Author(s): Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006
For Ages: 14 and up
Rating: **** ½
Heart broken Nick is the only straight member of a queercore band playing a Lower East Side punk club. He just saw his ex-girlfriend here with some guy and she looks gorgeous. Heartsick Norah is the daughter of a famous record producer hanging out in the one club her father doesn’t want her to be in. She needs a ride home for herself and her drunken best friend. When Nick asks Norah to pretend to be his girlfriend for five minutes, she wraps her arm around his head and kisses him.
Told in alternating chapters from Nick and Norah’s perspective, the 17 year olds narrate a night to remember full of: witty banter, crappy cars, avant-garde clubs, Korean grocery stores, Ukrainian diners, posh hotel lobbies, deep conversations, romance, teen insecurity, and figuring out life.
I loved this book and read it in just one night. The narration is so vivid and fun I felt like I was reading a teen movie complete with a great soundtrack and a behind the scenes tour of Manhattan. Martin also liked this one.
Parent Info: the main characters consider themselves “straight-edge,” meaning they don’t drink alcohol or do drugs. There are a couple secondary characters that overindulge but there are consequences.
There are several intense make out scenes between: a girl and a boy, two boys, and a light-hearted scene between two girls. In all scenes there’s a great deal of caring and characters are shown carefully deciding where to draw the line.
The book is chock full of swearing, used as part of the color and attitude of the music scene, not for anger.