Sometimes collaborative books can be awesome. However, they can also be a little choppy and thrown together in places. This is what Nick and Norah’s story was for me. I did like Norah’s character from the beginning of the story. She was cheeky, borderline introverted, and had a very dry sense of humor. I didn’t care for Nick, but in the end he grew on me. Asking a random girl to pretend to be your girlfriend for five minutes just to make another girl jealous is pretty low. That two second request and five minute interaction was basically the beginning of Nick and Norah’s crazy all-nighter out and about in New York.
Choppiness aside, what kept me reading was the randomness of how Nick and Norah met, and the fact that their brief interaction blossomed into so many possibilities. They were two young adults that basically went wherever their random half-joking thoughts took them. From a random “cabaret” with dancing/half naked nuns singing Edelweiss to a steamy almost hookup in a random hotel ice room, their night together was far from boring – and it started around 3 am. To top that off, Nick did eventually shape up and basically got over his ex gf and fell in love with Norah all in the same night. A typical, lovely, whirlwind of a teen romance…or something more perhaps. I liked how the book was open ended and left you to guess where Nick and Norah’s relationship went from there.
Apparantly Cohn and Levithan wrote alternating chapters by passing the manuscript back and forth to one another. All they had was an overall idea of the story and how they wanted the characters to develop. As a result, the book seemed a little choppy in a few places. However, I did like the fact that it was clear both characters had their own voice. I enjoyed reading the chapters and finding out Nick or Norah’s feelings about the situation. I’ll watch the movie – perhaps it will overturn my belief that the book is always better than the movie that is based on it. Maybe it will have better transitions from one character’s thoughts to the next.