K-I-S-S-I-N-G (Naomi + Ely’s No Kiss List – A Book Review)

Naomi + Ely’s No Kiss List
Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Published: 2007
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Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

 

Naomi and Ely, best friends, who grew up in the same building and went through everything together, even the divorce of Naomi’s parents, though that’s partly because her dad slept with one of Ely’s moms. That’s only the tip of the it’s complicated train. Naomi is irrevocably in love with Ely and dreams that one day they’ll get married. A slight hitch? Ely’s gay.

Naomi and Ely created a No Kiss List of people so that they never get into a fight. And then Ely break that list by kissing Naomi’s current boyfriend. Cue the explosion. This epic betrayal tests their friendship and both wonder: will they ever get past this? Can they get past this?

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Now, I couldn’t get fully on board with this book for a couple of reasons. It was a nice book about two friends needing to see where they could go and fit into the world without each other, but it struggled at doing even that. Cue Spoiler: I couldn’t get past how neither character could take the responsibility for anything they did wrong. While it’s ridiculous that I say this, I couldn’t handle how self-absorbed they were either. Their disregard for people around them was a bit unbearable, but that didn’t make the book terrible. Not at all. I just didn’t like the characters. It happens sometimes.

However, the in-depth and personal look at lifelong friendship was intense and really made me question if friendship really can withstand anything. This book is a great example of how gut-wrenching heartache can be when it’s caused by somebody you’ve shared everything with and trust with your entire being.

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I love-love-loved the way this was written with emojis, and through other characters’ POV. The emojis made the book more fun and kept in touch with how the characters communicate while also bringing the reader to the modern day of technology. The use of other characters’ POVs (point of view) gives the reader great perspective to not only how the main characters are imploding, but to how the outside characters are affected by it as well. It puts the reader with them as if they live in the building with Naomi and Ely, making them a part of the drama.

The heartache stays with you. It comes from every direction-friends, family, lovers and even crushes, bringing real issues to the front line, like divorce, financial problems, identity crisis, and more. Which, shows that sometimes a heart can’t be completely repaired no matter how much you love somebody and that people change even when you don’t realize it right away.

 

Quotables:

“Buffy could be a bitch, but cut the girls some slack—she once had to kill her true love in order to save the world. I get it, Naomi. You’re like Buffy.” (Gabriel to Naomi, p. 118)

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(I know, me and the Buffy gifs. Can you tell I’m a fan?)

“…even though I really liked her as a person, I didn’t really think I liked her as a girl, because when you like a girl, there’s this ignition—you can feel it—and with her, there wasn’t any ignition…” (Boy Robin, p. 156)

“You didn’t think it would be easy, did you?” (Neal to Ely, p. 198)

“It’s like Naomi always used to say: Life tells you to take the elevators, but love tells you to take the stairs.” (Ely, p. 209)

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song today? Secrets by OneRepublic.

Let’s Get Ruined (The Royals Trilogy – A Book Review)

The Royals Trilogy

Author: Erin Watt

Published: 2016

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Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

 

Ella Harper is swept out of her public school and crappy apartment placed in a private school and lavish mansion after discovering that her birth father, who turned out to be a millionaire, died in a tragic accident. The life of the rich and famous isn’t very welcoming of her and secrets are abound throughout this trilogy.

When given a deal Ella can’t refuse—$10,000 for every month—she stays with her new guardian, Callum Royal—she decides to give lifestyle a chance because money doesn’t grow on trees, and she certainly didn’t make that much at her job. However, Callum’s five sons will do anything to run her out of the house.

These Royals will ruin you…

Not a complete lie. These boys are pretty hot and used to getting everything they want. So when Ella stands up to them to prove herself, it turns out to be the perfect challenge. However, one Royal in particular, Reed Royal, never thought he’d actually fall for this strong-willed girl and this screwed up fairy tale grants your wishes when it comes to bad boys.

 

Possible spoilers ahead.

This trilogy has a lot of spunk and is definitely not afraid of getting down and dirty. The attitude in tone of the books fuels the fire that is the Royal household. From getting deserted in the middle of the night to a pregnancy scandal, the drama never dies and we as readers thrive on that from time to time. It’s like an adrenaline rush that makes our insides crawl with anticipation.

Now, I want to say that I loved this series through and through, but—yes, sadly there’s a but—I had troubles. The storyline was great and certainly kept my attention with shocking twists and turns. However, I did struggle a little here and there due to the repetition in the second book about the discord in Ella and Reed’s relationship. I held on because I love an f**ed love story. There’s a fight for love in a story that’s so complicated and every love story should have some fight in it. This one even had some literal fights going on.

Another issue I had was reading the genre on the back: Young Adult and then reading the books and realizing that they aren’t Young Adult. Not in my opinion anyway. YA ranges from 13-well, I’m 24 and still read YA so the age ranges. But, with the swearing ever so often and detailed sex scenes that is strewn through the series, I don’t believe it’s appropriate. Just because the characters are young adults, I don’t think that it makes this series YA.

So, while this series was a fun read, I can’t give it all of my love. That doesn’t mean I won’t go back and read them. They sit up on my special shelf for rereads.

More to come soon…

K.

 

P.S. Today’s song? Trip Switch by Nothing But Thieves.