Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

I read (but did not really care for) Rachel Cohn and David Levithan’s newer book, Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List. I read Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan, and I thought it was cute, though not necessarily my thing. But, for some reason, I keep thinking that maybe I am going to like David Levithan, so I thought I’d try Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Also, it is being made into a movie. And my husband really likes music, so the idea of an infinite playlist was pretty appealing to me.

Alternating between Nick and Norah’s perspective, this is the story of the first night of their relationship, the night that Nick asked Norah to be his five minute girlfriend, that they saw their favorite band and began to get over their exes and stayed up until dawn. And I liked it better than the others, no question. But I think I liked the idea of it more than the actual execution.

What I did like was their infinite playlist, their relationship beginning, as they were experiencing that first spark, bantering back and forth, reciting lyrics at each other. It made me think about how that’s a pretty great description of relationships, how I can chart our relationship from “Mansions” by Burlap to Cashmere and “Testify to Love” by Avalon to “The Story” by Brandi Carlile and “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. And in between, there’s a lot of Counting Crows and Simon and Garfunkel and The Beatles and Waterdeep and Kelly Clarkson and M. Ward and The Decemberists and Bob Dylan and Andrew Peterson and hours and hours of Christmas music. Music is one of those things that helps me chart the passage of time, one of those things that causes a visceral reaction as it takes me back to certain memories, places, tastes, or smells. I have said before that relationships are one long conversation. But, as Nick and Norah are discovering, they are also an infinite playlist. As we build memories, we build our soundtrack.

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