I really loved this book. I actually think that this is probably my favorite, if not the best, YA book I've ever read. It's not really for the faint-hearted (it's raunchy and is probably the edgiest YA novel I've ever read) but I loved how honest the characterization was, and other than the slightly over-the-top profanity, the book just felt so real. Combine that with tons of music references and a great story set in a single night right in the center of the Manhattan music scene, and this book has a ton of of appeal to teen music-lovers. The authors really collaborate well, each taking turns writing the story from Nick and Norah's point of views (the story continues moving; they don't repeat segments of the story) and although I've never heard of either of them, I am amazed at their talent, and will probably check out some more of their material. I'm not usually a huge fan of 'romances', and while this certainly wasn't the traditional romance, I was surprised at just how good this book was. The love story was very believable (and since it was told in both Nick and Norah's perspective, it will appeal to both guys and girls) and though I was disappointed when the book ended, the pacing was impeccable, and there was never a single moment in which I was bored with the story. This was one of those few books that I couldn't stop reading, and read through in a single sitting. In fact, by the end, the story was still so fresh that I was tempted to flip it back over and start again from the beginning.
The thing with this book, why it seems to have a lot of low ratings, is while this isn't a YA book in the traditional sense (a book that's appropriate for younger audience), it's targeted towards teens because this isn't a book that most adults will get. It's a very niched novel targeted much more towards modern teens with a love of music, and with all of the modern band references and the very liberal Manhattan music scene, most adults just will not identify with this, won't appreciate what they don't see as authentic characters, and will not enjoy it. Mostly those are the people that are rating it low. And that's okay, because not everyone understands this type of literature. Also, this is one of those YA books with virtually no parental interference that reminds most of us just how much our lives suck. But that's okay, because without that this book wouldn't have been anywhere near as good.
Overall though, if you're open to new things and have an open mind, and want to see a different kind of love story instead of a cliched, traditional romance, this book is absolutely fantastic.