Monday, February 13, 2012

Just Finished

Just finished Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. It took me longer to get into it than I expected, mainly because I found myself unusually impatient with both protagonists for the first third or so of the novel. But I'm fond of dually-narrated novels, and I'm fond of Levithan, and have read Cohn, so I kept going (also, I spent 2 dollars on it at Half Price, so no way was I going to quit before I got my money's worth). And I decided it was worth it. The first bit, with all its disconnects and miscommunications is deliberate and even necessary to the characters' developments; the process of being in relationship with others is complex and knotty, and, as all of us who have ever been in relationship with anyone else (which is, of course, all of us) know, it can be . . . challenging. So a traditional boy-meets-girl-loses-girl-rewins girl would be less compelling than the cyclical two-people-trying-to-figure-themselves-out-so-they-can-figure-each-other-out that Cohn and Levithan wind up with.

And also there's a character named Caroline who is sort of a nice person, so I like that. She is mostly drunk and generally off-screen, but she's not an evil character, as many named Caroline are, so that's a plus.

I'm currently reading Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler's The Future of Us, which is very interesting in many ways (though I'm getting similarly impatient with one of the protagonists). The nature of time, cause and effect, fate/destiny, agency and lack thereof all play prominent roles in engaging the reader.

It makes me wonder about this recurring trend of dually (and multiply) authored novels for YA readers. Do you see it anywhere else? Is it just publishers capitalizing on trends, or does YA lit lend itself uniquely to this style of narrative?


  1. I think that multiple author YA books have less to do with marketing and more to do with the fact that so many YA authors have such close affiliations with each other. That and perhaps the authors' desires to try their best to make their work relatable means that sometimes a story needs to be told from different perspectives. But whatever the reason, it seems to be working for them and I am totally okay with that.

  2. Definitely. YA publishing is a much smaller world in that it functions so much like a community--everyone knows everyone else, and so many of them get along so insanely well, and technology makes collaboration a much more practical endeavor than it was twenty years ago. They'd be crazy not to!