Book Review – ‘The Boyfriend List’ by E. Lockhart

A cute teen diddy.

The Boyfriend List (#1 Ruby Oliver) Book Review Pic 01 by Casey Carlile.jpgGenre: Y/A, Contemporary

No. of pages: 256

From Goodreads:

Ruby Oliver is fifteen and has a shrink. But before you make up your mind about her, you should know that she has had a pretty awful (and eventful) past ten days. She has: 
* lost her boyfriend
* lost her best friend (Kim)
* lost all her other friends (Nora, Cricket)
* did something suspicious with a boy
* did something advanced with a boy
* had an argument with a boy
* 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. Through a special assignment to list all the boys she’s ever had the slightest, little, any-kind-of-anything with, comes an unfortunate series of events that would be enough to send any girl in a panic.

I really enjoyed E. Lockhart’s previous novels and thought the Ruby Oliver books would be a fun addition. Previous read ‘Fly on the Wall‘ was hilarious juvenile fiction… but ‘The Boyfriend List‘ was, well… babbly. Think a teen on crack with A.D.D. – it jumped about everywhere, and I couldn’t decide if it was adorable or distracting.

I liked the message and the moral of the story. It takes a healthy approach to mental disorders and provides tools with how protagonist Ruby manages her issues, especially in navigating high school life, boys and bullying.

The character growth Ruby goes through was appreciated, and how we get a strong undercurrent of female empowerment. But because this book was so in the wheelhouse for its demographic, I got bored from the small tangents and footnotes, and really didn’t appreciate the juvenile narrative of it all. I know it is meant to be humorous and really mimics the short attention span of teens, but it kept pulling me from the narrative.

I’m just too old to find most of ‘The Boyfriend List’ charming and funny. And if I was a tween that’s exactly what I’d think of this book… Though I do like E. Lockhart’s writing and our protagonist Ruby graduates at the end of the novel, so maybe the writing style matures as she does, so I’m going to continue with the series and see where it leads.

This was a cute book, but not one I could relate to.

Overall feeling: Boy I feel old now… eep!

The Boyfriend List (#1 Ruby Oliver) Book Review Pic 02 by Casey Carlile.gif

The Boyfriend List (#1 Ruby Oliver) Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlile.jpg


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