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Thursday, 10 April 2014

Review: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

bookreview Rating:image description
Title:Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
Author:Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:May 23rd 2006

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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.

If I could sum up everything I felt whilst reading this book in three words, they would be: "This was horrible." Prior to reading this book, I had never read anything from David Levithan or Rachel Cohn so there was no hype or excitement, just curiosity. Now it seems that the statement "Curiosity killed the cat" is really true. Of course, I ought to give credit where credit is due. The plot wasn't half-bad, it was actually quite interesting and drew me in at first. That was, unfortunately, the only GOOD thing about this book. After reading this catastrophe, I feel the need to make a list of things that were WRONG with this book.

WAY TOO MUCH SWEARING. Honestly, I believe that in books, there are times when swearing could be used for emphasis, to further express the characters anger or other STRONG emotions. It shouldn't have been written in every sentence, just because they can. The word "fuck", literally, no lie was used about twice in most sentences. Like, wtf?! This annoyed me to the point where I just wanted to drop the book and not pick it back up. If the intention of Rachel Cohn and David Levithan was to prove how badass all their characters were by making "fuck" their most used vocabulary word,newsflash,they FAILED.

THE ROMANCE WAS FLIMSY AND UNREALISTIC. So basically, Nick and Norah spend a few hours together and they're already in love and kissing, holding hands,almost having sex, Norah's thinking about marriage and babies...hold! What?! THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN IN REAL LIFE! Norah was so "captivated" by Nick that she abandoned her drunk friend, who she'd known forever, trading her away to two strangers in order to spend some quality time with Nick, who shared something in common with her: they both had douche-bag exes who broke their hearts. The conflict between Tris and Nick and Norah and Tal seemed very forced and added very little substance to the overall story.

THE WRITING STYLE WAS CHILDISH. Newsflash, not every teenager loves punk music, goes to crazy clubs and gets drunk. I just thought, I would point that out since, clearly, that's what David Levithan and Rachel Cohn think we all do with our Saturdays. This book portrayed teenagers in such a stereotypical, cliche way, like we're all junkies waiting to receive our next high. The swearing, tight clothes, the punk bands all just prove that when writing this book, David Levithan and Rachel Cohn might have been trying too hard to make this book relate to young adults but it lost its substance, interest and meaning along the way. I think that if you're an adult and you're trying to write a book that is centered towards a younger audience, you need to ask yourself what they would like and try to manipulate their emotions in such a way that they really do love the book and empathize with characters. I'm going to be blunt, if I'm reading a book and I don't like the main characters, there really is nothing motivating me to finish the book.

USE OF MULTIPLE FIRST PERSON NARRATION IS ANNOYING AND CONFUSING. 'Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist' switches back and forth between Norah and Nick's point of view. Now, this usually isn't a bad thing, some authors can do it perfectly and I understand that it was easier for Rachel and David who were both writing for Norah and Nick, respectively. However, when the only indication of the change is the tiny text spelling out their names at the very beginning of each chapter,you can see where it gets confusing. I am the type of girl, who, when reading becomes so consumed by the writing of the author that I really don't bother with the name of the chapter, it does not matter to me. Many times while during this book, I found myself reading Norah's point of view and thinking that it was Nick's (or vice versa) and having to re-read paragraphs because of this. After doing this a million and one times, it started to get very annoying. Note to authors, third person works just as well as first person and is more efficient when there are multiple main characters.

It's because of these reasons that this books gets a one-star rating from me. It was just horrendous and I really wouldn't recommend it to anyone, no one should have to suffer through this torture. If you see this book at the bookstore, don't pick it up, it's not worth a second of your time.

Final Sentence of the Book

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