The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver (Ruby Oliver #1)

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The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver (Ruby Oliver #1)
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
March 22, 2005
ISBN
0385732066
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Ruby Oliver is 15 and has a shrink. She knows it's unusual, but give her a break—she's had a rough 10 days. In the past 10 days 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)
* 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. And make more lists.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Humorous Depiction of Teenage Romantic Drama
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
When I started reading this, I added it on Goodreads and sort of scrolled through reviews, not reading them but eyeing the ratings. For most books, my friends reach a sort of general consensus; with The Boyfriend List, the ratings varied from one star to five. Thankfully, I fell on the higher end of the spectrum, a relief since I just bought the complete series in a fit of no will power.

The variety in opinions on this book makes perfect sense, though. How you feel about The Boyfriend List will likely have a direct correlation to how you feel about the MC, Ruby Oliver. Ruby has a very distinct way of expressing herself and somewhat controversial opinions. If she annoys you, the book will be utter hell. However, if you think she's hilarious and makes good points and maybe reminds you of your high school self, you'll think she and this book are the best ever.

Though I did not personally identify with Ruby, I did think that she was funny most of the time, with occasional forays into whininess or melodrama, though these fit her personality and her situation perfectly. The Boyfriend List revolves around a series of panic attacks Ruby had, leading her parents to send her to a therapist. Her therapist asked her to draw up a list of boys for them to discuss. Thus the list was born, ultimately with some Harriet the Spy kind of consequences.

What Lockhart got just right is the teenage drama. Ruby feels so much like a teenage girl, with her own misconceptions, weird slang and inability to deal with being a social outcast. Having a boyfriend matters so much. Her own world matters so much, and she has a lot of trouble seeing past her own issues. Her parents fight all the time, but she can't really see that until therapy, and the same goes for her friends' issues too. Ruby has blinders on, and it's wonderful to watch her gain new perspective on the world in her conversations with her shrink.

The romantic drama herein depicted may seem a bit like the absurdity of Gossip Girl or Glee, where the same twelve characters keep swapping boyfriends in an endless spiral of jealousy, betrayal and infidelity. However, Tate, Ruby's school, is this tiny prep school full of rich kids (except for Ruby, who's on scholarship); there just aren't that many fish in the dating pool. I went to a very small college, and one guy dated three girls out of the twelve on my freshman hall, so that kind of stuff does happen, though there was no drama with our instance. They're stuck in a small school with lots of hormones and not many people with whom to exercise them.

The other awesome thing about Ruby Oliver is that it's not romanticizing teens or trying to depict them as innocent or sex as awful. Ruby discusses sex openly and with overt fascination. She and her friends discuss boys and all of their exploits and that's just so much how life goes down; we all share the details with our best friends.

Now, this really does not affect my opinion of the novel or mean anything to those who have not read this book, but I still need to get this off my chest: Kim and Jackson are major d-bags. Jackson especially. He's a serial boyfriend, dumping one girl and immediately lining up the next (or already having her waiting). Kim may be a big proponent of "The Rules," and, yes, Ruby broke them too, but Kim stepped out of line first. She can talk about fate or how it only just happened all she wanted, but she is lying. Ruby needs to get those two awful people out of her heart entirely and out of her life as much as is possible at Tate.

The Boyfriend List is a humorous, sassy contemporary, sure to delight those who delight in misadventure, pop culture references, and romantic drama.
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15 guys, 1 shrink, and 1 social outcast
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Sometimes, therapy can get you in trouble. That's what Ruby finds out when she compiles a list (the boyfriend list) for Dr. Z, her shrink. The list includes any kind of anything meaning, even boys she never even talked to or just wished were her boyfriends. But when the list accidentally gets out at school, Ruby's got an instant reputation&and it isn't a good one.

Besides all of the drama associated with that, in the last 10 days, our beset-upon heroine has lost her boyfriend, her best friend (actually, all her friends), failed a math test, and experienced just about every other social catastrophe you can think of.

But don't think this is the kind of book that will bring you down. E. Lockhart's novel is achingly funny and tragic, in a tragi-comedy type of way. Told in Ruby's voice, it's at times hilarious, a touch introspective, and pretty much always right on target. Annotated with footnotes that read like asides to the text, you'll feel like you know this girl by the end of the book and oh, how you'll sympathize with her even when you want to whack her upside the head.

Similar in tone to Susan Juby's Alice, I Think or Louise Rennison's Georgia Nicholson books, The Boyfriend List is a good read. It's even bound to make you feel better about your own life.

I recommend this book for girls of all ages, but especially for those 12 and up.
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The Boyfriend List review
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
It's kind of hard not to love Ruby Oliver. Sure, she has her quirks and sometimes I just want to sit her down and give her a talking to, but most of the time she realizes she doesn't have to blame herself for everything and maybe all the people she thought were awesome might not be so great.

After I started to figure out what happened with Kim and Jackson I just wanted to give Ruby a hug and be all "girl, those guys seriously suck. You do NOT need them." Because really, they do suck.

Another really cool thing (for me, at least) was the Seattle setting. I live here, so it was cool to read about all the stuff I live around. Except, the B&O Espresso is no longer where it used to be, so that's a little amusing to me.

So here's what you need to know:
Ruby is sweet, cute, a little naive, and hilarious.
There are some really sweet guys on the Boyfriend List.
There are some really sucky guys on the Boyfriend List.
Everything isn't always black and white.
Ruby's parents are a pretty big part of her life (and they're a little crazy.)
Dr. Z is kind of awesome.
You should read this book because it's good and you should.

One little aside: I was a little tired of everyone being "shattered." What are they, windows?

Hit
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The Boyfriend List
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Title: The Boyfriend List
Author: E. Lockhart
Genre: YA

Where I got it: ODLC (the library’s e-book collection)

One sentence: Fifteen year old Ruby Oliver starts visits to a shrink after she starts getting panic attacks and relays the rough past ten days in which she has become a social outcast through “the boyfriend list”.

Themes: Rumors, romance

Main character: Ruby was a likeable main character: witty, down-to-earth, and relatable. She made some mistakes during the book, but I tend to like main characters who mess up along the way.

Secondary characters: Not really memorable. There were a couple ‘aww’ moments with some of the boys: Shiv, in particular. I hated Jackson and Kim, which is probably what I was meant to feel, but I didn’t understand their motives, which made them very flat characters to me.

Writing style: Lockhart has a very readable and entertaining writing style. The only thing that I had some issues with were the footnotes. I thought it was a clever idea to relay information, but I didn’t end up reading them when they were supposed to be read. I just waited until the end of the chapter and read them all at once (which is what I assume a lot of readers do), so they lost meaning, and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time flipping back and forth to see what sentence each footnote was paired with. Would have been better if the footnotes were at the bottom of the page.

Plot: Entertaining. Not very original, but a good interpretation of high school as a teenage girl. The timeline often bounced all over, which was a little confusing but conveyed Ruby’s voice well. The main plot was constantly interrupted by spin-off about boys from the past.

Best scene: Any of Ruby’s discussions with her parents and the Hutch/dad/Ruby conversation.

Positives: Relatable and funny main character, witty and entertaining voice, realistic

Negatives: Confusing footnotes, timeline, a little slow at times.

Ending: I like that everything didn’t turn out perfect in the end. Another facet of realism; life doesn’t work that way. Still, I did want some closure.

Verdict: Cute and charming, but not necessarily memorable.

Rating: 6.4 / 10

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Witty and One of a Kind
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by 'Book'ie Monster

This book astonished me and and it made me think about who is actually in the hallways.

I love how in this book the author explains every boyfriend and not just saying "i liked him but, he didnt like me" it didnt do that, it actually told you the whole story of them.

My favourite guy from th boyfriend list was Gideon (you'll learn about hm in the book).

The main character in this book is Ruby Oliver and she gets a very bad reputation when her boyfriend list (for her 'shrink' or another name is therapist) gets photocopied and given to all the students at Tate (name for her school) and her boyfriend (Jackson) dumps her because of Kim (her bestfriend), and so on.

Eventually she gets everyone to hate her.

I like all the character in the book because they are all very commonly found people in a school, but sometimes not everyone knows it.
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Not the best book.
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Marina

I liked this book, but not enough. I wanted her to talk about the other guys in detail like she did with Simon. All she talked about was Simon, Simon, Simon. The other boys she was suppose to be talking about, only got like a sentence or two. The rest was about Simon. And overall, it was stupid becasue she was dating him first, and then her bff starts dating him, and everyone gets mad at her. Just wierd. But it was an okay book.

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A Awesome Read!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Lianne

Ruby Oliver is a fun narrator. After loosing all of her friends, and having some major issues at school like being dumped by her boyfriend Ruby's parents make her go and see a therapist. At Ruby's first session with her new therapist (Dr.Z)she has to make a boyfriend list. Ruby makes the list and throughout the book you get a fun preview into Ruby's past. This book couldn't possibly be more fun! I loved how each chapter Ruby talked about another boy from the list and why they were on there! This is so funny and enjoyable. You will be laughing and having fun the whole time while reading!
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A boyfriend list of boys who aren't really boyfriends
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Adriana M.

Ruby is a 15-year old who has become somewhat of a leper at her high school after a series of events lands her in a therapist's couch and she starts suffering from panic attacks. Her therapist, Dr. X asks her to provide a list of boys. The so-called 'boyfriend list' somehow gets out at her high school, and that contributes to her friends not talking to her, and Ruby feeling more and more isolated and anxious. But the list is not made up of boys that were her boyfriends, just boys that affected her, she crushed on, or were even slightly important to her.

In the course of the novel Ruby goes through the list explaining each boy. Even though they aren't all ex-boyfriends of hers, people get the impression that she is basically a 'slut'.

Despite this angle, the books is light and humorous, and Ruby takes it all in stride as she tries to come to terms with her situation. As I read it, I thought some of her former friends were much too cruel and unfair to Ruby, and I wanted her to somehow get back at them. The footnotes that the author uses were also somewhat distracting, because even though they offered more insight and were meant to be humorous, they often interrupted the flow of the story.
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Funny
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Samantha Watt

This was different then what I usually read, but it was okay, not the best but funny.

Enter a girl who has had two offical boyfriends, and friends that inevtned the BOY BOOK. Enter another girl who ingores the rules she made up and steals her friends boyfiend.

Then the first girl ends up kissing her ex boyfriend, and everyone thanks she is bad. Then she starts having panic attacks because of her best friend Kim stole her boyfriend.

Then because of the panic attacks she has to see a shirnk, that makes everything worse. And the shrink realzes that the reasonf or the panic attacks is guys.

It was a good book, funny even.
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almost perfect
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Amanda Marasco

It's about a girl named Ruby who begins to go to a shrink and talks about all the boys who had any impact in her life. Her bestfriend Kanga starts to go out with her newly ex-boyfriend. After that all hell breaks loose and Ruby is left on her own. This is a book that can show you how drastically your friends can change.

I loved this book. It got a little confusing at times but it was cleared up right away. The book never got boring and things were always changing. I did hate some of the characters but i think that was what we were supposed to do.

Read this book soon!
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Another awesome book from E. Lockhart
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Khy

Ruby Oliver is 15 and has a shrink. She knows its unusual, but give her a breakshes had a rough 10 days. In the past 10 days 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),

drank her first beer (someone handed it to her),

got caught by her mom (ag!),

had a panic attack (scary),

lost a lacrosse game (shes the goalie),

failed a math test (shell make it up),

hurt Meghans feelings (even though they arent 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!?!).

All these bad things result in a panic attack, and thanks to her overprotective parents, she has to go to a shrink. The shrink encourages her to create The Boyfriend List, a list of all the boys she has dated, somewhat dated, wish she dated, kissed, and the boys people thought she dated or kissed. As Ruby reveals the list, she reveals the stories behind the boys and how they relate to her current life issues.

---

Yowza. This may just be my favorite E. Lockhart book yet. (I'm trying to decide if I like this one or The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks better. I can't choose. Ag.) It's that good.

Ruby Oliver is such an wonderful heroine. She is smart but makes common mistakes, funny but is very sensitive, and is a great friend but sometimes hurts her friends feelings. She acts just like a real person, which makes it easy to relate to her.

Other good things about this book:

1. It is laugh-out-loud funny.
2. All the lists make it easier to understand what exactly was going through Roo's head.
3. There are footnotes! I love footnotes. (Don't ask me why. I don't know why.) The footnotes added more of Ruby's thoughts and comments on things, so you got to know her even better.
4. The other characters were very realistic too.
5. Ruby dealt with her problems in the same way a lot of other people would. While it wasn't the best way to handle them, it was the most realistic thing to do.

I've got nothing bad to say about this book. It comes highly recommended.

reposted from freneticreader.blogspot.com
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"The Boyfriend List" by E. Lockhart
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Sandy

The Boyfriend List is a story about Ruby Oliver and her past relationships with thirteen guys as well as her not-so-perfect current life. The ten worst days of her life go by and end up landing Ruby in a shrinks office. She lost all of her friends, her boyfriend, got caught drinking a beer by her mom, became a social misfit, and is being talked about by most of the school be hind her back.

This book shows all of the different types of teenage guys and every different relationship possible. Ruby is a seemingly average girl which makes it easy to relate to her and some of her problems. As she makes lists of her past thirteen boyfriends with her new psychologist, Dr. Z., Ruby learns more about herself and reflects on some of her emotions that she left bottled up.

Of course, Ruby has some special quirks such as the fact that she lives on a houseboat or that her mom is a health freak that pushes health foods down her familys throats. Or that Rubys past terrible week and a half give her routine panic attacks. Not all of us can say that we have had panic attacks or that our house can float but these make Ruby an even more interesting character. She never lets the readers down by becoming boring.

Rubys life has all of the experiences that many teenage girls go through in life. Their first relationship, first kiss, first beak-up, losing friends, failing tests, sports, and the rise and fall on the social ladder. This book perfectly summarizes a girls life from middle school to high school and E. Lockhart makes it easier to deal with everyday problems that we all come across.
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