Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List - by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

"Soul mates come in many forms, romantic and platonic."


             Naomi & Eli's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan details the friendship between Naomi and Ely, two best friends who've been living across the hall from each other in New York since they were kids. The novel pulls the reader in from Naomi's first line, "I lie all the time." She says, "mostly, I lie to Ely" because she is in love with him. She dreams about where they will get married, the house they will live in, and their child. The only problem is that Ely is gay. In order to keep their friendship from falling apart, Naomi and Ely create the No Kiss List, their "insurance against a Naomi and Ely breakup", but when Ely kisses Naomi's boyfriend, Bruce the Second, their friendship is turned upside down. Ely is oblivious to Naomi's feelings for him and thinks that his kissing Bruce is the reason for their breakup. The real reason is that Naomi finally realizes her dreams of a romantic relationship with Ely will never come true, which leaves her devastated. Cohn and Levithan's message seems to be that soul mates come in many forms, whether romantic or platonic, and that maybe "if you're lucky -- and if you try really hard -- there will always be more than one" soul mate.

     The way Cohn and Levithan wrote this novel is interesting because it's written from many different points of view. Although you'd think this would be confusing, it really is not that hard to keep track of because each character sounds so different from the ohers, and they act differently. The authors use different writing styles as well. When Naomi is speaking, symobls are used sometimes instead of words. Even though subplots are incorporated about the other characters' lives and relationships, I like the way all of the characters discuss Naomi and Ely's breakup.

     I would recommend this novel to older high school age students because of the explicit language the authors use. However, once you get past the language, you see the true beauty of the novel, which is the message of friendship, and accepting people for who they are. It doesn't matter whether a person is gay, straight, or just wears bad clothes; they're entitled to their own beliefs.

     I liked the novel's premise that each of us can have many soul mates, but I wish it had pointed out more clearly that you should never lie to yourself about your own feelings, because keeping them hidden can create problems within yourself.

    - Katie O.