Wednesday, February 24, 2010

43. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Cohn, Rachel and Levithan, David. Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist. ISBN: 978-0-375-83531-5. Knopf. First Edition, 2006.

Plot Summary

When teenage bassist Nick O'leary runs into his ex-girlfriend Tris after a gig in Manhattan, he convinces a flannel wearing Nora to pretend to be his girlfriend for the next five minutes. Nick is a music freak and Nora is the daughter of a famous record executive. With a kiss, they hit it off in their own quirky way. For the remainder of the night, they go on a series of adventures and missed connections until the sun rises and everything seems to come together. This novel is a night of music, love, and adventure told through language and dialogue that teens understand and enjoy.

Critical Evaluation

Author's David Levithan and Rachel Cohn add a unique voice to the genre of teen romance by alternating chapters between both the male and female perspective of a romantic night in Manhattan. The insight from both perspectives adds humor to the novel and gives readers insight to how two people can view the same situation completely differently. Nick and Nora are two heartbroken teens who find love when they least expect it. The theme of unexpected love explored in this title is both refreshing and exciting. Manhattan is the perfect backdrop to this romantic adventure, and Nick and Nora take full advantage of all the city has to offer, from a crossdressing stip show to the ice room in a times square hotel. Teen readers will enjoy the fast paced plot, pop culture references, and painstaking detail to illustrate the underground music scene. Nick and Nora turns an unexpected kiss into a wild adventurous read that can be enjoyed by both teenage boys and girls.

Reader's Annotation

Nick is a bassist in your average high school queer-core band. One night in Manhattan after a gig, Nick runs into his ex-girlfriend Tris who just broke his heart. Nick asks the first girl he sees if she'll pretend to be his girlfriend for the next five minutes, and the rest of the night turns into much more.

Author Information
David Levithan and Rachel Cohn are both YA novelists and friends. Together one summer they created Nick and Nora's infinite Playlist by alternating chapters between the male and female voice. This successful partnership has continued with the publication of their second novel together titled Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List.


Curriculum Ties

Book Talking Ideas

How much does similar taste in music reflect compatible romance?
Discuss Nick's perspective and Nora's perspective on the same events.

Reading Level/Interest Age

Grades 10+

Challenge Issues
homosexuality, sexual content

Challenge defense ideas:

1. Make sure you are familiar with your library collection and the book in question.
2. Be familiar with your library collection policy.
3. If possible, speak with the person challenging the material and make sure they feel comfortable. Ask the customer what they disliked or disapproved of in the resource. If they still insist on challenging the material give them instructions on how to file a formal complaint.
4. Research professional reviews that speak to the material's merit, and get input from teen readers on why they found the book important.

Reason For Selection
Teen romance is a genre I seem to avoid, and the pop culture and music influence in this novel was something I found appealing. I wanted to include a couple of Romance titles in my blog and David Levithan's work kept coming up in our readings.

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