I have to say, I’m so glad that I picked up Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan from my local library. On the day I found myself exploring those well loved bookshelves, I was actually trying to keep myself from buying any more books (considering that I have no extra room to add anymore permanent residents to my bookish-abode). I was in the mood for books that I hadn’t heard much about and that I just found plain interesting. Now let me just say, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist is a book that could have been quite easily overlooked due to it’s compact size. It is a mere 183 pages (plus a few pages of stuff most people just skip over), paperback, and well worn to readable perfection and by some stroke of luck I found it. It just so happened to be a copy with the movie-tie-in cover, which instantly clicked with me, because I had remembered that I had always intended to watch the movie at some point in my life, but had yet to get around to it (not that I had any real idea of what this movie/book was about). All I knew for certain was that music had to play some kind of role in this story (given that the word “playlist” is in the title) and I love stories that include music, especially if the music they are referencing is actual music I can look up on Spotify, iTunes, or YouTube. So after quickly reading the summary on the back of the book, I added it to my “take home” pile.
Later that week, I was trudging through City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and was bored out of my mind (due to the fact I knew a lot of what was going to happen thanks to the movie and TV show), so to relieve myself of my suffering I decided to pick up Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. I was just hoping for a cute, quick read that would act as a caffeine injection into my reading life. I was not expecting to fall in love with a book after 19 pages. I don’t think I have fallen in love with a book so fast in my life! I was so surprised. I mean, I had literally laughed out loud at least 3 times before I even got to page 25!
I felt some sort of instant connection with both Nick and Norah. They are both delightfully awkward, yet completely normal at the same time as if they could be real teenagers you’d meet around town. This story is written in dual-perspective in a way that I felt is done so well. You get first hand accounts of their epic one night adventure from both characters, each with personalities and voices that are very distinct from each other. While reading the book I felt no confusion as to who was talking when. I also found it refreshing to read a story that was written in present tense, since I don’t see that often. The story also held a very good pace, it was neither too long or too short. Since Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist takes place over the course of one night as they explore New York City, I feel like it could have been a story that was rushed or completely superficial, but it wasn’t. Both Nick and Norah were dealing with the challenges of self-acceptance, failed relationships, and growing up and moving to the next stage of their lives after high school. As a reader you get to know some of the reasons behind the decisions that lead Nick and Norah through their night together, which is something that I appreciated.
What I also loved about this story is that it wasn’t really a love story at all, more like the start of a love story. Yes of course, Nick and Norah are attracted to each other there is no doubt about that (by the way, I wouldn’t recommend anybody younger than 15 years old read this book), but it wasn’t like a typical insta-love story where they are swooning over anything and everything each other does. It just felt real.
Overall I felt like this story was funny, heartwarming, and realistic for young adults. I wholeheartedly intend to adopt my own copy of this book in the near future, because I know it will be one that I will re-read many times. I highly recommend this book to those who like big stories in small packages.
PS. I also realized that in 2014 I had read another book Rachel Cohn & David Levithan co-wrote called Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares that I loved! I even did a video review on it and everything. Go figure! ;P