Book Review: The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart
Fifteen-year-old Ruby has had a rough ten days. During that time 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)
* had a panic attack
* 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)
* had graffiti written about her in the girls’ bathroom (who knows what was in the
But don’t worry—Ruby lives to tell the tale. And make more lists.
I really enjoyed this book. This is definitely the sort of book that I would have wanted to read in high school. Ruby Oliver is such an interesting character. She makes a lot of mistakes in this novel, but for the most part I can at least understand where she’s coming from. I felt like I was the one getting the therapy while I reas reading this, which was actually sort of nice. I could relate to Ruby so much during some of those conversations with Doctor Z. I know how it feels to realize you’re making your mother’s mistakes. I know how it feels to think that something is going to happen with a boy and then have it not work out and not have any idea why.
I also really enjoyed reading about Ruby’s parents. I can’t remember the last book I read where the main character talked to both of her parents on a regular basis, let alone a book where the main character actually told her parents some of what was going on in her life. It was sort of nice to read about. Her parents also made me laugh. I’m sure I wouldn’t find their fights amusing if they were my parents, but they were fun to read about.
The set up of this book was bizarre. It jumps around a lot as far as the timeline is concerned, which was interesting but made it a little hard to keep the details straight, at least at first. I also had a hard time keeping up with all of the guys on her boyfriend list, but that’s just because I’m bad with names (at least the names of fictional characters).
There are also a lot of footnotes in this book, which I wasn’t expecting but really enjoyed for the most part. Ruby adds in footnotes when she wants to provide more information, and this information is usually highly entertaining. The only footnotes I didn’t really like were the ones where she explained some of the references she made, like when she explained the plot of Carrie and Nightmare on Elm Street. Maybe it’s just because I already got those references, but those footnotes sort of annoyed me.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed this book. I’ve seen this book be compared to the Jessica Darling series, and I completely understand the comparison now. There’s no Marcus Flutie to swoon over, but reading about the ups and downs of Ruby’s life definitely reminded me of the other series. If you’re a fan of Sloppy Firsts, you might want to give this book a try.