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.
In my review of ARE WE THERE YET by David Levithan, I said that I wasn’t able to fully enjoy this book because of it’s format and the way it was written. That wasn’t Levithan’s fault, it was just the kind of third person that I don’t like reading as much as other styles.
Looking back on it, after reading this book for the very first time, I’m astounded at how much he has developed his own style from this book, one of his very first, to his latest books. And I can see it. I can see his style in the way he writes Nick, bits and pieces of the way he writes. But in the last six years, things have gotten tighter, more precise, better formulated, more… him.
As for Rachel Cohn, I guess I don’t really know a whole lot about her and her writing because I’ve only ever read books by her and David Levithan. The one exception to that is BETA in the ANNEX series. And that book… DNF. I lost interest due to reviews on it but I had already placed my hold on it so I read it with a half-baked interest and it got good for a while but then I just didn’t like it right in the middle because all the stuff my other reviewer friends had said suddenly made sense.
The only big thing that I didn’t like about this book is that the writing is easy in places. And that’s in the context of being easy to skim. There’s some explanations and dialogue that was a little stretched out for my taste.
As for the book as a whole, there were some places where I was getting a very Rainbow Rowell vibe. The conversation between Nick and Norah really flows and there were points to this book where I laughed out loud. A very nice story, and a candidate for my favorite Levithan book. Music fans with love this story. 4.5 stars.
As for the movie, I thought it was good. Definitely could’ve been better in my opinion, considering it didn’t follow the book as well as I thought it should. (Just FYI, Nick asked Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes–not the other way around.) And Nick, in my mind, is much cooler than Michael Cera plays him off as, but that was okay. (Cera’s better in his other movies.) If you’re a fan of this book, I suggest you watch the movie and see what you think.
pg count for the hardback: 183
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