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Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlistby Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
ALA Best Books for Young Adults 2007
ALA Quick Pick for Young Adult Reluctant Readers 2007
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"This compulsively readable novel takes place in less than 24 hours. At a New York club one night, Nick convinces a stranger to pose as his girlfriend in order to fool Tris, the girl who broke his heart. He does not guess (though readers may) that kissing Norah will lead to a long, complicated evening, and a new chance for love. Levithan (Boy Meets Boy) and Cohn (Gingerbread) reveal the clever construction of the book in an authors' note: they sent chapters back and forth, he writing as Nick, she as Norah. The novel has that pumped-up feeling of a story passed among friends who each add a section, spontaneously incorporating unforeseen elements. Levithan again creates outrageous characters and witty wordplay (a 'Playboygirl Bunny' bouncer asks Nick, 'How long have the two of you been the two of you?'), and Cohn brings to life another rich punk rock girl. The two see a secret show on the Lower East Side, pig out in a Russian diner, and get caught making out in an ice room at the Times Square Marriott, all the time wondering if they can let go of their past loves and risk another heartbreak. Much of the novel's energy comes from the rapid-fire repartee between the two leads, plus perhaps the most vivid character, Tris — Nick's Id-driven ex and a classmate of Norah's, who ends up giving Nick advice and Norah kissing lessons. Readers will likely enjoy the ride, even if it is obvious where these two are headed. Ages 14-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Electric, sexy...and genuinely poignant, this is a compelling story of the risks and thrills of burgeoning intimacy." The Bulletin
"These characters are not 'gosh' or 'shucks' people. Repartee spices up the dialogue-perhaps a tribute to William Powell and Myrna Loy, the Nick and Nora Charles of the 1934 film The Thin Man." VOYA
"There are many heart-stopping, insightful moments in this supremely satisfying and sexy romance. A first-rate read." School Library Journal
"There's perfectly captured teen music-geek talk and delicious stuff about kissing and what lies beyond. Sensual and full of texture." Kirkus Reviews
Its 5:00 a.m. on Fifth Avenue, and 16-year-old Gemma Beasley is standing in front of Tiffany & Co. wearing the perfect black dress with her coffee in hand—just like Holly Golightly. As the cofounder of a successful Tumblr blog—Oh Yeah Audrey!—devoted to all things Audrey Hepburn, Gemma has traveled to New York in order to meet up with her fellow bloggers for the first time. She has meticulously planned out a 24-hour adventure in homage to Breakfast at Tiffanys; however, her plans are derailed when a glamorous boy sweeps in and offers her the New York experience shes always dreamed of. Gemma soon learns who her true friends are and that, sometimes, no matter where you go, you just end up finding yourself.
Filled with hip and sparkling prose, Oh Yeah, Audrey! is as much a story of friendship as it is a love letter to New York, Audrey Hepburn, and the character she made famous: Holly Golightly.
I find Dev at the bar, talking to a guy our age who looks familiar in that Type kind of way. When I get to where theyre standing, Im introduced as “the bass god, Nick,” and hes introduced as “Hunter from Hunter.” Dev thanks me for being equipment bitch, and from the way the conversation doesnt continue from there I know Im interrupting. If it was Thom, my agitation would probably be noticed. But Dev needs you to spell emotions out for him, and right now Im not in the mood. So I just tell him where I left the stuff and pretend Im going off to search for a clear spot on the bar to summon the bartender from. And once Im pretending thats the truth, I figure it might as well be the truth. I still cant see Tris, and theres a small part of me thats wondering if it was even her in the crowd. Maybe it was someone who looked like Tris, which would explain the guy who didnt look like anybody.
Are You Randy? stop playing their instruments one by one, until the lead singer croons a final, a cappella note. I wish for their sake I could say the club falls into silence at this, but in truth the air is one-half conversation. Still, thats better than average, and the band gets a lunge of applause and cheers. I clap, too, and notice that the girl next to me puts two fingers in her mouth to whistle old-fashioned style. The sound is clear and spirited, and makes me think of Little League. The girl is dressed in a flannel shirt, and I cant tell whether thats because shes trying to bring back the only fashion style of the past fifty years that hasnt been brought back or whether its because the shirt is as damn comfortable as it looks. She has very pale skin and a haircut that reads private school even though shes messed it up to try to hide it. The next band opened for Le Tigre on their last tour, and I figure this girls here to see them. If I was a different kind of guy, I might try to strike up a friendly conversation, just to be friends. But I feel that if I talk to someone else right now, all Ill be able to do is unload.
Thom and Scot would probably be ready to go if I wanted them to, but Im pretty sure Dev hasnt figured out yet whether hes coming back with us or not, and Id be an asshole to put him on the spot and ask. So Im stuck and I know it, and thats when I look to my right and see Tris and her new guy approaching the beer-spilled bar to order another round of whatever Im not having. Its definitely her, and Im definitely fucked, because the between-band rush is pressing toward me now and if I try to leave, Ill have to push my way out, and if I have to push my way out, shell see me making an escape and shell know for sure that I cant take it, and even if thats the goddamn truth I dont want her to have actual proof. She is looking so hot and I am feeling so cold and the guy shes with has his hand on her arm in a way that a gay friend would never, ever think of, and I guess thats my own proof. I am the old model and this is the new model and I could crash out a years worth of time on my bass and nothing, absolutely nothing, would change.
She sees me. She cant fake surprise at seeing me here, because of course she fucking knew Id be here. So she does a little smile thing and whispers something to the new model and I can tell just from her expression that after they get their now-being-poured drinks they are going to come over and say hello and good show and—could she be so stupid and cruel?—how are you doing? And I cant stand the thought of it. I see it all unfolding and I know I have to do something—anything—to stop it.
So I, this random bassist in an average queercore band, turn to this girl in flannel who I dont even know and say:
“I know this is going to sound strange, but would you mind being my girlfriend for the next five minutes?”
Randy from Are You Randy? insists the bassist from the queercore band is a mo, but I told him No, the guy is straight. Whether or not hes responsible for his bands shit lyrics (Fuck the Man / Fuck the Man—whats that trite crap?), I have no idea, but hes ‘no mo. Trust me. There are certain things a girl just knows, like that a fourth minute on a punk song is a bad, bad idea, or that no way does a Jersey-boy bassist with Astor Place hair who wears torn-up, bleach-stained black jeans and a faded black T-shirt with orange lettering that says When I say Jesus, you say Christ, swing down boy-boy alley; hes working the ironic punk boy-Johnny Cash angle too hard to be a mo. Maybe hes a little emo, I told Randy, but just because he doesnt look like a Whitesnake-relic-reject like all of your band, does not automatically mean the guys gay.
The incidental fact of his straightness doesnt mean I want to be NoMos five-minute girlfriend, like Im some 7-Eleven quick stop on his slut train. Only because I am the one loser here who hasnt lost all her senses to beer, dope, or hormones do I have the sense to hold back my original instinct—to yell back “FUCK, NO!” in response to NoMos question.
I have to think about Caroline. I always have to think about Caroline.
I noticed NoMo loading equipment after his bands set while his bandmates abandoned him to score some action. I understand that scene. I am that scene, cleaning up everyone elses mess.
NoMo dresses so bad—he has to be from Jersey. And if Jersey Boy is equipment bitch, he has a van. The vans probably a piece of scrap metal with a leaking carburetor that as likely as not will pop a tire or run out of gas in the middle of the Lincoln Tunnel, but its a risk I have to take. Somebodys got to get Caroline home. Shes too drunk to risk taking her on the bus. Shes also so drunk shell go home with Randy if Im not there to take her back to my house where she can sleep it off. Groupie bitch. If I didnt love her so much, Id kill her.
From behind him I don't see Caroline but I do see that stupid bitch, Tris, rhymes with bris, cuz that's what she'll do to a guy, rip apart his piece. She's doing her Tris strut with her big boobs sticking out in front of her, wiggling her ass in that way that gets the instant attention of every dumb schmo in her wake, even the gay boys, who seem to be highly represented here tonight, NoMo notwithstanding. She's coming right toward me. No No NOOOOOOOOOOO. How did she find out Caroline and I would be here tonight? Does she have lookouts with text pagers set up every place Caroline and I go on a Saturday night, or what?
Boyfriend to the rescue! I answer NoMo's question by putting my hand around his neck and pulling his face down to mine. God, I would do anything to avoid Tris recognizing me and trying to talk to me.
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Rachel Cohn is the author of critically-acclaimed YA novels Shrimp, Pop Princess, Gingerbread, and middle-grade novel The Steps. A graduate of Barnard College, she lives and writes in Manhattan. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is Rachel's first book for Knopf.
David Levithan is a children's book editor in New York City. The author lives in NYC; Hoboken, NJ.
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