Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, by Rachel Cohn and David LevithanNick: “I know this is going to sound strange, but would you mind being my girlfriend for the next five minutes?”

Norah: I answer his question by putting my hands around his neck and pulling his face down to mine.

Nick and Norah both have Ex issues. A chance encounter at a club where Nick is playing in punk rock band – The Fuck Offs  -leads to an all-night first date through the weird and wonderful nightlife of Manhattan (there’s a stop at a burlesque where nuns strip to songs from “The Sound of Music”).

The story is told in alternating points of view (I’m guessing that Levithan wrote Nick while Cohn wrote Norah), and from that moment of the first impromptu kiss, this is a book that just brims with sexual energy. It boils down to two people who are really, instantly hot for each other who try not to blow it.

The book was made into a movie. DO NOT SEE THE MOVIE. The movie just misses the very thing that gave the books its vibrancy. Case in point: both book and movie feature an ongoing quest to find the secret show where band Where’s Fluffy is playing. In the book, Where’s Fluffy is a disreputable punk band that’s an underground legend. In the movie, they’re some Brooklyn hipster indie band that can play a set on a rooftop and not annoy the neighbours. And the book, where Nick and Norah almost,-but-don’t-quite, manage to do the deed is far sexier than the movie, where they do.

Now this might be a bit too much hetero-action for some of you (although there are some gay-as-hell supporting characters), but it really catches that breath-taking excitement of running into someone you start to really like, and desperately hope they like you back the same way. It’s contemporary, crammed full of relatively current pop culture references, and really well written. Highly recommended!

The authors went on to collaborate on several other books featuring different characters, but this is still my favourite.

Book review by Cirrus.

Published September 1, 2015

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