Dec 22, 2009

About Books Blog 15: Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

Authors: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Genre: Young Adult

Favorite Line

"Music is an angry machine. We are all angry machines."


Desperate to avoid his ex-girlfriend, Nick asks Norah to pretend to be his girlfriend for five minutes. Little did they know, that this event would spiral Nick and Norah into a joyful yet confusing semi-first date, which takes them all over New York City.

What I Thought Of This Book

I read this book, because I saw the movie one weekend. I usually try to read the book before watching the film. In this case I didn't know there was a book until I was reading the movie credits. I thought since I have an addiction to making playlists this book would be perfect for me. However, the book actually left me feeling torn. There were good things and bad things. I thought I would make a list of things I liked and things I didn't like.

Things I Liked

1. Nick and Norah are awesome characters. They are wacky, random, and love music as much as I do. I loved reading about them finding things in common, and falling in love with each other. I loved that they heal each other after their previous relationships left them emotionally insecure.

2. I think the book is a good study of why people enjoy music, and how strongly it can effect us.

3. I love Nick's song lyrics. I am so mad that the authors thought up those lyrics before I did. So unfair.

4. The two authors really seemed to write well together. Their writing styles complemented each other so well that you felt like there was only one author.

5. It's the kind of book you can read in a day. I didn't because...well I don't know why. I guess it just didn't work out that way with my schedule.

Things I Didn't Like

1. To tell the truth I wouldn't feel comfortable with any of the young adults I know reading this book.There were what I considered fairly descriptive sexual references, and a few other things I didn't think were appropriate for someone younger than high school age. Even if they were in high school I probably wouldn't suggest this novel to them. To me this book is an adult book with young adults in it.

2. The excessive cursing. I seriously had a hard time finding a page that didn't have the F-word used repeatedly on it. It wasn't so much that I was offended by it, as the fact that it became very distracting to the story. It became difficult for me to see how sweet some of the scenes were through all the F this and F that. A few curse words for the sake of realism makes since, but I think six to ten times a page is a little excessive.

3. A particular scene in the book has possibly made the movie The Sound of Music less innocent for me. Now every time I hear one of the songs, I'll think of a night club that features people dressed as nuns making out to Sound of Music songs. I am not kidding that is actually in the book. No matter how cute it is that Nick and Norah's first dance is set to Edelweiss, I still found it a little awkward. I don't even want of discuss what they did to my image of ET.

4. I worried for the youth of America. Are the poor children really as jaded and emotionally insecure at only the age of 18 as these characters are? If so, I feel for you poor sweet things.

Well that's all I have to list. As I said before, this book left me torn. As much as I loved Nick and Norah as characters, I wasn't sure if that was enough to make me read the book again.

Facts I Found Interesting

1. The book has an awesome website, It includes audio recordings of the book, discussions with the authors, a list of playlists in the book, a place to make your own playlists, and a couple more fun things.

2. Instead of a normal acknowledgments page the authors used a playlist to thank the people who made their book happen.

The Movie

It's an okay film. I liked the actors that where casted in it. All the supporting characters looked just like I imagined them in the book. Strangely, the actors they casted as Nick and Norah look nothing like how I envisioned them in the book. It didn't really matter though, because I still liked them. I was also quite pleased that some of my favorite scenes in the book are used in the film. It feels weird saying that, because I watched to movie before reading it.

I think the main difference between the book and the movie, is that the film centers around Nick and Norah uncovering clues to find the secret concert of their favorite band, Where's Fluffy. While the band Where's Fluffy is mentioned in the book, there is no epic search for their concert. I think this change really served the film well. It provided more crazy situations for the characters to get into.

The only thing that bothered me was a sub-plot I like to call, "The Journey of Caroline's Chewing Gum." If you've seen the movie I think you know what I'm talking about. Basically the drunken character, Caroline, chews on the same piece of gum through the whole film. Let me say, drunk people and gum are not two things that mix well. Haha.

Overall the film is entertaining. I wouldn't say if was super wonderful or anything, but it's a nice way to spend your time on a weekend. I think I like the movie better than the book.

Music To Read By

Favorite Albums

I liked both of Green Day's albums Dookie and Nimrod. Nick and Norah are punk rock fans, so Green Day is mentioned one or two times in the story. Too Young To Fight It by Young Love was great. Their songs are upbeat yet thoughtful at the same time, which worked for club scenes and emotional scenes. Hot Fuss by The Killers for the great bass lines. Nick is the bass player in his band so it makes since. I also enjoyed Does You Inspire You by Chairlift and Ellipse by Imogen Heap.

Oh yeah! I almost forgot. Author Rachel Cohn made the following playlists for the book.

Obviously a list of songs and artist mentioned in the book. I think she might have missed a few songs though.

In the book Norah thinks about making a playlist for Nick, using songs that either have the words train or rain in them.

Songs that express Norah's point of view during the book.

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist
(My Version)

(Several of these songs are either in the book, or by artists mentioned in the novel. I've thrown in a couple of my favorite songs to listen to while reading in there as well. I love that a book that I only sort of liked, ends up having an awesome playlist. That is so like me.)

Too Young To Fight It - Young Love
I Want To Be Your Boyfriend - The Ramones
Chump - Green Day
Change Your Mind - The Killers
Pictures of You - The Cure
Edelweiss - Sound Of Music Cast
Closer to You - Young Love
Should I Stay or Should I Go? - The Clash
Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now - The Smiths
Bruises - Chairlift
Walking Alone - Green Day
I Fall To Pieces - Patsy Cline
I Want To Hold Your Hand - The Beatles
Take A Chance On Me - Abba
Singing In The Rain - Gene Kelly
Toxic - Yael Naim
Tidal - Imogen Heap
Wrapped Up In Books - Belle and Sebastian
Taking Chances - Lea Michele (Glee Cast)
Jump Then Fall - Taylor Swift

Well that's all folks. Just to let you know I replaced all the players on here. Sadly, the switch has left my Company of Swans playlist rather small, because I haven't been able to find all the songs for it yet. Oh well, at least I have a player now. Yay! Merry Christmas everyone!

Next About Books Blog: Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris


Nina said...

Great review! I loved reading it. I heard of this book before, but didn't knew there was a movie about it. I am going to try and find this one at the library, thanks.

Katy said...

Loved this movie

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