Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan Review

Author: Rachel Cohn, David Levithan
Title: Naomi & Ely’s No Kiss List
Audience: Teens/Young Adults
Genres: Romance, Humor, Coming Of Age
Published: August 2007

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 when Ely kisses Bruce, the result is a rift of universal proportions. Can these best friends come back together again? Or will this be the end of Naomi and Ely: the institution?

This is another one of the books that I knew was being developed into a film, so really wanted to read it before the film was released (was in filmed in 2013), and I did so woo!

On the whole, I wasn’t overly impressed with this book. When I read the blurb, I thought that the storyline sounded really interesting and I imagined that it was quite an exciting and dramatic novel. However, once I had actually read the book, I realised I was wrong. I felt like there wasn’t much of a plotline, just one minor event that was dragged out over an entire novel. It is definitely something I can imagine playing a smaller part in a different novel, where there could be a lot more going on and therefore a much more interesting plot.

Though there was some character development, it was hard to keep up as there were constantly changing POV’s. Each chapter was a part of the story told by a different person, and sometimes the chapters didn’t even seem to directly follow on from each other, so it didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Though I don’t usually mind a few POV’s in one novel, I think the 6+  was a bit over the top. There is also the issue that parts of the story were told by one character, but I, as the reader, wanted to hear about it from a completely different character.

I think the character interaction in this book wasn’t as intense as I felt it needed to be, or certainly wasn’t described that way. To me, it seemed like, at points, the character’s should have been more upset or angry to suit their personalities, and almost like some of them reacted in a way that was very odd and not them. Does that even make sense?

I hate to say it, but I found the book to be quite boring and slow-moving. Yes, there were parts that I enjoyed, but I found they took a backseat to the 80% of the book that I really was just reading to get through it.

The parts I did enjoy were the romantic elements, between Bruce and Ely (basically I really liked Bruce’s character), and the realistic way that certain things were described. They weren’t particularly romanticised, but were told in a way that seems very real-world and understandable to someone like me, who is younger and hasn’t gone through what Naomi and Ely have, like a lot of the readers I imagine.

Is anyone else excited to see the film? What did you think of the book?

Star Rating: ★★☆☆☆

UPDATE: I watched the film last night and enjoyed it more than the book! I couldn’t think of anything crucial they missed out of the story line so everything flowed really nicely, and I preferred the way the characters were portrayed in the film over the book.


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