Tuesday, November 5, 2013

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

Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List  by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Publication Date: August 28, 2007
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: Book Purchased by Reviewer
Buy it at: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

NAOMI AND ELY ARE BEST FRIENDS. Naomi loves and is in love with Ely, and Ely loves Naomi, but prefers to be in love with boys. So they create their “No Kiss List” of people neither of them is allowed to kiss. And this works fine- until Bruce. Bruce is Naomi’s boyfriend, so there’s no reason to put him on the list. But Ely kissed Bruce even though he is boring. The result: a rift of universal proportions and the potential end of “Naomi and Ely: the institution.” Can these best friends come back together again?

I have to start by saying that I really enjoyed this book, which is surprising to me because I honestly didn't expect to enjoy  it as much as I did. I assumed it would be this fluffy teen-pop book full of shallow characters that I would instantly dislike, and it WAS in the beginning. Somewhere along the lines, between the drama and selfish dialogue, it became so much more than just teeny bop drama. There are actually real issues discussed in this book. Real emotions that are brought out by real drama. This book is about friendship at its core and the ins and outs of all relationships in general. "Nothing worth having or feeling is easy, but always worth it." Makes me wish more YA books covered this message more often.

Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List tells the story of two NYU freshman who happen to be best friends and who have lived across from each other in the same apartment building since childhood. They both love each other but aren't in love with each other. Well really, as the book says "Naomi loves and is in love with Ely, and Ely loves Naomi, but prefers to be in love with boys." That relationship has always worked for them, that is until Ely kisses Naomi's boyfriend, Bruce The Second. That kiss leads Naomi and Ely on a lonely road trying to figure out how the kiss (and the feelings it yields) affects their relationship.

Something that I absolutely hated about this book is the use of symbols in Naomi's chapters. for some reason the authors chose to have Naomi communicate using symbols for certain words. Like an "eye" for "I" and "ears" for "sound" and so on. I'm not sure what message the authors were trying to convey, but all it really did was annoy me. I STILL don't know what some of those symbols even mean!

Another thing, this book had way too many POV changes! I mean changes between the two main characters, fine! But there were too many characters at play that really had no need to share their POV's. I feel like some of them kind of distracted from the main focus of the story. 

Naomi, as a character, was a destructive, selfish, B! All she really cared about was herself for most of the book. There were a few times when you get to see a totally different side to her, the side that isn't selfish or cruel, the side that makes you really feel sorry for her because you see how hurt she is and how much pain she is in. Those were the moments I really connected with her. 

Ely, as a character, was pretty much the same as Naomi. The only difference is that you can see his hurt more than hers. And because of his new relationship with Bruce The Second, you get to see him in a caring and loving position, something we rarely got a chance to see Naomi in.

Overall, I think the authors did a great job at showing us the emotions of both these characters and giving us a chance to really grow and connect with them. 

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