Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist -- Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Wow.Wow.W. O. W.

Rachel Cohn (Gingerbread, Shrimp, Pop Princess) and David Levithan (Boy Meets Boy, Realm of Possibility, Are We There Yet?) teamed up to write this book back and forth, chapter by chapter.Coolness of the team-up aside, either name alone would have been enough to make me dive for a copy when the opportunity presented itself.

Nick (Levithan) meets Norah (Cohn) when, after a show, Nick's ex shows up and he, in a very teenage move of desperation, asks Norah:

"I know this is going to sound strange, but would you mind being my girlfriend for the next five minutes?"

And so it begins. The book chronicles an all-night wandering adventure/romance in New York City, and let me tell you -- it's got some pretty steamy moments. I had to fan myself with the book a few times. Phew. I'd probably stick to recommending it to the older teen set rather than the Princess Diaries crew. It might also win an award for the most swearing in a YA book, so keep an eye out for that, too -- I know that some librarians have been a tad concerned. (I, of course, love swearing. But I know that some parents can be touchy about it.)

After reading only a chapter or two, I fully believed in both Nick and Norah -- as much as I love Cohn and Levithan, they fell away. I heard Nick and Norah's voices, not Rachel and David's.

There are loads and loads of pop-cultural and music references -- the range is so broad that I really think that kids in their early twenties will love it, too.  And, as usual, any book that mocks emo kids (affectionately, granted) is okay by me:  "...he's so emo he's practically a Muppet..."

If you're familiar with their other books, you won't be surprised to know that the writing is witty, smart, engaging and very often hilarious:

"Tal," she says with an edge usually reserved for cutlery, "you haven't missed me for one fucking minute. You have never for one single second in your entire pathetic life missed me. You might have missed fucking with my head, and you might have missed the satisfaction you so clearly got from demolishing me, but those are your emotions you're missing, not mine. I'm afraid I can't help you.

"C'mon, baby," Tal says, leaning into her. She flinches backward into the seat. I can sense Scot about to say something, but I beat him to it.


"Dude, nobody puts baby in a corner," I say. "Get the fuck out of my car."  (Levithan)




Suddenly all my fantasies of reconciliation were gone, suddenly all I could remember was how I was never good enough for him, Jewish enough, political enough, committed enough. Tal wasn't a lying cheating skank like Tris, but who was I kidding? He had been, as Caroline likes to remind me, a "controlling fuckface." So right there, in a fucking Yugo, next to the poor schmuck I introduced myself to by making out with him, I finally had the moment of clarity that Mom and Dad and Caroline have been waiting form me to have since I was fifteen: ENOUGH!  (Cohn)

The book is due to be released at the end of May. Don't miss it.