105 Ways to Give a Book

I Am Clearly Not Cool Enough

Nick & Norah's Infinite PlaylistFinally getting to read Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist was like going to a really hot club. You wait and wait, to find that you’re not cool enough for it anyway. Nick and Norah really have got it goin’ on. I certainly wasn’t that cool as a teen, but nor was I that cool in my twenties when I had the money, independence, and legal ID. I wasn’t ever even a quarter of that cool.

I read books about rich kids and I don’t feel all uncomfortable because I wasn’t rich. I read books about shape shifters, and I don’t feel all uncomfortable because I wasn’t ever a hawk. So, why can’t I get past the complete hipness of this book? I don’t know. I honestly don’t know.

The book was good. The writing by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan was sharp and honest. It was amazing how well the authors conveyed the feelings of anger and hurt and bewilderment and excitement and everything you can name.

Nick has been dumped by a girl who shows up at his gig with a new boy on her arm. To avoid a conversation with her, Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. Norah agrees for her own reasons, and they end up in an electric kiss. The ex-girlfriend leaves the scene, but Norah needs Nick to help her get her drunk friend home. But that isn’t the way the night is going to go for these two, as they repeatedly come together and pull apart against the background of Manhattan. Each with their own baggage and need for connection, they stumble to a way to be together.

Oh, did I mention that the f-word is used, like, a lot. I wanted to have a count of the number of times it was used in all its glorious variations, but I hit nine by the sixth page and just gave up. Page 95 all on its lonesome has an f-count of 26, and the top third of the page was blank. Hey, I like the word myself. Very versatile. But it does make for a more controversial book — i.e., I won’t be booktalking this one to the seventh graders this fall.

Now I’m going to call it a night and try not to dwell on what the f**k I was doing with my pitiful self in my younger years.

1 comment:

Little Willow said...

I love books, movies, any stories that take place in "real time" and do a good job of it. I think N&N did that, all the while acknowledging that it was one night, one moment, right then. I didn't like the cursing either; I don't curse personally. I wasn't like either N when I was a teenager and I didn't relate outright to any of the characters, but I enjoyed them, and I loved the song he wrote. Nick was a good guy.