05 December 2008

Just You and Me Punk Rock Girl

Cohn, Rachel and Levithan, David. (2008). Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. New York: Knopf Books for Young Readers.

Nick is a straight guy who plays the bass in a queer hardcore punk band. Norah is the daughter of a very rich music agent. Both are "straight edge" (they don't drink or do drugs) and have a passion for music that turns a random five minutes into one of the most interesting nights either has ever had. In a whirlwind of broken relationships and broken hearts, true friendships and the quest for the perfect punk rock experience Nick and Norah discover a lot about themselves and each other. Mosh pits, swearing, cross dressers, and a Yugo; I can't think of a better night to be had. The "realness" of the story is helped by the alternating chapters told from Nick and Norah's point of view, David Levithan writing as Nick and Rachel Cohn writing as Norah. Sometimes books by two authors can feel choppy and disjointed, Cohn and Levithan did a fantastic job at avoiding that. Each author stayed true (and more importantly consistent) to their characters voice.

*sigh* Of the gazillions of teen romance books out there this is my favorite so far. A far superior alternative to the catty Gossip Girl books. "Would you mind being my girlfriend for five minutes?" is one of the best lines I've heard in a while. There really wasn't much I didn't like about the book. From reading some other reviews I found out that apparently there are some Manhattan "inside" jokes that those of us who don't live there won't get. The fact that I didn't notice that or it didn't distract me from the story makes me think it's a non-issue.

Someone on the yalsa-bk listserv is collecting ideas for a "Romance for Guys" book list. I would put this book on there in a heartbeat (along with David Levithan's other book Boy Meets Boy). You could book talk it through this angle or through the music theme or even for the novelty of taking place all in one night (an aspect that I REALLY enjoyed).

(oh, the title is taken from the lyrics of a song that pretty much epitomizes my high school years, guess the artist and you'll have my undying love and respect.)

1 comment:

  1. You mean the title of this blog post? The Dead Milkmen, of course.
    Amy P.