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Naomi and Ely's No Kiss Listby Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Synopses & Reviews
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?
"Longtime best friends Naomi and Ely live in the same Greenwich Village apartment building with their mothers while attending New York University. But after Ely, who is gay, kisses Naomi's boyfriend and lies about it, she stops speaking to him, even creating rules for avoiding each other; she does not care so much about her boyfriend, but finally understands Ely 'will never love me the way I love' him. Cohn and Levithan (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist; see Reprints, below) once again create characters with attitude and fill their book with wordplay and witty conceits. But unlike Nick and Norah, Naomi and Ely come across as thoughtless and self-absorbed. Part of the problem may be that the authors rotate through the perspectives of numerous characters, including Ely's new boyfriend (Naomi's ex) and a fawning girl from Schenectady who seems to exist mainly to reinforce how cool Naomi is. These characters do not add much — with the exception of a vulnerable doorman who tries to connect with Naomi. Readers will laugh at the fun turns of phrase (Ely accuses Naomi of being 'a drama queen before we were old enough to go to Dairy Queen' and appreciate the clever duplication of characters (there are two Robins and two Bruces) which plays into the book's ideas about soul mates, or lack thereof. Naomi's narration is peppered with tiny icons, which look trendy but can be hard for readers to decipher. These playful touches, however, may not be enough to hold the audience's interest until Naomi and Ely reach their own important conclusions about love. Ages 14-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Told in a chorus of first-person voices, including Naomi and Ely as well as friends who are forced to choose sides, this loquacious relationship tale will date quickly, but that won't keep the authors' legions of fans from wanting it yesterday." Booklist
"A witty and highly entertaining exploration of love, friendship, and misunderstanding....The themes of sexual exploration and sexual identity, as well as strong language, which is entirely appropriate for the characters and setting, make this a book for older teens, who will love the oh-so-hip music and pop-culture references." School Library Journal
Naomi is in love with her best friend, Ely, but Ely prefers boys. So they create a "No Kiss List" of people neither of them is allowed to kiss. It works fine — until Bruce enters the picture. Can these best friends come back together again?
About the Author
Rachel Cohn's novels include Gingerbread, Shrimp, Cupcake, and Pop Princess. She lives and writes wherever she can find an outlet for her laptop.
David Levithan's novels include Boy Meets Boy, The Realm of Possibility, Are We There Yet?, and Wide Awake. He lives in New Jersey.
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