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

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is a comedy about two teens thrust together for one hilarious, sleepless night of adventure in a world of mix tapes, late night living, and live, loud music. Nick frequents New York’s indie rock scene nursing a broken heart and Norah is questioning all of her assumptions about the world. Though they have nothing in common except for their taste in music, their chance encounter leads to an all night quest to find a legendary band’s secret show and ends up becoming the first date that could change both their lives.

When you're bass player in an independent punk band, the world should be your oyster, but for the heartbroken Nick, it's anything but. It's been three weeks since the bitch told Nick it was over, and after six months, she walked away and never looked back. Now she's back and heading his way, but she isn't alone, she's already moved on. Nick, in a panic, reaches for the nearest female with a proposition, he needs a girlfriend for the next few moments. The girl sitting beside him at the bar will do.

Norah can see the school bitch heading her way, and she can vaguely hear the cute bassist next to her asking her a question. Norah is more concerned with finding Caroline, her party girl friend, from going home with whoever is left drunken on the floor. When she realises that cute bassist has asked her to pretend to be his girlfriend, the girl dubbed Sub Z for her frosty attitude towards the male species, pulls him into a bone melting kiss that neither of them were expecting.

Nor were they expecting to both know Tris, the bitch. Norah and her were once friends, the same girl who has tore Nick apart. Nick doesn't know Norah, nor who she really is, but she certainly knows who he is. He's Nick, the Nick. The one who penned songs about his now former girlfriend, wrote poetry and love letters. She knows that is he more than just the bassist in an average queercore band, playing run down holes in the wall. She certainly wouldn't be Sub Z if someone like Nick gave her a second glance. But Norah has piqued Nick's interest.

Norah is the daughter of of a record company CEO and recently single. She'll never live up to the ideals of her former boyfriend, a controlling, vegan, political activist. She's spend the best part of her teen years never being enough and choosing to volunteer in South Africa, rather than Brown University, may just be her most disappointing decision ever. Rather than let the entire night go to waste, the two decide to explore the town, both hoping to learn more about the other. With only the love of punk rock in common, it may just be the longest night of their lives.

First stop of the night is a drag queen burlesque house, naturally you're there to see the transvestite ladies of the cloth who perform a rousing Sound Of Music tribute. Norah attempts to keep the conversation flowing, but it's clear that Nick is damaged goods. Norah knows the reason why Nick didn't stand a chance, and needs Tris to tell him why. Why she couldn't love him and why she walked away. Nick is a special soul, and Tris has potentially ruined him for womankind.

But as the night progresses from the Koren grocery store with the stale Oreo's, the all night Ukrainian restaurant in the East Village to Park Avenue and the dark ice room at the Marriott hotel, the two may just begin to fall in love.

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist is an adventure around New York, where two strangers are thrown together in the strangest of circumstances, and find exactly what the other needs. Nick and Norah are both realistic, the share the same fear, disappointment and anxiety that all of us have experienced at one point in our lives. While Nick is a romantic and lyrical, Norah lacks confidence is who she is and what she has to offer the world. They're both lost, and learning to be independent after recently failed relationships. It's fast paced, loud and wonderfully offensive. I loved the quick wit and intelligence.

But it just seemed unoriginal. The characters weren't as engaging as Dash and Lily, which follows the same humorous, adventure romance format, but there is something said for two authors to collaborate for the story to flow seamlessly. 

I can't help but wonder if Cohn, Levithan and John Green all attended the same creative writing course, the quirky character's are all mirror images of one other, Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska follow the same adventure based theme, and all have open endings which allow the reader to create their own happily ever after. Obviously the format works.

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist
Written By Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Published 23 / 05 / 2006
208 Pages


  1. I actually liked this one just as much as I liked Dash and Lily but I loved Dash and Lily much more by just a little. XD I felt there was so much heart of this book and the message conveyed was beautiful. Rachel Cohn and Levithan are my favorite collab authors. ^^

    1. Hey Delaney, lovely to see you.

      I think they're the only collaboration I've read, that actually works. Have you read Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan? I'm not sure whether it was due to two male protagonists or two male writers collaborating, but for me it didn't work. I think Rachel Cohn might be the glue that holds it together.

      Thanks for popping by.


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