Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Naomi & Ely are the best of friends. They’ve grown up as neighbors and have had some very happy and not so happy times (when Naomi’s dad and one of Ely’s mom’s hooked up). They know everything about each other and refuse to do anything without the other. Naomi dreams of marrying, having kids and living happily ever after with Ely... even if he is gay.

Together they have come up with their No Kiss List. A list where they both list boys that are not to be kissed. They see this as a way of making sure a boy doesn’t come between their friendship.... as if! So when Ely kisses Naomi’s boyfriend, Bruce the First (he wasn’t on that list - but only because it should be a given that he's a no-kisser), all hell breaks lose. They both begin to question their choices, their hopes, their dreams and where they are headed in their lives.... but even more important, should this come between their friendship?

Sadly, I can't say that I truly enjoyed this book. For starters the story is told through, well, pretty much everyone Naomi & Ely know. Firstly, of course, you hear from Naomi & Ely, Bruce the First (Naomi's boyfriend), Bruce the Second (lives in same apartment building Naomi & Ely do; has a thing for Naomi); Robin - girl (friend); Robin - boy (friend); Kelly (Bruce the Second's sister); Gabriel a/k/a The Archangel (hot security guard to Naomi & Ely's buiding and on the no-kiss list). Not only did I find it difficult to remember whose point of view we were reading at the time, but then a lot of them had similar names. There were two Bruce's and two Robin's.

Eventually, I did get past the whole confusion of who was who, but then I would also get annoyed at the Naomi chapters with all the little symbols. Meaning there were some words that were replaced by a symbol and I don't think I quite caught them all, so I was like.. "huh?"

To top it all off, I just didn't really fall for any of the characters. I just did not see any of them as someone I would hang out with in real life - so that was also a turn off to me. I tried to root for Naomi (because yes, girl power), but in the end I think I disliked her more than I liked her.

What I did like about the story was it's exploration of sexuality. I also liked that the characters were in their late teens - 19 and 20. I also really enjoyed Gabriel's chapters - because of all the music... loved that. And, of course, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan's writing is phenomenal - they are so hip, witty, clever and humorous.... because of this alone, it is worth the read.

With that being said, I don’t really think I can recommend this only because it wasn’t a winner with me. As for being a teen novel, I think the f-word was used too much and sex was seen as a casual thing - which no matter how realistic this may be, I really don’t think it sends the right message to the young and impressionable. To those who are fans of Nick & Norah's (I myself being one), I will end my review with this = it has the same sort of feel to it, but unlike Nick & Norah, this one is forgettable.

Hunting for Fluffy,


brizmus said...

Well, that's just unfortunate.
Sounds not good. And I totally don't like books that overuse the f-word.

christina said...

Yes! Yes! Yeas! I totally agree with you. I read Nick & Norah earlier this year and LOVED IT. Seriously. I think it is still in a top read list for this year. So, of course, I rushed out and got Naomi & Ely. Uhhh, didn't you just HATE Naomi? I get that people can be full of themselves, but really? Really? She infuriated me like there was no tomorrow. The most interesting storyline was Bruce's sexuality. Too bad that didn't really go into depth.

BTW have you read anything just by Levithan? I read Boy Meets Boy last month and OMG it was incredible. I think that he is the rockstar writer between the two.

OK. Now that my comment surely took the length of a post. :P Cheers!

Nely said...

Christina - I agree. This was on my TBR from the moment I read Nick & Norah and I'm saddened to say it bombed with me. I still haven't read anything by either author on their own. Making note about Boy Meets Boy.


Michelle said...

I started this one a loooong while ago. Although I do remember it making me laugh quite a bit, I never got around to finishing it. This review actually reminded me that I still have to read it so thank you. ;D

Veens said...

You are right a book for teens actually treating sex as a casusal thing, is sending the wrong message!

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