- Young Adult Fiction
- The Boy Book: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them (Ruby Oliver #2)
The Boy Book: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them (Ruby Oliver #2)
Join Ruby Oliver at the start of her junior year at Tate Prep as she confronts:
• the secret about Noel
• mysterious notes from Jackson
• the interpretation of boy-speak
• the horrors of the school trip
• new entries in The Boy Book
There are Fruit Roll-Ups.
There is upper-regioning.
There are so many boys to choose from!
And there are penguins.
Only Ruby can keep her readers on her side even as those around her wonder, What is she thinking?!
Lockhart's Ruby Oliver charmed me with the first book, The Boyfriend List, and the sequel completely lives up to its predecessor.
Ruby Oliver remains her charming, neurotic self, and she grows on me more the better I become acquainted with her. In The Boyfriend List, I mentioned how realistic Ruby's selfishness made her as a character. In The Boy Book, the impact of Ruby's work with her therapist Doctor Z begins to become apparent. She really matures in this installment, learning to think a little bit more about her actions and their motivations. Her progress forward into a better Ruby is not too easy, though, as she does suffer the usual setbacks. Her character arc makes a natural and uplifting progression.
Each chapter opens with a snippet of the titular "Boy Book," created by Ruby and her former friends. In this book, they compiled the sum of their knowledge about boys, from boobs to phone etiquette to their girl code. These excerpts starkly contrast Ruby's current social leprosy with the days with the strength of their former friendship. So much of the book consists of their agreements to tell one another everything and trust one another implicitly, rules made tragic by how much they failed to work.
Romantic drama may seem to take center stage in this series, but, in fact, the most core theme is that of friendship. Lockhart tackles such notions as what friends owe to one another, and what precisely makes two people friends. She investigates both how Ruby's former friendships fell apart, and what Ruby learned from that. Left without any friends, Ruby settles for the best options open to her: Meghan, Noel, and Hutch. She never hated any of them, but they did not used to matter to her much either. Watching Ruby grow closer to them, find their hidden depths and begin to develop meaningful connections with them is a thing of beauty. I especially appreciated seeing Meghan's character, previously shown largely as a Bick-obsessed airhead, given so much more substance.
As far as the romance goes, Jackson continues in his serial dating ways. That boy cannot stand to be alone for five seconds. Thankfully, part of Ruby's growing up is coming to terms with the fact that Jackson is not at all the boy she thought he was, and moving on from him. A new romance blossoms on the horizon, but with an impediment that has me chewing my nails in concern. Ruby Oliver does the right thing, rather than the easy thing, and this is the surest sign of her new maturity.
What Left Me Wanting More (or in this case Less):
The summation of book one was poorly handled and would have benefited from less infodumping. Rather than working the information in naturally, Lockhart infodumps crucial facts from book one here and there. Thankfully, this will not be an issue for those who are not reading the books back to back as I am.
The Final Verdict:
Lockhart's Ruby Oliver series shines with wit and personality, a humorous little gem. The stories are both quick and delightful to read. Next up is The Treasure Map of Boys, and I am glad I don't have to wait after that somewhat dramatic, though not cliffhanger dramatic, ending.
Yeah, I just love Ruby Oliver. E. Lockharts heroine reads like a real person, with all the crazy, mixed-up feelings that a normal teen has. Even though Ruby herself doesnt think shes all that normal, I think she is.
Hmmmm, or maybe that says something about me.
At any rate, Ruby is back and this is her junior year after the fiasco of her sophomore year when she lost all her friends, her boyfriend, and her reputation. Shes ready for her life to settle down. Shes ready for that big red Dont Panic button to show up.
Of course, shes still beset with boy issues. Theres Noel, who she cant quite decide if she likes that way or not (and his mixed signals arent helping). Then theres Angelo, someone shes known for years&and has just started scamming with (i.e. making out with while not officially going out). And the infamous Jackson, her former boyfriend, whos mysteriously sending her notes again while her former best-friend Kim (his current girlfriend) is away in Tokyo.
As she slowly makes up with Nora (one of the lost friends), further cements her new friendship with Meghan, and develops a confusing quasi-relationship/friendship with Noel, Ruby starts to get comfortable. When things seem to be conspiring against her and she feels like she might lose all that shes gained back, what will she do? Is it time to cut and run or take a stand?
Yes, shes neurotic. But, oh, thats why I like her so much. I recommend reading the first Ruby Oliver book before this one (The Boyfriend List), though you can enjoy this one without it. Youll just enjoy it more if you have all the background info. Recommended for readers aged 12 and up, though some parents might prefer 14 and up due to a bit of boob action (Sorry, thats just what it is. What else could you call it?).
Ruby annoyed me a little. I suppose my main issue is that she kind of blew off the guy I thought she should be with until it was too late. I do understand a bit of what she was going through, though. I mean, she'd lost all her best friends, her boyfriend, and her reputation was tarnished so it's only natural that she'd be confused about a lot of things.
I can't really understand all the guy drama, though. I went to a really small school. Seriously, I'm talking k-12 all in one building. And yet, I never experienced, or really even heard about, the kind of guy drama that goes on in Ruby's world. The only thing that even comes close is this: I liked my best friend's boyfriend for quite some time. I never flirted with him or anything (not on purpose, at least), but we'd been pretty good friends before they were even together. My friend knew that I liked him, but I assured her I'd never do anything since he was her boyfriend and she seemed fine with that. But slowly, the boy stopped talking to me altogether. I found out later, after I'd more or less grown apart from her as best friends anyway, that she's told him all sorts of things about me being secretly slutty (which is just laughable). It pissed me off for a bit, but it was really just a blip.
So what I mean to say is I just don't understand how Ruby and her friends can have this big falling-out when the guy in question is obviously a giant douche.
Well, this has turned into quite the ramble. Story time's over now, though, so I'll leave it at: I enjoyed reading it well enough, but I didn't like it as much as the first. Hoping to see Ruby grow and mature a bit more in the next book.
this is the second book of this series (there is a third) and i am in love with the whole thing. It seems that Ruby Oliver is always getting into trouble: first there is the Nora-Boob incident, and then there is the Noel incedent, and the Kim and Jackson incidents, it seems like her life will never stop filling with drama, after he rbig fight with Kim over Jackson, she now has to deal with kissing Angelo and wanting to date Noel but she cant, I fell in love with these books only about 4 weeks ago and I'm SO excited to see what E. Lockhart can come up with next in the book: The Treasure Map for Boys- it is the third book in this series!!! over all i totally and completely recommend this to anyone and everyone (mainly girls though)
In this book, Ruby life is beging to get better. Her and her old friend Nora are beging to talk more and she starts to work at a local zoo. But, she still has some problems too. Her ex best friend Kim leaves to study in Tokyo and Kim's new boyfriend Jackson who is Ruby's ex starts to send her notes agian like he used too. One thing that I loved about this book is that like the first book there is references to things that have happened to Ruby. This book is funny enjoyable and a definate must read!
This is pretty much a continuation of The Boyfriend List. Ruby has moved on and is feeling better about herself. But she remembers entries she and her friends used to make about boys. Advice and theories are used to make this book more compelling. Ruby still has to deal with conflict but it's fun to read more about her story.
Gosh, this book was great. I don't really have any complaints. I really loved the foot notes it made the book soooo much better!
Read this book soon!
THE BOY BOOK is a continuation of the adventures of Ruby Oliver, or Roo, as she is called by friends and family, who was introduced, along with many of said friends and family, in the fantastic book THE BOYFRIEND LIST. In this second installment, Ruby is still not speaking to two of her old group of friends, only sort of speaking to the other one, and also still not even friendly with her old boyfriend, Jackson--now Kims boyfriend, and Ruby and Kim wouldnt be on speaking terms even if Kim were at Tate Prep rather than all the way in Tokyo.
Its not all bad, though. Ruby and Nora might have another shot at friendship. And Rubys got Meghan and Noel. Maybe even Angelo. And shell always have her therapist, Dr. Z. Shes got her parents, too, as crazy as they may be, and possibly even Hutch, who helps her dad out sometimes, despite his weirdness.
The excerpts from Kim and Rubys boy book start out each chapter with a bit of hilarity, and the rest of the book is brilliant as well. This is a fun but not entirely fluffy, well-written book that is full of wonderful characters. Not only were the characters interesting and real, but their relationships were, too; there were no excessive, unrealistic fairy-tale endings here. That doesnt mean it all ended in tragedy; things usually do work out okay, in this book and in real life, but that doesnt mean it ends like Beauty and the Beast or Cinderella. That can be good and bad (there were some things Id have loved to see work out, but realistically, I guess they couldnt), but more good than bad. Im hoping to read more about Ruby Oliver in the future. This is an honest, funny book, and as much as I loved THE BOYFRIEND LIST, I liked this one even better!
Ruby Oliver is back and more beloved than ever!
At the start of junior year, Roos ex-best friend Kim is in Japan, and shes still not speaking with her ex-boyfriend Jackson, whom Kim stole because she believed they were meant for each other. The only two people shes sort of friends with are Noel, a guy who can be in any social group or none at all anytime he wants, and Nora, the only one out of her original group of four friends who will still speak with her. Roo continues her therapy sessions with Dr. Z and starts an internship at the zoo.
Here are the boys in her life: Angelo, a hot family friend whom shes scamming with, meaning that they make out but arent technically together; Jackson, the dreaded ex whos been sending her notes although hes Kims boyfriend; and Noel. Roo cant figure out her feelings for Noel. Sure, there have been moments when she thought he was going to kiss her. But Roos not in therapy for no reason; she has to work out her feelings.
With her reputation and social life only beginning to recover from her leper-like end of sophomore year, she has to do the right thing so that she wont end up alone again. And sometimes the right thing isnt always the thing she wants.
I enjoyed THE BOY BOOK so much more than its prequel. In this book, Roo and her friends come up as more rounded and human characters. Anyone can relate to someone in the book, and I can understand each characters actions, though they may not be the best ones. E. Lockhart is a master of teen dialogue, and there is something in this book for every reader.