Monday, November 15, 2010

Review — Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Synopsis (via Goodreads): 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.

Review:  The book is always better than the movie.  (Okay, maybe not always but usually.)  I don’t know why it took me so long to read Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.  I really loved the movie so I think I didn't want to taint my love of the film version if the book was really fantastic or kind of sucked.  The movie is a great homage to New York and the music scene.  Kat Dennings and Michael Cera were adorable (though after reading the book, Michael Cera is an acceptable Nick, but nowhere near as complex and awesome), and Ari Graynor might be the funniest drunk girl ever.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered the book had everything I loved about the movie and more.  Sure, Nick was insanely emo and made outlandish statements about the state of his broken heart that made me want to smack him and Norah was so incredibly neurotic and paranoid that I…well, actually I saw a lot of myself in Norah so that’s probably why I loved her so much.  She was a little more angry that I think I am, but her insecurities and crazy self-defense tactics were a little familiar.  The dual points of view was a fun way to see how words and actions can be misinterpreted despite the best of intentions.

What I loved most about the book compared to the movie (sorry, I can’t separate the two, though I know I should.  I think it'd be the other way around if I read the book first): Tris.  In the movie she’s a throwaway one-dimensional character.  She’s a bitch.  Yet, in the book there’s so much more to her and you see why she does certain things.  It’s a great peek at the dynamics of female relationships and what we’ll do to “fit in.” 

Sure, the plot of kind of meanders at times, but I found myself not really interested in finding “Where’s Fluffy” (though that isn't as central to the plot in the book) but watching two broken people fall in love.  It might happen fast, but that’s the thing about New York.  One night can feel like a month and that’s all it takes to really connect with someone. 

If you’ve seen the movie, definitely read the book.  If you’ve read the book, give the movie a try.  They’re similar in spirit and both are infused a frenetic energy full of pop culture and New York tidbits, but each will surprise you in the turns they take with the same story.

Lit Snit Verdict: A-

No comments:

Post a Comment