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Month in review

Reviews:
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Blocked by Geoff Ryman
A Busy Day at the Farm by Doreen Cronin
Calamity Jack by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale and Nathan Hale
The Cat in the Hat Comes Back by Dr. Seuss
The Cat Who Wasn't a Dog by Marian Babson
Coolies by Yin
D.A. by Connie Willis
Detective Small and the Amazing Banana Caper by Wong Herbert Yee
Doctor Who and the Talons of Weng Chiang by Terrance Dicks
The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright
The Far Shore by Elizabeth Hand
Ghost Ship by Dietlof Reiche
Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex
Henry the Sailor Cat by Mary Calhoun
Henry's Show and Tell by Nancy Carlson
Her by Laura Zigman
I Love You, Mama, Any Time of the Year by Nancy Whilte Carlstrom
I Spy a School Bus by Jean Marzollo
The Knight at Dawn (Magic Tree House #2) by Mary Pope Osborne
Little Bo by Julie Andrews Edwards
Lost and Found by Jane Sigaloff
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
Monsters vs Aliens: Team Monster by Gale Herman
My First Time Board Book by Elizabeth Hester
Nana Volume 3 by Ai Yazawa
Nation by Terry Pratchett
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Olivia Acts Out by Jodie Shepherd
Rules of the Net by Jennifer Guess McKerley
Shadowland (Mediator #1) by Meg Cabot
Shooting an Albatross by Steven R. Lundin
Sugar Time by Jane Adams
Time and Time Again by James Hilton
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 13: Hobgoblin by Brian Michael Bendis
Viking Ships Before Sunrise (Magic Tree House #15) by Mary Pope Osborne
Wally the Walking Fish Meets Madinson and Cooper by Gary Lamit
The Woman Who Wouldn't by Gene Wilder
Why I Will Never Ever Ever Ever Have Enough Time to Read This Book by Remy Charlip
Zak: The One-of-a-Kind Dog by Jane Lidz
Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist cover art (Link goes to Powells)Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist: 02/18/10

When I read, I often tweet about what I'm reading. I made a comparison between Project Anastrophe and The Thin Man (1934). See the characters in both are called Nick and Nora (not Norah). Anyway, on one of my tweets I called the ARC I was reading "Nick and Nora in Space." For clarity I should have called it "The Thin Man in Space" but in the "tweet of the moment" I didn't.

My tweet got a response recommending Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. I don't know if it was a recommendation for the book or the film adaptation. From the description of the film, I think I would like it more than I did the book. Anyway, I happened to see the book at my library and thought I'd give it a try.

The novel is cowritten by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. Rachel took Norah's parts and David took Nick's parts. Cowritten books like this seem like a good idea in the abstract  but they rarely seem to work as planned. The competing voices don't blend as well as they should and the book ends up feeling disjointed.

Beyond the wildly different voices, there's the problem of two "too perfect" characters having a wildly out of control in Manhattan over the course of a night and morning. Marty Stu (Nick) and Mary Sue (Norah) end up together after Nick asks her to be his five minute girl friend to avoid a painful confrontation with his ex. From there they hook up and go on their adventure, one which is punctuated by their own personal soundtracks.

Many of the negative reviews cite the swearing. The use of fuck and all it's variations doesn't bother me. I can safely say it's the only thing that doesn't bother me about the book. What ultimately had me tossing the book aside was Norah worrying about being frigid. She's what, a teenager? And a straight-laced one. And here she is not even an adult (or barely an adult) and she's repeatedly using an out of date word to worry about her sex life? What teen (ever?).

When Nick and Norah are talking about, listening to, or playing music, the novel is at its best. The rest of the time they act like sexually dissatisfied thirty-somethings in teenage bodies. It doesn't work.

Other posts and reviews:

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Comment #1: Friday, February, 19, 2010 at 12:24:22

Freda

I saw the movie, and it is one of my faves now... but have yet to read the book. Generally I enjoy the book more, so I will be sure to check it out.

Great review!



Comment #2: Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 18:02:22

Pussreboots

I've heard that the film is very different from the book.