The Boyfriend List and The Boy Book by E.
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Published by: Hot Key Books
Pages: 256 | 224
Note: We received these books from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve been seeing this series floating around Goodreads with a ceramic frog on the cover, and since then, I’ve been intrigued. After writing about such strange teenagers in We Were Liars, I wanted to see how E. Lockhart portrayed an average teenage girl.
P L O T
Ruby Oliver is told, by her therapist, to write down the names of all boys she’s had a crush on, gone out with or simply fantasised about. Though each chapter, Ruby explains her relationship with each boy, and how, just because she wrote down 15 names, she’s been dubbed the school ‘slut’. This is a term I’m 100% uncomfortable with, because what does it even mean??
The sequel is narrowing down Ruby’s pool of opportunities, and focuses on one or two guys in particular that she thinks things will go well with. It also deals with the aftermath of her boyfriend list going public.
C H A R A C T E R S
I didn’t really connect to Ruby, if I’m honest. She was so hung up on every little detail of her relationships. When a guy is supposed to call you, what he’s supposed to say, how you’re meant to act in front of other people…trying to create a rule book for something that is completely impossible to regulate and impose restrictions on is ridiculous! It reminded me a lot of Mia’s character from The Princess Diaries. The boy crazy trait must run strong in middle-grade. Girls care about so much more than boys in real life and I don’t think that was shown enough.
Also, none of the boys seemed like a perfect fit for Ruby, apart from the boy she and her best friend imagined, Tommy Hazard!
F R I E N D S H I P
So, when you’re dealing with a lot of boy trouble, the people you can count on for advice are your friends EXCEPT all of Ruby’s friends don’t even let her explain the list, or why it exists and why she was flirting with her best friend’s boyfriend. It didn’t seem like a friendship built on trust and respect, which is in such direct contrast to another friendship I’ve read about recently: that of The Spinster Club trilogy.
V E R D I C T
Overall, I felt a little too mature to really enjoy these books. I liked the school getaway setting of the second book, and the style of narration in the first, but the characters were prioritising completely different things to my fifteen year old self. If you’re looking for an American equivalent to the Georgia Nicholson books by Louise Rennison, I’ve found it. I’m going to give both of the books 2.5 stars, because while they were enjoyable in the moment, and super quick to read, I don’t think I’ll continue with the series.