Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

cover image for Nick and Norah's Infinite PlaylistCohn, Rachel and Levithan, David. (2006). Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.

Plot Summary:

Asking someone to be your girlfriend for five minutes is not the most suave pick-up line ever. Nick isn’t actually trying to hit on Norah, however, he just wants look like less of a loser in front of his ex-girlfriend, who is headed his way. Norah is tempted to tell him “FUCK, NO!” but she decides instead that kissing a cute boy – however random – is her best shot at avoiding a frenemie who just happens to be walking right towards them.  Neither of them expected a chance encounter to turn into something much more.

Critical Evaluation:

As improbable as this set-up is, Nick and Norah themselves feel honest and believable as characters. Their motivations may be unhealthy at times, but as the story unfolds we begin to understand the internal logic, hopes, history, and fears that drive them to do what they do. Told in alternating third person point of view chapters, the plot of Nick and Norah takes place all in a single night. Although the characters do spend much of the night falling in and out of love, tt is more a story about learning from relationships – and allowing room for both yourself and your partner to be flawed and human – than it is about the start of a romance. This is not a particularly memorable book in terms of craft, but it was enjoyable and will speak strongly to teens and their experiences in learning how to relate to peers romantically.

Reader’s Annotation:

Asking someone to be your girlfriend for five minutes is not the most suave pick-up line ever.

Author Information:


Sexuality and Gender

Booktalking Ideas:

Despite the title, I would not try to come up with a playlist and center the talk on that.  I would begin by talking about Nick and Norah’s break-ups and ending with Nick asking Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes.

Reading Level/Target Age:

7th grade/15-19

Potential Controversy:

Nicks and Norah and their friends stay up all night in New York and spend a decent amount of time partying at clubs.  Nothing really risque happens, but many parents would not approve.

Reasons for Choosing This Title:

I must confess I saw the movie first, and was told the book was better, of course.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: