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

3.9 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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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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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: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,637,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Hardcover
I have mixed feelings on this book...

So, Naomi and Ely have been best friends forever, Naomi loves Ely, Ely loves boys. They have a very unique relationship and I was never quite sure whether Ely had always known Naomi loved him or not. So, the No Kiss List is a list they have of boys neither of them is allowed to kiss in case it might ruin their friendship and cause them to break up. Bruce #2, Naomi's boyfriend, was not on the list and Ely kissed him, leading to the big blow up that this book is.

My biggest problem with this book is I didn't like the characters all that much. I liked Ely more than Naomi, and he really grew on me as the book progressed, but I hated Naomi. Naomi is selfish and just mean, everything was her fault and she acted like it was the end of the world and all Ely's fault when she literally caused all the problems! She used people, mainly Bruce #1, and never really cared even when it was pointed out to her. My biggest problem with her is even though it was supposed to be that she has this big revelation towards the end and she's grown oh so much, I never felt like she grew or changed at all. Ely went through a lot of character growth and change throughout the book and it felt so much more real.

Side character wise, I feel like the book would have been so much better with more Bruce #1 and #2 chapters along with more Robin(male and female) chapters. The side characters were the best. You have Bruce #1 who's been in love with Naomi forever even though she's clearly not worth it. Bruce #2 who was dating Naomi but was never in love with her and is falling in love for the first time with another boy when he'd never before thought even for a second that he might be gay(or bi).
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