Ruby Oliver is fifteen and has a shrink. But before you make up your mind about her, you should know that she has had a pretty awful (and eventful) past ten days. She has:
* lost her boyfriend
* lost her best friend (Kim)
* lost all her other friends (Nora, Cricket)
* did something suspicious with a boy
* did something advanced with a boy
* had an argument with a boy
* drank her first beer (someone handed it to her)
* got caught by her mom (ag!)
* had a panic attack (scary)
* 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)
* and had graffiti written about her in the girls' bathroom (who knows what was in the boys'!?!).
But don't worry, Ruby lives to tell the tale. Through a special assignment to list all the boys she's ever had the slightest, little, any-kind-of-anything with, comes an unfortunate series of events that would be enough to send any girl in a panic.
A book this cute and happy-making and forgettable is completely unexpected, after reading We Were Liars by the same author. Note that above I used the word 'forgettable' which would usually be an insult, but it's actually a compliment here.
I've found that over the last few years my genres of choice have moved from paranormal and dystopian to cutesy contemporary reads and I find myself craving superficial, basic books. Now, whilst The Boyfriend List undeniably has a meaning and some depth, this is exactly the type of book I have been craving - a funny, messed up, totally awkward teenager, some hilarious and horrifying mishaps and boys (lots of boys) - so I used the word forgettable in the best possible way. It served it's purpose, gave me escapism and didn't rest on me so hard that I kept thinking about it and mulling things over in my head.
Ruby is exactly the type of main character I love to see. She is utterly relatable in a painful way and her friends and family and acquaintances are as well. It feels like Lockhart is writing from a real teenage girl's brain and I totally appreciate that in teen fiction.
On the surface, this book may seem a little aimless - like a casual romp with no direction but through this not completely linear storytelling, we really get to see Ruby develop as well, so it does have direction and I am already chomping at the bit to get the next book in the series.
Overall, The Boyfriend List was cute, simple and fun read which I think is undeniably relatable. Definitely one for any teen or young adult to read for a bit of escapism.
Overall Rating: B+
Book released July 14th 2016 by Hot Key Books
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review