Saturday, 16 July 2011

The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

The Boyfriend List
by E. Lockhart

Summary: Ruby Oliver is 15 and has a shrink. She knows it’s unusual, but give her a break—she’s had a rough 10 days. In the past 10 days she:

lost her boyfriend (#13 on the list),
lost her best friend (Kim),
lost all her other friends (Nora, Cricket),
did something suspicious with a boy (#10),
did something advanced with a boy (#15),
had an argument with a boy (#14),
drank her first beer (someone handed it to her),
got caught by her mom (ag!),
had a panic attack (scary),
lost a lacrosse game (she’s the goalie),
failed a math test (she’ll make it up),
hurt Meghan’s feelings (even though they aren’t really friends),
became a social outcast (no one to sit with at lunch)
and had graffiti written about her in the girls’ bathroom (who knows what was in the boys’!?!).

But don’t worry—Ruby lives to tell the tale. And make more lists.
I’m not too sure what I think about this book. I mean…I liked it, E. Lockhart is one of those authors that has a really distinctive way of writing that is pretty realistic and kind of oozes personality so even if I don’t like the story, it’s still not bad because there’s something about the writing that makes it stand out and makes it seems less -- trivial or shallow than it would being written by another author.

I guess my problem with the book is that I should have read it maybe a few years ago. So the problem wasn't so much with the book. Things I would’ve been entertained by when I was younger just - irritate me now. I don’t have much patience for the kind of relationships that go on in a book like this; friends turning on each other, backstabbing, breaking the “Girl Code”, changing boyfriends every other week and being *In Love* when it’s not even close to love….

Not that there’s anything wrong with those things. They totally happen and so it’s realistic -- it’s just not as fun to read about characters being so mind numbingly annoying and naïve now as it used to be when I was younger. Reading about how Ruby was treated by her so-called friends and all that did make me sad for her and hurt to read about but just...the fact that I could empathize with her still didn't make it work for me.

The book was quirky and odd and Ruby was funny and her characters personality really shone through in the way it was written…I just wasn’t too fond of the story itself, the way it revolves around “friendships” that barely counts as friends and boys (and I’m not talking in the way a romance novel would revolve around boys - I’m a sucker for romance novels, it was more…immature than that in this book).

If you like stuff like that or you’re younger or you’re into books like the Georgia Nicholson series and stuff like that, then this kind of book would probably work for you (I think it was Carla/The Crooked Shelf who reviewed this book and that was why I bought it and she loved it so I don't think I'm in the majority opinion in feeling this way). I really did like it, just not enough and I have no intention of reading any more books in the series.



  1. I completely get what you mean.I read it around two years ago I think and even then it wasn't my kind of read but I found myself really enjoying it. I can't promise the same if I read it now but at the time it was a good read.

  2. I *really* loved this as a 30 year old, because my teenage self would have identified with Ruby. I wish it had been around way back when.



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