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Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List Hardcover – August 28, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (August 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375844406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375844409
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,378,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—A witty and highly entertaining exploration of love, friendship, and misunderstanding. Like Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (Knopf, 2006), the story is told from alternating points of view and is about teens living in Manhattan. Gorgeous Naomi and her best friend, the equally gorgeous and gay Ely, have been neighbors and soul mates since childhood, and in order to protect their relationship, they have created a list of people who are absolutely off limits for kissing. The list is meant to be "insurance against a Naomi and Ely breakup," but when Ely kisses Naomi's boyfriend Bruce the Second, it sets off a chain of events that causes a major rift in their longstanding relationship. As the story progresses, Naomi comes to realize that the true reason she is so upset with Ely is not so much that he is romantically involved with her former boyfriend as it is that she has finally acknowledged that things are never going to turn out the way she has envisioned them. Major and minor characters begin new relationships and redefine old ones. 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. They will also love the main characters, who are smart and sophisticated college freshmen, but also very fallible, and will empathize with their confusion as they attempt to sort out their relationships and themselves.—Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

NYU freshmen Naomi and Ely have been BFF's since the cradle. Their friendship has even survived an affair between Naomi's dad and one of Ely's moms. But all that changes when Ely impetuously kisses Bruce, Naomi's boyfriend. When Bruce decides he wants to be with Ely, Naomi is forced to confront the romantic feelings she's always had for her best friend, despite their shared preference for boys. Naomi's chapters are littered with icons that are more distracting than engaging, but teens will be be burning the CD playlists swapped between characters even before the book ends. 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. What is timeless is Ely's hard won epiphany: "Things that matter are not easy . . . Saying you're friends is easy. Being friends is not." Hubert, Jennifer

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Customer Reviews

Wow, wow, wow is all I can say about this book.
PaigeM.
I really loved the chapters told from nearly all the characters' perspectives, and especially the chapters from Naomi or Ely's points of view.
Rachael Stein
Naomi has always known that Ely loves her more than anyone.
Whatcha Reading Now?

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Cohn and Levithan team up once more and hit the streets of New York with a new cast of tangible, expressive teens. Not as good as Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (but let's be honest, how can you get much better than Nick and Norah?), but still an amazing story in its own right, Naomi and Ely found an honored spot on my YA bookshelf.

Naomi and Ely thought they were totally safe with their No Kiss List. Naomi can ogle every hot guy she sees and still save herself for when Ely realizes they are meant to be together, and Ely can be the biggest flirt in gaydom as long as he doesn't lip lock with the guys Naomi likes to ogle. But they never thought to put Naomi's straight boyfriend on the list. So Naomi is crushed that they guy she loves and a guy she is totally in like with both leave her for each other.

Beware, this book is not for young readers--there is a maturity to the characters and the issues that is not appropriate for young teens. But the book is great fun to read with loads of laugh-out-load funny parts (i.e. when Robin-Boy asks his buddy what a girl who you want to spend time with, think is totally cute but don't want to sleep with is called, and his buddy introduces him to the term "friend"). The characters are amazingly relatable, and the message of loving and moving on is poignant.

Even if they do dis Bon Jovi, this book belongs on any college freshman's bookshelf and the songs on every iPod's playlist. Cohn and Levithan make one great writing team. (And their stand-alone books aren't bad either.)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nelaine Sanchez VINE VOICE on November 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
Naomi & Ely are the best of friends. They've grown up as neighbors and have had some very happy and not so happy times (when Naomi's dad and one of Ely's mom's hooked up). They know everything about each other and refuse to do anything without the other. Naomi dreams of marrying, having kids and living happily ever after with Ely... even if he is gay.

Together they have come up with their No Kiss List. A list where they both list boys that are not to be kissed. They see this as a way of making sure a boy doesn't come between their friendship.... as if! So when Ely kisses Naomi's boyfriend, Bruce the First (he wasn't on that list - but only because it should be a given that he's a no-kisser), all hell breaks lose. They both begin to question their choices, their hopes, their dreams and where they are headed in their lives.... but even more important, should this come between their friendship?

Sadly, I can't say that I truly enjoyed this book. For starters the story is told through, well, pretty much everyone Naomi & Ely know. Firstly, of course, you hear from Naomi & Ely, Bruce the First (Naomi's boyfriend), Bruce the Second (lives in same apartment building Naomi & Ely do; has a thing for Naomi); Robin - girl (friend); Robin - boy (friend); Kelly (Bruce the Second's sister); Gabriel a/k/a The Archangel (hot security guard to Naomi & Ely's buiding and on the no-kiss list). Not only did I find it difficult to remember whose point of view we were reading at the time, but then a lot of them had similar names. There were two Bruce's and two Robin's.

Eventually, I did get past the whole confusion of who was who, but then I would also get annoyed at the Naomi chapters with all the little symbols.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Whatcha Reading Now? on September 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
Naomi loves Ely. And Ely loves Naomi...but not in that way. The two have been best friends since birth, their lives bounded together by sheer proximity because their families have lived across the hall from each other since the beginning.

The fact that Ely's Gay has never bothered Naomi, and why should it? Naomi has always known that Ely loves her more than anyone. Until, that is, Ely kisses Naomi's boyfriend. What's worse is that Ely lies to Naomi about it, and proceeds to fall in love with her ex-boyfriend Bruce, digging the knife in as deep as it will go.

Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List challenges the concept of friendship, and just how much is too much to forgive. Luckily for us (and Naomi and Ely) we still think that friends, truly great friends, can overcome most with each other by their sides.
-Reviewed by Jill MacKenzie
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Emily Savant on January 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So Ely and Naomi are perfect for each other, because they are both really self-centered.

The parts with Bruce, and Bruce the Second really got on my nerves.

I would just skim paragraphs waiting for something to happen while Ely and Naomi bitched at each other over something stupid. I like Gabriel, he was a great addition to the plot.

And that's about it.

Definitely not Nick and Nora.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alan A. Elsner VINE VOICE on December 27, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really loved this author-duo's "Dash & Lily's Book of Dares" to which I gave five stars. This one -- not so much.

The two leading characters live in the same apartment building in Manhattan and both are victims of broken marriages. One of Ely's two moms had an affair with Naomi's dad -- who then walked out leaving her mother depressed and devastated. Ely's moms stayed together.

Naomi and Ely are closer than most siblings and Naomi has an immature fantasy that one day they will marry -- despite the fact that Ely is flamboyantly and unapologetically gay. When Ely is attracted to Naomi's current boyfriend -- one of two characters in the book named Bruce -- Naomi ends their friendship leaving them both miserable. The rest of the book consists of everyone learning to come to terms with who they really are and accepting others for who they are and learning to get along and love one another etc etc.

This book has its moments of wit. The authors' love of language once again comes through. But it's needlessly confusing with the multiple narrative voices and the characters struck me as a bit too knowing. At one point in the novel, someone makes the point that Manhattanites are different from the rest of the country -- and maybe the rest of the world -- in their knowing sophistication and premature world-weariness.

These kids, it struck me, had all grown up too fast, too soon. They were masquerading as characters in a sleek, sophisticated novel instead of having real lives. There was someone overly theatrical about the dilemmas they invented for themselves. While Dash and Lily had a wonderful, optimistic innocence about them and a thirst to discover the world, the characters of this book seemed to know it all -- before it had even happened.
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