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Rachel Cohn is the author of critically-acclaimed YA novels Shrimp, Pop Princess, Gingerbread, and middle-grade novel The Steps. A graduate of Barnard College, she lives and writes in Manhattan. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is Rachel's first book for Knopf. David Levithan is a children's book editor in New York City. The author lives in NYC; Hoboken, NJ. From the Hardcover edition.
Gr 9 Up-What happens when two witty, wise, but vulnerable teens meet by accident at a chaotic punk rock club? They fall in love, of course. While both are dealing with the fallout of failed relationships and the infinite hurt that accompanies them, they are questioning everything about themselves, their friends, and their future paths. The passion and intelligence of these characters, along with the authors' intimate knowledge of and complete respect for their audience, make this novel unique. Told in alternating chapters over the course of a single night, the narratives create a fully fleshed-out picture of both teens, informed by their love of music, their devotion to their friends, and their clear-eyed view of the world. These kids don't drink or do drugs and it's solely their obsession with music that takes them to these clubs. One of Norah's relatives calls her a "potty mouth," and that's no exaggeration. Throughout the book, the expletives fly fast and furious, but they are more about personal expression and in-your-face attitude than about strong emotions. Yet, there is also considerable depth and sensitivity. Norah explains the Jewish concept of tikkun olam-the responsibility to heal a fractured world-and Nick comes up with an original spin on it. There are many heart-stopping, insightful moments in this supremely satisfying and sexy romance. A first-rate read.-Tracy Karbel, Glenside Public Library District, Glendale Heights, IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
This compulsively readable novel takes place in less than 24 hours. At a New York club one night, Nick convinces a stranger to pose as his girlfriend in order to fool Tris, the girl who broke his heart. He does not guess (though readers may) that kissing Norah will lead to a long, complicated evening, and a new chance for love. Levithan (Boy Meets Boy) and Cohn (Gingerbread) reveal the clever construction of the book in an authors' note: they sent chapters back and forth, he writing as Nick, she as Norah. The novel has that pumped-up feeling of a story passed among friends who each add a section, spontaneously incorporating unforeseen elements. Levithan again creates outrageous characters and witty wordplay (a "Playboygirl Bunny" bouncer asks Nick, "How long have the two of you been the two of you?"), and Cohn brings to life another rich punk rock girl. The two see a secret show on the Lower East Side, pig out in a Russian diner, and get caught making out in an ice room at the Times Square Marriott, all the time wondering if they can let go of their past loves and risk another heartbreak. Much of the novel's energy comes from the rapid-fire repartee between the two leads, plus perhaps the most vivid character, Tris-Nick's Id-driven ex and a classmate of Norah's, who ends up giving Nick advice and Norah kissing lessons. Readers will likely enjoy the ride, even if it is obvious where these two are headed. Ages 14-up. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
"Electric, sexy . . . and genuinely poignant, this is a compelling story of the risks and thrills of burgeoning intimacy." - The Bulletin, Starred