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Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Rachel Cohn and David Levithian

2010/03/29

To many teens, the backdrop of Nick and Norah’s nightlong spree through Manhattan will be as foreign as Istanbul. Equally so will be the gritty, club-hopping lifestyle that is portrayed. And depending on the teen, this may be appealing or off-setting.

Teen readers will revel in the freedom that Nick, Norah, and their friends enjoy. Both Nick and Norah show restraint in refraining from underage drinking, though they have no qualms with sneaking into 21 and over venues or engaging in sexual activity. Norah is comforted during a discussion with a taxi driver who provides neighborhood boundaries by reprimanding her after she swears at him. Norah and her father have an affectionate phone conversation; however, the tone is friendly rather than parental.

The writing, while laced with run-on sentences and obscenities, works well to depict the characters in their setting. The changing point of view may be a bit awkward to catch at first, as is the deluge of one-syllable names and nicknames.

Musically inclined readers might also enjoy “Audrey, Wait!” by Robin Benway or “Guitar Girl” by Sarra Manning.

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