4.29.2013

Book Review: Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

A one night stand only without a real stand. Or a stand that was interrupted.


It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City—and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.

This he said/she said romance told by YA stars Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a sexy, funny roller coaster of a story about one date over one very long night, with two teenagers, both recovering from broken hearts, who are just trying to figure out who they want to be—and where the next great band is playing.

Told in alternating chapters, teeming with music references, humor, angst, and endearing side characters, this is a love story you’ll wish were your very own. Working together for the first time, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have combined forces to create a book that is sure to grab readers of all ages and never let them go. - Goodreads

If I have read Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist when I was in high school I would have fallen head over heels with this novel. But just like anything that plummets in front of you at the wrong time, no matter how right it is- it simply will not work.

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist made me realize that the hierophanic sweetness I have embarked on mixtapes is nothing but a hoax (yes this is your fault Stephen Chbosky). Sad to say, its effect still fully depends on the songs included on the mix, so if you wish your beau will give you a mix make it sure he knows all your favorite songs. Nick & Norah are oviously punkheads, with that I have nothing against of, in fact, I find it smart how Levithan and Cohn made punks look so vulnerable to their feelings. I liked punk, not love, like, and I have to be honest that Greenday songs are not make-outish for me.

But there is something about The Smiths... I never knew The Smiths was punk?! They do not sound like punk for me. But my ever irrevocable love for The Smiths remains. And I don't even know who Where's the Fluffy is!

As much I really want to believe it, but no, life does not work the way it has on Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. Nick & Norah's characters are impossible to be real, I may say. Both are presumed to be drenched with flaws just like any other teenagers are, but they transpire as someone too-endearing-to-be-true in spite of these flaws, if not because of them. They are nothing but literary figures for me, I do not see myself nor any other people I know that could be them- they are but two imperfect person miraculously perfect for each other. Deus Ex Machina!

It is also quite impossible for a night to be that momentous, especially if you live in a world where there so exist the word "crimes". I mean, meeting your soulmate in one crook evening and made him realize that you are his soulmate as well? Let alone the instant make-out sessions that gives me the idea how dragful both Nick and Norah are.

To make things even more ironic, Nick and Norah are both presumed to be having a hard time letting go of their past love affairs. No matter how their minds constantly remind them of their past lovers, the sporadic spark between them prevails. Things don't work that way ladies and gentlemen; when you're stuck with something and I mean the kind of stuck that haunts you, you can't just make-out the feeling a way. Things should have at least appeared subtly aggravating for Nick and Norah, but based on my perspective, it didn't.

BUT! I should admit Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist is one of the funniest books I have ever read so far. Actually, if not for the witty punchlines of the characters, I would not have finished the book entirely. There I said it, I even came to the point of almost quitting.

Especially when Norah said she hates The Beatles. She hates The Beatles. The Beatles. Hate.

Sorry David Levithan, you did not hit it right this time.

"He's so emo he's practically a muppet!" - Norah

"I've given him more mixed signals than a dyslexic Norse code operator." - Norah

"And I slipped into the surreal-but-true universe where we were over and I wasn't over it." - Nick

“Why do we even bother? Why do we make ourselves so open to such easy damage? Is it all loneliness? Is it all fear? Or is it just to experience those narcotic moments of belonging with someone else?” - Nick

"She's cinematic and I'm a fucking sitcom." - Nick

Tikkun olam. Basically, it says that the world has been broken into pieces. All this chaos, all this discord. And our job - everyone’s job - is to try to put the pieces back together. To make things whole again.” - Norah

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