Book Review: The Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart
Ruby is back at Tate Prep, and it’s her thirty-seventh week in the state of Noboyfriend. Her panic attacks are bad, her love life is even worse, and what’s more:
Noel is writing her notes, Jackson is giving her frogs, Gideon is helping her cook, and Finn is making her brownies. Rumors are flying, and Ruby’s already-sucky reputation is heading downhill.
Not only that, she’s also: running a bake sale, learning the secrets of heavymetal therapy, encountering some seriously smelly feet, defending the rights of pygmy goats, and bodyguarding Noel from unwanted advances.
In this companion novel to The Boyfriend List and The Boy Book, Ruby struggles to secure some sort of mental health, to understand what constitutes a real friendship, and to find true love—if such a thing exists.
I love Ruby Oliver more and more with each book. I’ve never seen a character in a book that’s as neurotic as I am, but Ruby definitely comes close. She tries so hard to do the right thing, but she doesn’t always succeed. She’s not perfect, but she definitely does the best she can, and she eventually learns from her mistakes.
I think that’s my favorite thing about this series, and this book in particular – the relationships are so realistic and understandable. Ruby’s parents are constantly arguing with each other and her, but you can tell that they still all love and care about each other. Ruby’s love life is complicated. She doesn’t really know what she wants, which is completely understandable, especially for a teenager. The guys in her life do things they shouldn’t and don’t understand why they make her feel bad. Her friends get mad at her without listening to her side of the story. There are no idealized relationships here.
Not everything works out the way we want it to in real life, and the same can be said for this book, although it definitely ends on a more hopeful note than the previous two did. I enjoyed watching Ruby try to figure her life out. Like always, her therapy sessions with Doctor Z were amusing and offered some good advice for the rest of us. The writing is rambling – but in a good way. It’s hard not to feel for Ruby as her life continues to fall apart around her, and it’s great watching her slowly figure out how to pick up the pieces – and decide which pieces are worth keeping in the first place.
If you’re a fan of contemporary YA and/or neurotic but sympathetic main characters, you should definitely pick up the first of this series if you haven’t already.