Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Review


Title: Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist

Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Published: May 23, 2006

Genre: YA Contemporary

Pages: 183 pages

Acquired: From my shelves – originally a thrift store find

Links: Goodreads, Amazon, Book Depository

SUMMARY (from Goodreads)

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.


Nick and Norah’s unconventional introduction to each other should be an indicator of ridiculousness to come. Told over the span of just one crazy night, Nick and Norah set out on journey to figure out who they are (both separate, and together) as the playlist of their lives is on in the background.

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist is typical and atypical at the same time. It deals with very typical contemporary themes – exes, jealousy, angst, uncertainty about the future – but not as the main theme. The theme of this book is about music.

I’ve been a music-lover my entire life. I started playing instruments in 4th grade, learning several throughout my teenage years. Marching band was a huge part of my high school years. When I quit playing, I kept listening. Going to shows during college, singing in the car, you name it!

So while I read this book, I understood when Norah heard a song and it brought her back to a certain memory. I got it when Nick felt like part of a community as he played. I related when they went to extreme lengths to see their favorite band.

The characters are very realistic and likable. They’re raw and complex, conflicted and vulnerable, hormonal and passionate. They swear (a lot). They are the types of characters that I would want as my friends.

You know when you watch the movie before the book and you can’t help but picture the movie when you get around to reading the book? And how it usually ruins the book for you because you’ve already got these ideas about how things should look in your head? I’m happy to say that’s not the case with Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. If anything, it just added to the experience. Everything that I was picturing from the movie made me enjoy the book even more. When the book and movie didn’t line up exactly, I found myself picturing “movie Nick & Norah” in the different situations. Whether that is a compliment to the movie makers or the authors, I’m not sure.

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist is probably one of my favorite contemporaries I’ve ever read. I’ve been thinking about it since I finished it and will probably continue to do so throughout the year. If this is how things are going to go, 2016 is going to be a great reading year!




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