23rd Jun, 2009

Ruby Oliver by E. Lockhart

boyfriend-list.jpg boy-book.jpgI know Ruby Oliver is not the title of the book, but I’m going to blog about the first two books in the series. I’m still hoping to be on the ARC list for the third one, but I don’t know if I’m going to be lucky or not.

The titles are: The Boyfriend List and The Boy Book

These were great books. I’ll admit it, I’d never read them because from the covers and titles I figured they were chick lit. I personally have NOTHING against chick lit YA. In fact, I often enjoy it. But I have to be in the mood and it pretty much has to be in front of me. These books are popular and don’t sit on the shelf, so I’d never come across them. But after reading Frankie Landau Banks and How to be Bad, I started thinking I’d like to read more E. Lockhart, so I put these on hold. I got the first one on audio and the second as a regular book. Oddly enough, I think it works better as an audio book.

Here’s the deal. I have a love/hate relationship with footnotes and these books have them. I love to read them, I HATE how they take you out of the story and you have to stop what you’re reading to check them out. Asked for my advice, I would say please leave them out. But what I discovered is that when they are worked into an audio book, they really work well and are very fun!

Also, these books do what so many people try to do, but rarely accomplish. They explore very serious things – self esteem, sex, relationships, mental health – in a fun and interesting way and never once does the reader feel like they’re being taught a lesson. I am sorry to admit that I was more like Ruby Oliver than was probably good for me. How fantastic if I’d read this book as a teen! I mean, it might have given me things to think about in a way I’d never seen them. I did not relate to boys any better than Ruby (and sometimes in the exact same ways!) and I knew things were screwy, but I didn’t know how to fix them. As Ruby figures things out and learns things, the reader does too. But it’s all so subtle and beautifully done. And if you don’t have the same problems as Ruby, you get entertainment value from her issues! Such a deal. I would give these books to any teen I know…hmmm…I know of a few birthdays coming up…

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