Book Review: The Boy Book (Ruby Oliver #2) by E. Lockhart
Here is how things stand at the beginning of newly-licensed driver Ruby Oliver’s junior year at Tate Prep:
• Kim: Not speaking. But far away in Tokyo.
• Cricket: Not speaking.
• Nora: Speaking–sort of. Chatted a couple times this summer when they bumped into each other outside of school–once shopping in the U District, and once in the Elliot Bay Bookstore. But she hadn’t called Ruby, or anything.
• Noel: Didn’t care what anyone thinks.
• Meghan: Didn’t have any other friends.
• Dr. Z: Speaking.
• And Jackson. The big one. Not speaking.
But, by Winter Break, a new job, an unlikely but satisfying friend combo, additional entries to The Boy Book and many difficult decisions help Ruby to see that there is, indeed, life outside the Tate Universe.
This is the second book in the Ruby Oliver series, and I liked this book just as much as I liked the first one. It was a bit slow in the beginning, as we had to endure the requisite summarizing of the first book for anyone who might not remember, but once it moved past that, I really enjoyed it. Ruby is still trying to deal with the aftermath of everything that happened in book one, and she’s trying to grow up and become a more responsible, active version of herself. Ruby doesn’t always make the right choices, but she tries, and she’s really easy to relate to – or at least I think she is. I felt I could learn a lot from her as I read about her struggles and watched her figure things out.
This book is called The Boy Book, but it’s actually more about female friendships than anything else. I enjoyed reading about teenage girls that actually acted like the people I knew in high school. They had realistic conversations about realistic topics. They did stupid things. The parents were clueless about details but were still trying to get involved.
That’s not to say that this book isn’t about boys, because there are certainly boys. Ruby is still trying to get over Jackson, which is something that you don’t really see a lot of in young adult books. Most of the books I read are about girls who are “deeply” in love with a boy, and we’re supposed to root for them to get together. With this book, though, we’re actually wishing for her to hurry up and get over her loser ex-boyfriend. She doesn’t immediately just move on. The breakup really affects her, and that was nice to read about for once.
I wish the book had ended differently, but I still greatly enjoyed this book. This might be a short book, but there’s a lot of stuff going on, and it’s really fun to read about all. As someone who loves lists, I really enjoyed reading all of the lists in this book. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.