I’ve had Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist on my radar for quite a few years now, originally because I was interested in the movie that came out in 2008. But I kept not watching the movie and I kept not reading the book until finally in August of 2017 I grabbed the book off of the library shelf, basically because I knew it was stand-alone and because it was short. And now that I’ve read it…well it didn’t take me very long to read but I still wish I had just watched the movie and been done with it.
First of all, Levithan seems to have issues with capturing the voice of a teenager. Now I’m not saying teens all have to sound stupid and use slang, etc. like a lot of authors think but Levithan takes it the other way. I’ve read four books that he’s worked on and each character sounds like a pretentious asshole who has swallowed a thesaurus and loves to hear the sound of their own voice. At least in Dash & Lily they were book nerds and I understood most of their literary references but Nick and Norah are music aficionados. I like listening to music but I don’t “get” it like they do so a lot of references went over my head.
And what was even more annoying about the tone of the narrators is that they both sounded exactly the same. Nick is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. He’s in a band. Norah is the privileged daughter of a music exec style father. They should haven’t basically had the same voice! They were both full of themselves, first obsessed with their exes and then with each other even though the novel only takes place over the course of one evening, and they both cursed up a storm and made constant stupid references and went on and on about nothing. Considering that the book is under 200 pages there shouldn’t be rambling.
Oh and along with the rambling there’s excessive cursing. I’m okay with cursing, I’ve been known to drop an “f bomb” myself but, in my opinion, cursing should primarily be used for strong emotions and emphasis. Nick and Norah are like kids who have been told they’re never to use naughty words and so as soon as they’re on their own they use as many as they can. One of Nick’s chapters has a five sentence paragraph and the f-word is used seven times. Ridiculous.
Basically I just really hated the characters and so there was no chance that I was going to come out liking this book. They annoy me so much I can’t even think about what else I disliked about the plot, etc.