Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Common Sense Media says

All-nighter turns romantic in fun but racy read.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Parents could use this book to talk about how well books translate to movies. See our "Families Can Talk About" section for more ideas to sharpen kids' critical thinking skills.

Positive messages

Through Nick and Norah's story readers learn that bad stuff happens to people -- even in love. But while love can hurt, it's worth it, especially when you find someone you really connect with.

Positive role models

Not every teen will relate to the lives these protagonists lead -- but they will connect with their search for themselves, and their obvious vulnerability. And they will root for them to realize how perfect they are for one another.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Some pretty passionate kissing and groping between straight and gay characters, a trip to a strip club, plus talk of other sexual experiences.

Language

Be prepared for constant swearing, including the f-word, the b-word, and some pretty creative combinations.

Consumerism

Krispy Kremes, Oreos, McDonald's, Chuck Taylors, Xbox, and more. Plus, Nick drives a Yugo.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Nick and Norah order virgin cocktails, but Norah's best friend is always drunk, and there are other references to drugs like marijuana and Ecstasy.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there is constant swearing, including the f-word, the b-word, and some pretty creative combinations. Nick and Norah order virgin cocktails, but Norah's best friend is always drunk, and there are other references to drugs like marijuana and Ecstasy. The characters also mention Krispy Kremes, Oreos, McDonald's, Chuck Taylors, Xbox, and more. There is some pretty passionate kissing and groping between straight and gay characters, plus talk of other sexual experiences. In the end, this is a story about teens who are able to get past their past hurts and trust the instant connection that just may be true love.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In one long, angst-filled night, Nick and Norah meet, make out, discuss their heartbreaks, have a misunderstanding, make up, and make out again. They also see a lot of bands, have some seriously witty conversations, and do a lot of soul-searching.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

You can see why this book would make such a fun movie: It's got two well-defined characters (mouthy but insecure Norah and sweet but heartbroken Nick), fast-paced dialogue, plenty of drama, plus a punk NYC backdrop. Having the book take place in one night adds fun energy to the story -- as does having the chapters alternate between Nick and Norah. Chapters often end with a mini-cliffhanger, with the other protagonist swooping in to offer a new perspective -- and the details of their next adventure.

Readers may not always relate to the lives of these two Jersey teens. Norah, for example, the daughter of a wealthy music exec, says "I could be scoring weed in Tompkins Square Park right now, on my way to a bondage bar on Avenue D, and my parents would only applaud." And at some point in their long night together, Nick and Norah end up at "this place where strippers dressed like nuns and did this tease to 'Climb Every Mountain.'" But, they will have an easy time relating to these two characters who are obviously meant to be together, if they can get past their own heartbreaks and take that leap. Which you know they will, eventually -- sometime in the wee hours of the morning. Romantic teens will likely be willing to stay up all night reading just to see them jump.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about books that become movies. How do you think filmmakers decide which books to pick? Do the movies live up to your expectations? Why do you think the publisher decided to put out a new edition of this book with the movie characters on the cover? How does this cover shape your perception of Nick and Norah?

  • This book features lots of bad language -- and some racy scenes, including some major making out and a scene in an offbeat strip club. Do you think anything is off limits in today's young adult literature? Who should decide what is appropriate for teens to read?

Book details

Authors:David Levithan, Rachel Cohn
Genre:Coming of Age
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Random House
Publication date:May 23, 2006
Number of pages:183
Publisher's recommended age(s):14 - 17

This review of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist was written by

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About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written byBookAddict October 28, 2009
AGE
15
QUALITY
 
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byCota October 1, 2010
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Garbage! Don't waste your time or money!

GARBAGE!!!!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written by666maze666 November 28, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

somewhat racy teen romcom

It's a romantic comedy for teens. It's one of the better ones I've read, though. So, there's some kissing(and more), talk about sex, and a strip club with strippers dressed like nuns. Also, there are a couple characters who regularly get drunk and hook up with whoever. Nick's band is underage but they play in a bar and drink alcohol. Don't forget the constant swearing, but its what kids hear at school every day.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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