Allison's Reviews > Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List

Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn
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's review
Nov 25, 10

Read in November, 2010

Naomi and Ely are the best of friends, but then this is complicated by a love... heptagon. With at least one diagonal. :)

No, actually, that summary doesn't at all do the book justice - Cohn and Levithan have come up with a cast of unique and engaging characters. The ridiculously multiple points of view were, for me, a plus - it kind of threw me off in the beginning, but as the story progressed, I enjoyed being able to see the action from more than one angle and have a basically omniscient view of the characters' actions and thoughts. The little symbols in Naomi's chapter were annoying, but hey, it's authentic teenage silliness and relatively easy to overlook. I loved the exploration of sexuality and friendship and the growing up process that is central to all YA novels - this time made better by the fact that the characters are, in fact, in college.

I have read that some people were put off by the fact that neither main character is especially likeable. Weirdly enough, I liked them more because they were so unlikeable - egotistical, entitled, and pretty much living in their own worlds. While these are terrible characteristics for a friend, Ely and Naomi are trying so hard to make their own worlds work amidst a crazy situation with inadequate tools, and are both at least somewhat aware that they are "difficult," and lucky to have each other. In these circumstances, I found their unlikeable quite endearing, and that it made them more real.

I've loved some of Levithan and Cohn's individual works (Boy Meets Boy, Shrimp), and now on the strength of their combined writing I'm off to read Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.

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