Wednesday, August 4, 2010

BR: The Boyfriend List; The Boy Book; The Treasure Map of Boys

The Boyfriend List; The Boy Book; The Treasure Map of Boys
by E. Lockhart.

If you’re going to read about teen boy drama, these stories of one Ruby Oliver is the way to do it. Not only do you have the friends crushing on the same boys, backstabbing, boyrfriend stealing, scamming, ex-friends and mean stuff written on the bathroom door, it’s all done in a hilarious and comprehensive way that will get you laughing time and time again.

What you need to know: In The Boyfriend List, Ruby Oliver is starting to suffer panic attacks after her best friend steals her boyfriend, so her mom sends her to a shrink. When she makes a list of all the boys she’s ever crushed on, it somehow gets Xeroxed and given around school, and she deals with becoming a school leper. In The Boy Book, it’s the next year, and although she has a reputation as the school slut, Roo’s Chemistry partner (Noel, and yes, he’s a boy) doesn’t care and they become close through ridiculous and hilarious notes passed back an forth. But when things heat up with Noel, Roo tries to do the right and backs off in the name of being a good friend. In The Treasure Map of Boys, Roo’s a huge mess of boys, flirts, and one messy bakesale trying to make everything right and keep the friends she has.

But Roo’s not just your ordinary girl. Roo’s a girl with bright orange bras and vintage clothes with great legs she often wraps in fishnets; works at an internship at the zoo, where she’s good friends with the farm animals named after particularly gruesome historical figures; lives with her crazy raw-food diet mother and rare-bloom gardening dad on a houseboat in Seattle; sometimes lacks a brain filter and says things ways she doesn’t always like; sees a shrink with ridiculously hideous ponchos; throws a mean bakesale; is the Missions Director for the Hooter Rescue Squad (a collaboration with Noel to retrieve and destroy pictures of Roo’s ex-friends' boobs and eat Fruit Roll-Ups: mission, successful!); and tends to get over her head sometimes.

Roo’s got a spankin’ sense of humor and is the kind of friend you’d want to have around just to see the irony in the mundane things. She’s fiesty and a perfect voice for these stories.

It’s not just Roo who’s cool in these books. The writing style is amazing. Lockhart throws in footnotes whenever Roo wants to expand on a subject, like explaining a new word she’s made up and why, or to talk about movies and other random things. In each book, each chapter begins with some awesome tidbit of something:

In The Boyfriend List, you read snippets of the actual boyfriend lists. With every boy comes an excuse like (but he didn't count) or (but it was just one kiss) or (but it was only from afar).

In the Boy Book, you get excerts from the Boy Book, (A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them), including:
-Neanderthals on the Telephone: Or, How to Converse
-Clever Comebacks to Catcalls
-and The Care and Ownership of Boobs

In The Treasure Map of Boys, it’s random notes and lists Roo’s made… chapters including:
-I Fixate on a Poncho
-I Receive a Frog Laden with Meaning
-I Correspond with a Pygmy Goat
-I Choke on Ninja Deliciousness

Again, if you’re going to read about high school drama, pick Ruby Oliver to tell you her stories (written by E. Lockhart)! These are undisputably some of my favorite books  of the Young Adult variety (what other variety is there?). Suddenly I find myself being much more witty than normal after I've read Ruby's stories.... hmm... Wittiness is always appreciated.

Hey, Roo friends! Guess what! Ruby Oliver's making a comeback in Real Live Boyfriends, out this December 28th! Check out (E. Lockharts blog) for updates and contests. She's a silly one, I'll say.

E. Lockhart: Props for bringing ironic, witty, and down-right hilarious Ruby to life!

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