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

Author: David Levithan [website] and Rachel Cohn [website]

Published: August 2007 by Knopf Books

Format: Paperback, 230 pages

Source: Bought online at





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?


Cover Art: So Yellow! Simply great.


Simple story, simple plot-line, (mostly) simple read.

This is the first Cohn-Levithan collaboration I have read. The story goes into the trials and tribulations, well, actually just one tribulation between the two main characters, Naomi and Ely. As one can tell from the synopsis, the story is simple, but the book was presented in a really complicated way. I knew it was a multiple POV, but I was expecting alternating chapters between Naomi and Ely’s characters. Instead, there were at least another handful of characters thrown in just to give their point-of-view on the situation. At times the external point of view was very unnecessary and didn’t add anything to the book. At other times, the point of view was just boring / difficult / annoying to read. This definitely was not my cup of tea.

The story itself, however, was not bad. I’m sure it could have been better presented, but what was done was simple and easy to understand. The major conflict was solved rather easily, as in most real-life situations; so in this way as with many other aspects to the story, it was somewhat realistic.

The characters, Naomi and Ely, were interesting to read – aside from the swearing like sailors part. They were, for the most part, normal young-adults (19-20 year olds – which, in itself is a great aspect of this book. Not many books deal with this age) who have gotten themselves into a normal conflict between friends. They show some great, albeit simple, revelations in the book.

Overall great story. Minor point deductions for the multiple POVs, but interesting contemporary book with this particular theme.

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