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.
Grade: Barely a C-. BARELY. I keep going back and forth on this grade - it's somewhere between a D and a C.
Fuck, my thoughts on this book are so fucking confusing. See, if I’d read it right when it came out, when there were no plans for a fucking movie, I’d have said, “This novel would make a fucking great movie.” Alas, I can’t call dibs on that statement now. But I suppose I can explain my train of thought...?
There’s nothing more fucking cinematically perfect than two strangers who cross paths and—!—fall the fuck in love. Mix in a few guitar strums, kissing by the lamppost light, city gazing, and “taxi driver wisdom”, and you get this awe-worthy fucking ideal people secretly dream off: falling in love while you’re out exploring the fuck out of the (assumedly—never been) greatest city in the world.
Rah, rah, you tapped into some deep-as-fuck desires. So whatcha gonna do now?
You will fucking set up for something interesting in the first few chapters and then you’ll ramble and ramble once they go see the fucking lesbian nuns (long story)(ambiguity not intended—take the clean version, and that’s what I fucking mean).
Then you’ll make Flannel Girl (Norah—another long story) totally heat things up in her usually-frigid wake and drag Quirky Cute (Nick) along for the ride, so to speak, in a closet at the lesbian nuns’ fucking club.
Then you’ll make them both fuck it up—her for her naïveté, him for...something—and then you’ll spend another good three chapters bomb dropping the word fuck every other fucking word not unlike what I’m fucking doing here, no kidding, and making Flannel have a heart to heart with Whore from Hell (Nick’s ex) who for some fucking inexplicable reason is bipolar and alternates between being object of hate and randomly showing up to teach Flannel how to kiss using the frenulum method (totally gonna look that up, though). Literally, hands-fucking-on lesson on how to kiss. The girl’s fucking ex.
If that makes no fucking sense, it’s sure as fuck not my problem.
My main fucking problem is that the wavelength for this novel is something like:
Brilliant Observations, Banter, What-have-you
(Repeat for 183 incredibly long pages.)
David Levithan’s writing started off way better than Rachel Cohn’s, and then she caught on, and then his chapters became a whole fucking lot shorter and hers more all over the fucking place, to the point that when I got to page fucking like 125 or something, I fucking had to force myself to move on.
Then the fucking raunchiness (literally) began, which was well done, and then they realized some Big Important Lesson and the book ended on a okay-to-good note.
Interspersed throughout the narrative is some very cute-making ideas (loved their discussion of her Jewish beliefs, for example), and Quirky Cute is adorable every now and then, but fuck me, did this get the fuck unbearable every now and then. High concept is not a must for me, and this is the farthest thing from it, which I usually have no fucking problem with, except that it RAMBLED. ON AND ON AND ON around the middle—about kibbutz, Brown, Tal-lawl, having sex with Whore From Hell, etc—making the relatively short nature of the novel so long. Not that it wasn’t well written—it was. But fucking oh my GOD, get ON with the indiscernible plot fucking now!
I see the appeal; however, I think this one was better left for the screen. Shall be watching the movie version, obv, because I love the premise. The dawdling here, however, didn’t cater to my needs, so I don’t recommend it unless you’re sure I’m full of shit. I know people will become, like, fucking flesh-eating fiends at the sight of this fucking review, but James told me to review it, so all complaints can be forwarded to him.
(I did intentionally leave out a part of this novel that annoyed me. Did anyone get my anything-but-subliminal message? Check the comments for further explanation.)
ETA: I was also disappointed with the fact that, for all the colorful language, there are NO NEOLOGISMS INTRODUCED WITH THE WORD "FUCK".