January 27, 2012

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

Title: Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List
Author: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Pages: 240
Publisher: Random House Children's Books

From the flap:
Naomi  <3 Ely.
And she's kinda in love with him.
Ely <3 Naomi.
But he prefers to be in love with boys.

Naomi and Ely have been inseparable since childhood-partially because they've grown up across the hall from each other in the same Manhattan apartment building, and also because they're best friends.  Soul mates.  Or are they?  Just to be safe, they've created a NO KISS LIST- their list of people who are absolutely off-kissing-limits for both of them.  The NO KISS LIST protects their friendship and ensures that nothing will rock the foundation of Naomi and Ely: the institution.
Until Ely kisses Naomi's boyfriend.  And a fateful piece of gum in the wrong place at the wrong time changes everything.
Soon a rift of universal proportions threatens to destroy their friendship, and it remains to be seen whether Naomi and Ely can find their way toward new soul-mate prospects...and back to one another.

Okay, so Naomi and Ely are best friends.  Naomi loves Ely.  Ely loves boys.  Ely kisses Naomi's boyfriend and their relationship gets shot to hell.  The story goes between a whole lot of different view points telling the story of Naomi and Ely's time apart.

This book has been on my to-read list for a long time.  I read Dash & Lily and Nick & Norah and liked them both, so I figured why not read this one?  I am kinda sad to say I didn't wind up liking this one as much as the other two.  I think a lot of the fault lies in Naomi.  First off, there are symbols in her chapters that sometimes replaced words and sometimes seemed to be there for no reason.  They were really tiny and took me right out of the story.  I also just didn't really like her.  All of the characters talked about what a bitch she was and there was very little shown in the story (until the end) to tell the reader otherwise.  If you're going to make a bitchy character that's fine.  I'm all for bitchy, it just can't be her only personality trait.  I needed a little bit more to connect with her.

On the flip side, I did really enjoy Ely.   He is a runner.  When things in his relationships get intense, he bails.  Most often, in teen tv shows and YA books we see the runner characters from the point of view of the people being left.  Ely's perspective really put the reader right in there and showed how he felt and why he was running and that he did really want to change.  I think my favorite part of the book was when Ely had his meeting with the Dairy Queens and they knocked some sense into him.

My favorite character out turned not to be either Naomi or Ely.  It was Gabriel, the building doorman.  I love anyone who makes a good Buffy reference.  And a good mixtape.


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