Sunday, January 16, 2011

Abducted by Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

I’ve seen the movie for Nick and Norah almost like 100 times! So I was really excited to sit down and listen to the audio unabridged version of the book. I love special features on movies and this particular one does have an audio commentary track that features the director of the movie, the writer of the screenplay, but also the two authors of the book, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. Because of this I was aware in advance that there are some vast differences between the book and the movie.

Although I was prepared for certain changes, what I wasn’t prepared for is that the movie is a PG13 movie where as the book is so very much an R rated book.!!!

That would probably be my main complaint. I’m no angel, I promise you. I will drop curse words when talking to friends without even thinking. But this book has like 15 “f” words per paragraph. That is I imagined it did because again I listened to it and didn’t actually have the book in front of me. Maybe it was the fact that I was hearing it as opposed to reading it that made me more uncomfortable, but who knows. There was also one almost sex scene that was a little too graphic for my comfort zone.

However, a lot of my favorite scenes from the movie came word for word from the book. For example, when Norah has Nick’s phone and he calls it and she answers and Nick asks her to “pass on a message“. It is such a small moment but so sweet and endearing. Also, the speech that one of Nick’s friends gives about the song “I Want To Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles.

The relationship between Nick and Norah in the book was absolutely charming. And the writing does a beautiful job of expressing all the feelings of the first kiss and the vulnerabilities and insecurities and excitement that comes from meeting the perfect someone for the first time. If it wasn’t for the graphic scene and the vulgar language, I would think my friend Mandy would LOVE this book.

I was picturing Michael Cera as Nick throughout listening to the book and because I do love him as much as I do there were moments that Norah kind of bothered me. I was screaming at her (in my head) “JUST FALL FOR HIM ALL READY!!!” As charming as Nick is in the movie he has just as many heart melting scenes in the book and so it was frustrating for Norah to remain so put off and angry for as long as she does. But I do think that her hesitation was in service to the “this is too good to be true” feeling that comes with meeting a great guy.

I wasn’t so much overwhelmed by all the music references but there was one scene where I think it was David Levithan who went on and on about being in a mosh pit where I was like “Come on! Get back to the story!”

The book also does redeem the character of Tris. I liked that because I can now understand why Nick would be so drawn to her, beyond the fact that she is hot. However, I am glad that they left that out of the movie. I would say only because in the movie Tris is the character that you just love to hate so much you don’t want her to be redeemed.

All in all, I love the movie and I would say I really REALLY liked the book. I am also very excited to see what else these authors have out there. Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have also co-authored Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, which is on my TBR list. And I have Will Grayson Will Grayson co-authored by John Green and David Levithan in my TBR pile. But I do want to find some good books that Cohn and Levithan wrote on their own.

Also, this week I finished Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. We had book club last night to talk about it. I really like the book and the movie was also a great companion to it. Tommy’s rage scene at the end made me cry. When reading the book there was a few tears but in the movie it was like an uncontrollable waterfall. Very different from the YA book I just reviewed but still a good read I would recommend to those already interested.


Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

I have heard about the excessive swearing in other reviews of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. It still sounds from your review that it's worth it. I have Never Let Me Go on my kindle, and I really want to read it, but I still haven't gotten my hands on a stupid time-turner yet. I'm working on it!

Unknown said...

Never Let Me Go prompted some interesting discussion. Coulda been the wine talking on my part.

I liked the book and the movie, but I was all perclept watching the final scene. Sunrise/sunset/ barren moors themed ending always get to me.

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