Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

This entire novella takes place in the space of one long night. It's a story about the strange and very sophomoric encounter and romance between two high school seniors who meet at a punk club. Nick, recently dumped by his first love, tries to avoid looking pathetic in front of said ex-girlfriend by asking a random girl, Norah, to be his five-minute date. This leads to a long night of give-and-take emotional and sexual episodes between Nick and Norah that are pretentious at best. Written in alternating first-person chapters, this narrative is full of f-this and f-thats, so if you're language sensitive this wouldn't be up your alley.

This book was strange. Norah's exactly who I thought I could be in high school: this hard-outer core chick who was really smart, eccentric, and straight-edge with this inner turmoil but clear mind (none of which was true, by the way). But what I found most strange about the book was that it had pop cultural references to MY generation, which is at least one or two generations older than the age of the characters. Either I'm old enough to have things of my generation becoming retro already, or the authors, who are my peers, are waxing nostalgic and believing that somehow teenagers in high school at this moment relate to My So Called Life and Heathers as cult classics. I dunno. Maybe.

In a nut shell, it's a very teenage book. It's everything I find most annoying about the teenage mindset now that I'm an adult (and a parent), everything I thought was so cool back in school that I'm annoyed with myself now for believing in. It pulls apart the younger me and the older me. Maybe that's why I just had to read it and finish it. In sum, a nostalgic trip for us old fogies, an engaging story for younger readers, and I actually would recommend it (as I do any YA book that is put to movie form).

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