Film vs Novel – Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List

Love happens in many different ways…

Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List Film vs Novel Pic 01 by Casey Carlisle

After doing a comparison of ‘Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist,’ I was keen to give another title by this duo a go… where the book by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn is witty, punchy and just a little emo, the film is like an adorable alternative romantic comedy. ‘Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List’ brings another contrast to the colourful characters Levithan and Cohn are praised for.

Naomi and Elys No Kiss List Film vs Novel Pic 02 by Casey CarlisleI honestly liked the movie better than the book. I found Naomi to be whiny and immature, flying off the handle randomly, or failing to see reason – which is the point her character is so interesting… but in the movie, you get a break from her character. Naomi is played by Victoria Justice, and I think I’ve only seen her in some Disney movie, but Justice played Naomi to perfection, I got all the same feels from her performance as I did while reading the book.

Ely, played by Pierson Fode brings some incredible eye-candy. I was literally drooling at the screen. Fode compliments Ely’s character with an aloofness that added dimension to the character that I did not get from the novel. We know he was clueless, but in the novel, he came across as selfish, where in the movie we get to see it’s all in Naomi’s head and Ely is just being Ely.

Other notable performances that excelled my reading experience was Gabriel played by Matthew Daddario and Bruce 2 played by Ryan Ward… maybe it had something to do with the hotness metre blowing a gasket, but these boys really fleshed out the characters. I don’t think I liked Gabriel all that much in the book, but Matthew Daddario totally redeemed him in my eyes. Bruce 2 had the opposite effect, I got a geeky confidence from him in the novel, even though he is an introvert, but the film Bruce 2 felt like a lost lamb falling prey to both Naomi and Ely. I got the vibe of his self discovery from the page – not so strongly on the screen.

Plus, New York, with all of Naomi and Ely’s friends was so much more interesting in bright colour on the big screen – I didn’t get such a rich feeling of subculture from the novel. It is such a short book, and its focus is on Naomi and Ely’s relationship, so superfluous description of the setting would have been a hindrance, so I’m greatful to the film for adding yet another layer to my enjoyment.

The emotion was dialled down a lot more in the movie as well, which I appreciated, leaving me with a more rounded experience from all the cast, other than just Ely and Naomi.

I’d recommend to read the book before the movie, but it is totally the film for the win!

Naomi and Elys No Kiss List Film vs Novel Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Film vs Novel – Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

I think this film has dyslexia…

Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist Film vs Novel Pic 01 by Casey Carlisle

I loved the novel, and am of the opinion that it is definitely the best of what Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written together. It is gritty, artsy and embodies the soul of New York and garage bands. The characters are all painted with bright colours and flaws making them all loveable in individual ways.

Nick 06

The film captures that same spirit, and while I enjoyed it, was a little taken aback as they mashed some of the sequences of the novel with others. Dialogue came from different people and scenes took place in different settings. I was also disappointed that some of my favourite scenes from the book were not included in the film. Overall I thought the picture was so-so, nowhere near as poignant as the book.

Although the narrative is witty, and such edgy symbolism is planted throughout, ‘Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist’ suffered from two of my biggest turn-offs in books: the flashback, and excessive embellishment of a scene (otherwise known as mental wanderings). I think if it hadn’t exceeded my expectations in all other areas I would have abandoned it early on.

All of the cast in the movie gave me issue – Kat Dennings and Ari Graynor (Norah and Caroline respectively) felt too mature for this, even though I agree Kat played the lead expertly. I could see how her humour embodies much of Norah’s character, but we never got to really see her shine. Michael Cera was a genius casting choice, although I had pictured Nick much differently, Michael really captured the nonchalance of Nick perfectly. One scene in the book where he and Thom talk about The Beatles and are holding hands was cute, but it got ruined in the movie for me, when, I only presume for comedic purposes – Nick is seen by some passers-by and breaks the hand hold. In the book, Nick really does not care about sexual orientation or being touchy-feely with anyone… dropping Thom’s hand felt like the screenwriters had just flown in the face of everything Nick is (to get a laugh from the audience). He had so many other comedic moments in the story – why not use one of those instead of making him seem homophobic?

Nick (Michael Cera), Caroline (Ari Graynor) and Norah (Kat Dennings) star in Columbia Pictures and Mandate Pictures' comedy Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist.

Nick (Michael Cera), Caroline (Ari Graynor) and Norah (Kat Dennings) star in Columbia Pictures and Mandate Pictures’ comedy Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

It’s a little hard to compare the story of the movie when it was such a jumbaliah of the written word. I longed to see Norah pushing Nick into the closet, catch more of Norah’s physical comedy and deadpan punchlines… and although the movie was great, it left out so much of what I found endearing. So it’s another novel for the win!

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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

A Christmas Scavenger Hunt full of Hipsters and Ho Ho Ho!

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Contemporary

No. of pages: 260

From Goodreads:

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

16-year-old Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on her favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. Dash, in a bad mood during the holidays, happens to be the first guy to pick up the notebook and rise to its challenges.

Page border by Casey Carlisle

I picked this up after reading ‘Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List’ and jumped in without any prior knowledge, lucky I did, because if I knew it was a Christmas themed novel I may not have bothered. Usually Holiday Season novels are cheesy or full of saccharine reminiscing and good will. But ‘Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares’ bucked the trend and left me chortling in my chair.

This is an innocent little book, with a scavenger hunt through the streets of New York, pitting both Dash and Lily into some strange places and meeting equally obscure people. I loved the cast of characters, and while it amused me to no end the antics they got up to, in the back of my mind I was always concerned about their safety. It is mentioned in the book, but the lack of adult supervision allows them to step out of their comfort zones and makes for an interesting read.

Both Dash and Lily have their own amount of quirk, and while I did not relate to either character all that much, I did relate to the dares they offered up. It reminded me of some of the things I got up to with my friends in high school.

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares’ is a light read – I completed it in an afternoon – with a witty narrative that had me laughing many, many times. I would rate it above ‘Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List’ just from the sheer light-hearted comedy which runs from cover to cover. It is, on the most part predictable, but the adventures these characters had come out of left field… I kept thinking what crazy thing they will do next.

Recommended for a younger audience and readers who want to reminisce over their silly teen years, or want a sweet Christmas tale.

Overall feeling: Like a yummy cup of eggnog.

Dash and Lilys Book Of Dares Book Review Pick 03 by Casey Carlisle

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares Book Review Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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

A great realistic tale, but a little flat.

Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List Book Review pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Contemporary, Romance

No. of pages: 230

From Goodreads:

Naomi and Ely are best friends. 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 when Ely kisses Bruce, the result is a rift of universal proportions. Can these best friends come back together again? Or will this be the end of Naomi and Ely: the institution?

Page border by Casey Carlisle

I managed to read this in a day. And while I got a kick out of it, I was still a little ‘meh’ by the end.

There are a lot of different POV’s in this book, so if that is a pet hate, steer clear! You’ve been warned. However, I felt it worked. It was great to take a break from some of the angst of the main narrator and see the situation from someone else’s eyes.

The material was witty and had a charm about it appealing to the coffeehouse crowd. And the style of narration flows with a simplistic young voice. I didn’t get any surprises out of the story – it is easily predictable… but it is also realistic. And that I liked.

I must admit I was expecting to get more feels from a contemporary like this; especially with David Levithan’s authorship, but felt more like a snapshot of your typical college drama. And that’s okay, this novel does not purport to be anything but.

Coming from the president of the Fag-hag club of everywhere – My best gay friend of twenty years and I are still fiercely close – this book depicts the very real perils of having a G.B.F. It’s pretty cool to see a book like this written, back when I started friendship with my bestie, you definitely would not see mainstream literature of this kind. It is great to find a relationship that is something other than girlfriends, or a romance which has the possibility to last a lifetime. In life, most of anything does not fit in to a stereotype or fix in a square box.

Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List Book Review pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

I’m really looking forward to viewing the film released this month starring Victoria Justice and Pierson Fode (maybe a little later in Australia), and see how they interpret the novel.

Overall feeling: Cute.

Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List

Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List Book Review pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.