Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Pages: 183 p.
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
I read this book in one day. For some of you that might not be a big accomplishment. Considering the fact that I am a full time working mom and if you look at the frequency, or lack thereof, with which I manage to post here, I think you too will agree that this is indeed a big deal for me. I was helped by the fact that I was stuck in a doctor's waiting room and it was a relatively slow night at the ref desk. And that I just *couldn't* put it down.
The story opens with Nick performing with his queercore band and Norah in the audience. Nick sees his ex-girlfriend Tris, panics, and asks complete stranger Norah to be his girlfriend for the next five minutes. Norah knows Tris and for a variety of reasons agrees to Nick's strange request. Five minutes turns into something much much longer.
The story is told from both points of view in alternating chapters. Rachel Cohn wrote the Norah parts and David Levithan wrote the Nick parts. Collaborative novels are always hit and miss with me. Particularly ones that are written this way where one author takes one character; I find that a lot of the time when the one author has to write dialogue for the other character it doesn't sound quite right. Cohn & Levithan managed to avoid this problem. If it hadn't been for the title page I wouldn't have known that two authors wrote this. There were no inconsistencies, nothing sounded false, nothing sounded like it was just thrown together. It's actually quite amazing that both voices were as riveting and compelling as they were.
I loved this book. I couldn't put it down. I was a little upset that I didn't know anything about the queercore punk/metal scene but now I do(thanks wikipedia). There's lots of language in this book--the f bomb makes a regular appearance--as well as sexual situations and it totally suits the characters and the story. Nothing is gratuitous. This is not a middle school novel. It's a wonderfully written, well-told love story for high school teens.
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