Who? Nick and Norah and occasionally, Tris, Nick’s ex-girlfriend.
What? Two people meet in a sweaty club and spend the most amazing night together in NYC.
Where? New York City.
Initial Final Page Thoughts.
THE FILM. OK, this is probably going to be controversial, but I love the film of this book. Love love.
It makes me think of my best friends and university and finding any excuse not to do my dissertation and quoting it continually on a night out. And it makes me want to go back in time so I can live those nights out again.
And yes, it is the reason why I read this book. So I’d like to thank Mr Levithan and Ms Cohn for writing this book so the film could be made.
BUT… we’re talking about the book here, which I also loved. So. High points. NICK O’LEARY who is a graduate of the John Green Academy for Literary Nerd Boys that Jo Will Inevitabley Fancy. Norah… sometimes. Music! Queercore bands. New York City (what? I’m British… I am in love with New York. Manchester just doesn’t cut it.) Hungarian restaurants. Moving on. Hot hot almost-sex (THAT bit wasn’t in the film! Phew.). Thom. Cultural references. Drag Queens. OK, I’m going to stop because I’m teetering on the edge of swimfan territory.
Norah kinda grated on me… I’m not sure whether it’s because I absolutely adore Kat Dennings and how she plays Norah in the film (I’m sorry, I promised myself I wouldn’t keep comparing).. but I found the book version unnecessarily aggressive sometimes. I get she’s supposed to be all ‘Yeah.. I’m angsty’ But it was a bit awkward sometimes… like she was angry at me. Sometimes Nick’s narrative (written by Levithan) was a bit… too much. It was amazingly visual but the metaphors and the feelings were piled on thick. Sometimes felt like I was reading his diary or listening in on his Noise. (Had to get that in there somewhere)
I’m going to have to bunch these all together again because it’s difficult to talk about one without the others. I’ll start with Norah.. I’ve briefly mentioned her above. I did like her. I thought she was cool, a bit of a loser and most of the things that she (or Cohn) came out with… it was like reading my diary. (The most common phrase of my Kindle notes of Norah’s entries was ‘Preach’) Seriously, Cohn knows how to write the feelings and insecurities of a teenage girl. But then sometimes, I found her thoughts and actions very abrasive and it was difficult to understand them. But then she’d go and redeem herself again by being awesome, so it’s only a minor quibble.
And then we have Nick. Oh Nick. You are my perfect guy. Skinny jeans, ruffled hair, uses lip balm, great taste in music… a bit of a loser, but also is totally romantic (and also a bit of a one, BOOM).
Both Cohn and Levithan know and understand the awkwardness and the ridiculousness of being a teenager and they perfectly depict it in their writing.
Nick and Norah’s love affair was also really well done, apart from the overuse of metaphors as I mentioned before, because I can really imagine it happening. You may think the idea of a guy and girl falling in love in one night is ridiculous. And it would be. But Nick and Norah isn’t about that… it’s the story of them two getting to know each other and testing the waters, seeing if there actually is anything there. Kind of like a prelude to love, almost.
They like each other but they don’t know each other and there’s a cute bit towards the end where Norah says that she wants to know him. It’s so much more refreshing to have this rather than ‘OH MY GOD, WE HAVE THINGS IN COMMON. LET’S STAY TOGETHER FOREVER’.
Also… spending the whole night getting rained on in Manhattan? Yes please.
Not a baddie as such… but more like an annoying fly. I imagine Tris would get on well with Kelly Jones and Jenny Flick and they could all be bitter about the amazing boys they let escape from their perfectly manicured talons.
Blatantly stealing from Nick & Norah’s Soundtrack… which is AMAZING by the way. But this really sums up the whole book… and it’s an amazing song. “The night is winding down but time means nothing, as always at this hour time means nothing. One final, final round ‘cause time means nothing. Say that you’ll stay…” I’LL STAY NICK.
5/10.It is a low number… but all five points is love angst. But it’s good angst… mostly. Like I said there are some moments, with both Nick and Norah, that I just want to scream ‘OH SHUT UP AND OPEN YOUR EYES AND THEN KISS AGAIN BECAUSE IT’S HOT.”
But there’s a lot of funny moments in and loser moments in it and you can kind of ignore it when it gets a bit ‘eye-rolly’ for us cynics.
David Levithan fans (never read anything else by Rachel Cohn but I want to!) People who always have and always will fancy the indie boy with the indeterminate sexuality. People who are having trouble getting over their ex. People who have always wanted to know what exactly is “queercore”. People who never have fun adventures with hot hot boys because they are always lumbered with their whorey drunken friend… NOW IS YOUR CHANCE TO BE IRRESPONSIBLE. People who have always wanted a Yugo. People who have always wanted to visit New York… in the night time… in the arms of a hot hot boy. People who love music and how it makes them feel. People who have always wanted to kiss in a room lit only by a vending machine. People who love Michael Cera…. Wait… what? *Shifty look*