In a panic after seeing his ex, Nick turns to the stranger beside him at a bar and asks her to be his girlfriend for the next five minutes. Though her immediate instinct is to say no, Norah decides this might help her find a ride for her drunk best friend. She pulls Nick into a kiss.
After reading and not really liking Naomi & Ely’s No Kiss List by this same duet of authors, I was a little worried about Nick & Norah. I went into it with a bit of trepidation. That trepidation disappeared almost immediately. This is one of those books that I just want to say, “ZOMG this book is so good wow read it now.” I’m guessing that’s not really a good review, though.
What can I say about this? It was raw, it was real, it captured all the emotions and language perfectly. This is one of those books that I want to hold up and say, “See? This is what tension feels like! This is how to write a good kiss and/or sex scene! This is how to accurately portray teenagers! This is the way to make a setting feel real!” Everything was splendid.
I think that in the past I’ve given off this impression that I’m a prude. I say things that make it seem as if I dislike books with sex, crass language, etc in them. This book should prove that that isn’t true. I’m not a prude. I don’t like books with pointless, gratuitous, or badly written sex scenes. I don’t like language (“bad” or not) that sounds awkward and out of place. When these things are done well and have a reason for being in a book, I don’t mind them at all. They have to make sense and not be a ploy for sales technique. The author has to be honest with the reader, the subject, and themselves. Cohn and Levithan do this perfectly.
There was really only one thing that bothered me in this book. Without this little thing, I’d consider the book to border on perfection. I don’t like the two chapters where Norah is trying to decide if Nick’s gay because he smells like cologne, uses cherry Chapstick, and knows the name of designer shoes. I auto-rebel against that. The whole debate she has with herself comes very late in the book which makes it pointless as well as offensive. I wish that had been edited out. But other than that one tiny thing, this is a great, great book. Read it!!!! 😀
But don’t read it if you’re bothered by language, sex, drag queens, or boys making out with other boys. You won’t like the book then. It’s full of this stuff. Every single negative review of this book that I’ve seen has been from people bothered by the very frequent use of the word “fuck” or by the lack of “morality” in these teens.