! The premise of the story is very original, two teens who have never met, agree to be each other’s boyfriend/girlfriend for 5 minutes in order to make past love’s jealous. This book could’ve shined without all the extraneous f-bombs.

There were moments though that I did enjoy:

Norah ditches Nick at a nightclub and takes off in a cab. She’s still wearing his jacket that contains his cell phone.

Norah answers on the fourth ring.
“Who the hell is this?” she asks.
I mean, I knew she would answer. But still I’m dumbstruck.
“Is Nick there?” I finally ask.
“No,” she says. “He’s out defeating a minor threat. Do you want to call back for his voice mail?”
It’s like I can’t help it. I am absolutely falling back into conversation with her.
“Can you give him a message?” I ask.
“Do I need a pen? Cuz if I do, you’re so fucking out of luck.”
“No. Could you just tell him that he totally blew it when he let Norah get away in that cab?”
There’s a pause. “Who the fuck is this?”
“And could you let him know that I’m really fucking relieved that he has finally unshackled himself from that Tris bitch?”
“You’re kidding, right?”
“And could you pass on the message that it’s not enough to be sitting alone on a sidewalk writing a song for a girl if you don’t have the guts to at least try talking to her again?”
Another pause. “Are you serious?”
“Where are you?”
“Veselka. Where are you?”
“Doesn’t matter,” I say. “I’ll be at Veselka soon. In the meantime, can you pass on my message?”
I hang up before she can reply.

Pages 120-121

There are other moments like this throughout the book, so I feel let down because it could’ve been really, really good. For me it just wasn’t.


  1. I am sorry to hear this was such a let down in the end, Staci. Have you see the movie. I can't remember if you'd said.

  2. Wendy- I haven't seen the movie and I think I will. It wasn't a horrible read but IMHO it could've been so much better. The potential was there!!

  3. The book jacket description makes the book sound very cute. And the dialogue you quoted is good. It's too bad it was a disappointment in the end. I agree with you about the profanity - using the 'f' word 25 times in 3 paragraphs would really annoy me.

  4. It's too bad that an author feels the need to use such language. Kids talk filthy enough without influences like this. What makes me even angrier is that the girls saw this movie. I can only imagine what that was like.

  5. I really want to read this one, but your review gives me pause...I think I'll just put it off for awhile. Thanks for the review!

  6. I'm sorry to hear the book disappointed you! I haven't read it yet, but it's on my list, so in a few months I should find out how I feel about it.

    I hope you enjoy your next

  7. I know people who use the F word A LOT. But still, not THAT much.


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