Now a motion picture starring Victoria Justice!
From the New York Times bestselling authors of NICK & NORAH’S INFINITE PLAYLIST, NAOMI AND ELY’S NO KISS LIST is the quintessential Girl-Likes-Boy-Who-Likes-Boys story.
Naomi and Ely are best friends. Inseparable since childhood. Naomi is straight. Ely is gay. Naomi dates guys who she claims to like. They’re okay, but she likes Ely more.
To protect their feelings, Naomi and Ely created a No Kiss List—a list of people neither of them is allowed to kiss under any circumstances. Naomi’s latest boyfriend Bruce isn’t on that list. But he probably should have been. Because when Ely kisses Bruce, it breaks Naomi’s heart. The result? A rift of universal proportions. Can these best friends come together again, or will this be end of Naomi and Ely: the Institution?
Told in alternating voices using an array of emoticons and symbols by co-authors Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, co-author of WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON with John Green (THE FAULT IN OUR STARS), NAOMI AND ELY’S NO KISS LIST is the ultimate offbeat story about leaving room for every kind of love.
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.
A Gripping, Fantastic Read
While I love David Levithan books, his style can sometimes get a bit gaudy, and instead of appearing insightful or thoughtful, he comes across a tad bit pretentious. With Rachel Cohn, however, this book is pure magic, as they get just the right amount of character insight without ever being overly elaborate. The characters are very likeable, relatable, and realistic. The story never once seems trite or like a teen-novel (whatever that means...), and the story itself transcends teen drama, and moves into the world of friendship vs. love, and fantasy vs. compromise. It's a must-read, I couldn't put it down until the last page.