Hi! So for the December read Emma and Beth chose Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. Below is some book chat we had discussing this lovely read. Hope you enjoy!
Naomi is in love with Ely. But Ely is gay. Gay is fine with Naomi – but not for Ely. Ely who has been her best friend and neighbor even through the break up of her parents and knows exactly how good she’ll look in a crop top. (Really, his fashion advice is on point.) When they were younger, Naomi and Ely created the No Kiss List of people who are just off-limits and helps keep the magic of what Naomi and Ely is as a duo. So putting Naomi’s boyfriend Bruce on there would be pointless, right? Until Ely kisses Bruce. Let the war begin.
Now for some discussion!
Emma: What did you think of Naomi?
I personally didn’t like her in the first half of the book. I found she was annoying, and simply didn’t care about anyone but number one. However, I found as the book went on, she started to change – she was more open to her emotions, and that made her a much more likeable person.
Beth: I have to admit, I really didn’t like her at first. I picked up on the fact that she, intentionally or unintentionally, toyed with people’s emotions and I see that as morally wrong. But after the first half, she did grow on me a lot – I much preferred the emotional side to her!
Sophie: I loved her! At first she was a bit annoying and entitled but after a while she grew on me. The new Naomi after everything happened was so much better than the beginning Naomi. I also love her wit and badassery.
Emma: What did you think of Bruce the second and Ely’s relationship?
I thought it was really sweet! They both seemed to open each other’s eyes in a sense – to Bruce’s sexuality, and how a real relationship works, to Ely.
Beth: I liked the way he affected Ely view of relationships. I didn’t like the way that Ely appeared to have one-night stands, but I found Bruce changed that and made him a better person. Him and Ely really complimented each other well!
Sophie: I thought it was cute how Bruce made Ely turn into some sort of school-girl type. It was endearing and showed a whole different dynamic to his character. I also liked how Bruce found a new person within himself, too.
Beth: How did you feel about the author’s portrayal of sexuality in the book?
Personally, I think more could have been said about how Ely first discovered he was gay, and I think there could have been more on the subject overall. But on the other hand, I like the way it didn’t come across as different to any of the straight relationships in the book.
Sophie: I thought it was well done. It was presented in a way that it was a major element, but it wasn’t shoved in your face. You know what I mean? I felt that I wasn’t attacked for my own beliefs about sexuality, and it was something very relatable.
Emma: I agree with both Beth and Sophie – the fact that Ely and Bruce were gay didn’t change the dynamics of their relationship, and I think the authors have done a good job on that.
Beth: Opinions on the use of emoticons in Naomi’s parts?
I didn’t like it. Or at least it took me a while to understand. I just didn’t see them as necessary. That said, I do like the way the authors tried to make the book unique by adding them!
Sophie: I thought they were a bit strange at first but after a while I enjoyed them. Some of them weren’t obvious what they meant but it was very Naomi-like once I got to know her character. I felt that it was the best way for her to narrate.
Emma: At first, I found them so annoying. I didn’t see the point of them at all, and some of them were quite small and hard to decipher. However, once I was in the second half of the book, I sort of started to understand why the authors had chosen to use emoticons in her chapters, because it suited her as a character. They were a nice feature to add – but I think the book could have gone without them.
Sophie: Two favourite points of view? Why?
I really liked Naomi’s and Ely’s the best. Since it was their story I thought theirs was the best way to see it. I did enjoy the little snippets from the Bruces, Kelly, and Gabriel though. All the outer perspectives shed different layers on them.
Emma: If I’m honest, I liked them all. I was a bit sceptical at first because I don’t normally enjoy lots of different point-of-views, but I thought the authors pulled it off really well! But I will say, I did like Bruce the first and Gabriel’s chapters!
Beth: Probably Naomi’s and Bruce the Second’s. Part of me found the many different sections confusing, but also understood why there were included. I also appreciated learning more about Naomi in her parts.
Sophie: Book or movie?
I loved the book! But I also really enjoyed the movie, too. Not to mention Gabriel’s hotness *swooning* The book had so much more details to it and they ended slightly different, but both were extremely good.
Emma: I can’t quite believe I’m about to say this – it feels like a crime against my bibliophilic nature – but I really loved the movie. I watched it before I read the book, and I just found the characters, and Naomi and Ely’s friendship, was shown so well in the movie that the book was just a let down in comparison.
Beth: I have to say, for once, movie. Although looking back on the book I like it more than when I read it, I did like the way the movie portrayed the characters really well. It was clearer to picture people as I didn’t find much depth in the character development in the book, unfortunately!