I'm always reading something, usually multiple books at a time.
Nick and Norah are both 18, high-school seniors from New Jersey navigating break-ups and the lower-Manhattan alternative-music scene. Nick is the bassist in a band of ever-shifting names, reeling after being dumped by girlfriend Tris. Norah has broken up with boyfriend Tal, who dropped out of Columbia to pursue life in a kibbutz in South Africa (who knew that was a thing?). Tris is at the club where Nick's band has a gig, and she's with another guy. Nick can't bear the prospect of Tris introducing him to her, which she seems perilously close to doing as she approaches from the other end of the bar, post-set. Norah, who happens to be standing beside Nick at the bar, provides a spontaneous diversion, as Nick asks her to pretend to be his girlfriend for the next five minutes. And so, they kiss....
That moment launches a night-long adventure between Nick and Norah, the details of which I won't give away. This book for me evokes a life stage I can remember well. A time in young adulthood when a person's musical taste is the ultimate litmus test of compatibility. Nick and Norah try to suss each other out while also questioning every action and spoken word of their own. Did I say the wrong thing? Have I blown it with the cool new person?
It didn't hurt that I enjoyed the musical references. It feels as though I've had too many books where I'm just not the ideal audience for the book. For Nick & Norah, I am definitely the ideal audience. (Well, as a Philly girl who has also lived in NYC, I'd have to give Nick and Norah some grief about being from New Jersey. It's like, a law.)