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Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel…
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Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List (2007)

by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan

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Naomi and Ely have grown up in adjacent apartments and been best friends forever. Naomi knows Ely is gay, but a stubborn part of her still believes they're meant to be together, and that part causes a lot of problems. Meanwhile, Ely falls for Naomi's (ex)boyfriend Bruce the Second (not to be confused with Bruce the First, who also lives in their apartment building), and Naomi can't help but notice the incredibly hot young doorman, Gabriel. All of these characters and more get a turn narrating the story.

Quotes

How can you spend hours every day trying in small ways to figure out who you are, then have a near-stranger give you a sentence of yourself that says it better than you ever could? (Bruce the Second, 20)

Gay guys get all the perks with none of the responsibility. It's so not fair. (Bruce the First, 29)

Neither of us needs a mirror when the other one's around. (Ely, 37)

That indifference was a lie....Indifference lies to protect my hurt. (Naomi, 45)

"It hurts to hurt people when you never mean to, doesn't it?" (Naomi to Ely, 197)

...the writing on the map is gone, but the paper's still there. (Ely, 213)

...I think that as hard as we try, it still sometimes feels like we all speak different languages. Even if we all share the same words, meanings can be different. (Ely, 223) ( )
  JennyArch | Apr 18, 2015 |
After loving the book Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by these two authors, I couldn’t wait to see what they had written next, but I didn’t like this book nearly as much.

The book is about two teens, Naomi and Ely, who have been inseparable BFFs since they were little. Naomi is in love with Ely, but Ely is gay. Naomi, however, refuses to accept it. When Naomi’s boyfriend, “Bruce the Second,” and Ely unexpectedly discover that they click with each other better than Bruce did with Naomi, all of the relationships become unraveled. The three have to come to terms with who they really are, what they really want, and what it means for their interactions going forward.

Discussion: The story is told from multiple points of view - not only by Naomi and Ely, but by Bruce the First (an earlier boyfriend of Naomi’s), Bruce the Second, and others in their lives. Some of the characters are more appealing than others. Strike that: I found only Bruce the Second likable. Ely was okay, but only in comparison to Naomi, who I found extremely unlikable. For reasons unfathomable to me, however, all the other characters adored Naomi.

Ely had an unconvincing epiphany or two by the end of the book, but Naomi not so much.

In addition, I thought the authors got carried away with adding cutesy aspects to the plot, possibly because of the popularity of the music playlists from the previous book. There is even a detailed music playlist in this one, but it seems more like a like-this-book-too appendage than an integral part to the story. The idea of the “no-kiss list” also just didn’t quite gel, and Naomi’s use in her chapters of the wingding font (which render letters or words as symbols) struck me as annoying rather than cute.

Evaluation: Some of the issues covered in this book about acceptance of being gay (by both non-gays and potential gays) make it worth reading, but I wasn’t all that taken by the characters or the story. I loved the dedication though: “To Nancy the First.” ( )
  nbmars | Mar 12, 2015 |
If I wasn’t working my way through all of David Levithan’s book’s I probably wouldn’t have read this. I read the other two books he co-wrote with Rachel Cohn and I didn’t like those one, so I doubted I would like this one either. It’s a bad way to start a book. But I was right – I didn’t like this book any more than the other two. I do like David Levithan’s writing. I’m not positive how the two co-write their books but I’ve always assumed that he wrote the male perspectives and she wrote the female perspectives. I usually like the male perspectives and not the female perspectives so that made sense. In this book, I really didn’t like Naomi. Like, really didn’t like. But what was surprising was that I didn’t like Ely all that much either. Good thing it was so short a book. Check it off the list and move on to other better books. ( )
  Kassilem | Aug 21, 2014 |
This third in a series isn't nearly as strong as the first two. I loved book 1, liked book two and tolerated book 3. Sure it has a lot of pithy one-liners but I found the array of narraters confusing and the dearth of swear words tiresome. ( )
  SparklePonies | Apr 20, 2014 |
3.5/5 Stars

I honestly struggled with rating this story. The writing deserves 5 stars. The secondary characters were great. I especially loved the chapters with Gabriel and Bruce the First POVs. Unfortunately, I really did not like the two main characters, Naomi and Ely. They did eventually grow on me. I felt frustrated with Ely for thinking he did nothing wrong when he messed around with his best friend's boyfriend. Even if she really did not care for Bruce the Second, Ely did not respect his friendship with Naomi by hitting on her boyfriend. Yes, Naomi was annoying in her obliviousness towards Ely. Yes, she needed a reality check. The dude is gay. Get with the program. Yet, it still does not excuse Ely's behavior. Bruce the Second ticked me off too. He seem to feel no remorse for the fact that he cheated on his girlfriend with her best friend. Hmmm...on the other hand, the struggles and the growth that Naomi, Ely and Bruce the Second went through made the ending tolerable. ( )
  paisean13 | Sep 21, 2013 |
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Rachel Cohnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Levithan, Davidmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375844414, Paperback)

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?


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:13 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Although they have been friends and neighbors all their lives, straight Naomi and gay Ely find their relationship severely strained during their freshman year at New York University.

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