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? (Summary from Goodreads)
It absolutely kills me when best friends break up. Even in books. And being familiar with the pain of that situation, this book was all the more poignant for me. The characters felt incredibly real. I would not doubt the existence of Gabriel, the oh-my-fey-he-is-so-beyond-beautiful doorman or Bruce 1, jilted high school lover and bloomingstalker type. I doubt other authors could have made them so human and believable, while maintaining a quirkiness that kept me caring.
The plot had a good deal of the unexpected. Even though it was short I found myself doing a lot of this: "No he didn't. Oh oh oh he did! And what about.... *gasp* ack! the elevator! I can't even believe...." while my study hall looked on in amused/frightened silence. Not to mention a great deal of laughing out loud (no. kill the acronym. kill it.).
But now for the disappointing factors. Unfortunately, they existed. When the story is written in Naomi's voice there are these really irritating little figures in hearts and spiders and eyes that take the place of real words. Frustrating. It's like trying to have an IM conversation with someone who can only think in pictures and leaves you dying under a flood of emoticons. Thankfully, her voice was not the only POV. Secondly, I was a little upset with unanswered questions. There would be all this build-up and then one resolving scene that kindasorta explained things, but left a lot of emotional character baggage to deal with itself. Meh.
So ultimately... 5 out of 7 reserved Starbucks seats. Not as awesome as Nick and Norah's *bookswoon*, but still solid. I will always look forward to Rachel Cohn and David Levithan writing together.
Hunting for Fluffy,