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

22717418Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Genre: contemporary, romance, LGBT
Published by: Electric Monkey (Egmont)
Pages: 238
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★
Where to find: Goodreads | Amazon

I’ve already read Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares and Naomi and Ely’s story was probably my least favourite of the three. I couldn’t connect with the characters as much, and I just din’t really like them. What I did like, that was different to their other co-written works, was the added perspectives of the eponymous character’s friends. If you liked A Little Something Different you would probably like this style of writing!

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Review: Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Dash and Lily’s B10264464ook of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Published by: Knopf Books
Pages: 260
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

David Levithan and Rachel Cohn are quickly becoming some of my favourite authors. I read Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist relatively recently and really enjoyed it, and picked up Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares for the Christmas Booktubeathon (a book with red and green on the cover) and boy, am I glad I did!

There’s something about the way that Levithan and Cohn construct their characters relationships, so that the book is equally just about Lily, just about Dash, and just about the two as an entity. There wasn’t a perspective that I liked more than the other, because both sides were engaging and heartwarming to the point of making me a giggling mess. I was so surprised to read that the authors didn’t plan out every single detail and circumstance. They literally just passed chapters back and forth as if they were Dash and Lily themselves. I admire that style of writing, no plan. Simply go.

I loved how there were certain things that linked Dash and Lily together, one of them would mention something they did, and then it would pop up in the next character’s chapter. A little bit of dramatic irony never hurt any one! What I also loved was that the family and friends of Dash and Lily aren’t explained fully – yeah, their backstories crop up, but we’re quite a way into the story and Boomer shows up and he’s a main character! It makes it seem as if you’re really looking into someone’s life.

Dash and Lily’s story got progressively less about the book and more about the people. There was some amazing character development in this book…perhaps not development in Dash’s case, but they both ‘found’ themselves. You could see that they were both concerned with the way they were presented on paper versus ‘real life’, which added an interesting dynamic of self-discovery that you don’t often see talked about in YA. The book was more than just two kids finding romance, it was more about them realizing that they were unique and that was okay. I really appreciated the profound way they talked about ‘the girl/boy in your head’, it was an interesting concept that got me thinking.

Dash’s wordiness, and Lily’s endless family connections, how every secondary character had a purpose, and the unique settings around New York really made me fall in love with this book. There was also a little cameo reference to Nick and Norah, and you know I love a good cameo!

Overall, I would give Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares four stars, because I really did enjoy the story, but I was disappointed with the ending. The build up was good, but then it cut out about two chapters before I wanted it to! I will definitely be picking up Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List, and any subsequent co-written works!

Christmas Recommends

As the Christmas season is upon us, and those of us that are enjoying the toils of school are soon to be released into the world of holidays, we thought it would be good to recommend our five favourite Christmassy reads (in no particular order!)

let it snow1. ‘Let It Snow’ by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle
This is a super cute collection of short stories that are all linked, like ‘Love Actually’. The authors’ writing styles really compliment each other and all the characters are so well developed in a short amount of pages.  My favourite story in the collection was probably Maureen Johnson’s, the first in the anthology, and I hope to read more of her work soon!

My-True-Love-Gave-to-Me2. ‘My True Love Gave to Me’ edited by Stephanie Perkins
Basically, this in another anthology filled with short Christmas stories written by everyone’s favourite authors. They’re so sweet an quick to read, perfect for falling in love, as the tag line says. These really get you into the Christmas mood, without a huge commitment to 400 pages as they’re not all interlinked.

dash and lily3. ‘Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares’ by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Christmas just seems to be the season to read collaborations. The book is set in a wintery New York and is about two unsuspecting teens finding romance. What’s not to love? Again, this is a quick read, but full of laughs and anecdotes, you can’t help but feel cheerful the whole way through.

Fangirl4. ‘Fangirl’ by Rainbow Rowell
I chose ‘Fangirl’ because I think there’s a real emphasis on the importance of family and communicating with them, which is a great message for the Christmas season. All Cath is in a completely new environment, her family and love interest offer her comfort and security. A tear-jerker, but the most adorable and relatable book ever written.

divergent5. ‘Divergent’ by Veronica Roth
This might seem like an odd choice because there’s nothing Christmassy about it at all. I mean, a war between factions, with murders, conspiracies and battles? Not exactly all merry and bright. However, I think it’s the perfect book to take you somewhere completely new. It will absorb your whole mind and make your heart race – something to keep you completely occupied on a Christmas afternoon.

Review: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

NIN2Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Published by: Knopf Books
Pages: 208
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★.5
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

I picked up Nick and Norah mostly because it was only 188 pages long, and I needed a quick read to get that satisfaction of actually reading something. And I was pleasantly surprised! I wanted something light and fun that I could just pick up and put down. I needed good writing to make up for some of the most recent books I have read that I have not enjoyed, and I thought Nick and Norah was a safe bet.

I got way more than I anticipated. I was hooked from the first page. Nick was probably my favourite out of the two because Leviathan’s writing style was so poetic and beautiful. Everything was so circular and clever and I loved every minute. Norah’s perspective was also really wonderful, and I liked how free and teenager-y the dialogue was. I believed that the characters were real people. There was swearing, there was sexual references, and it felt real. Nothing about this book glamorised teenage-hood, and that was partly what made this books so enjoyable.

I liked that it was just about these two characters who were so unique, but also so similar. There was quite a cast of characters, but they felt like they were significant, not just written for the sake of being written. The plot was very simple – two teenagers who spend a day together, and try and get to know each other whilst also trying to get over someone else – but it was executed well.

I wasn’t really a fan of everything Norah said, and sometimes their conversations seemed a little forced, but I suppose they were meant to. What I can’t believe, most of all, is that this book was written in 2006 and yet I’ve barely heard anything about it! I known they made a movie adaptation, but after watching the trailer and thinking “that’s not how it goes!” I don’t think I’ll be watching it.

I thoroughly enjoyed Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist  and would recommend it to anyone who wants a quick read that will make them laugh and get lost in the story. I think I’ll give the book 3.5 stars, because I did enjoy it, but the middle dragged on a bit and I think the resolution could almost have come a lot earlier in the story line. But it was only 188 pages, so I can’t complain too much!