Monday, February 28, 2011

Real Live Boyfriends by E. Lockhart

Real Live Boyfriends: Yes, boyfriends, plural. If my life weren't complicated--I wouldn't be Ruby Oliver by E. Lockhart
Delacorte Books for Young Readers, December 2010

Summary from Goodreads:
Ruby Oliver, the neurotic, hyperverbal heroine of the The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, and The Treasure Map of Boys, is back!

Ruby Oliver is in love. Or it would be love, if Noel, her real live boyfriend, would call her back. But Noel seems to have turned into a pod-robot lobotomy patient, and Ruby can’t figure out why.

Not only is her romantic life a shambles:
Her dad is eating nothing but Cheetos,
Her mother’s got a piglet head in the refrigerator,
Hutch has gone to Paris to play baguette air guitar,
Gideon shows up shirtless,
And the pygmy goat Robespierre is no help whatsoever.

Will Ruby ever control her panic attacks?
Will she ever understand boys?
Will she ever stop making lists?
(No to that last one.)

Roo has lost most of her friends. She's lost her true love, more than once. She's lost her grandmother, her job, her reputation, and possibly her mind. But she's never lost her sense of humor. The Ruby Oliver books are the record of her survival.
I have loved 'watching' Ruby Oliver grow up. I was worried that, because I'd read the first books quite a while ago, that I would have forgotten the major details of the storyline. No worries, Ruby drags us right back into her life. She's still got drama, even with Jackson out of Tate for good. All the main players are back--Noel, Meghan, detestable Kim and Cricket, Nora, even Gideon comes back--and is it possible he...likes Ruby?

It's senior year, and Ruby is trying to juggle classes, her relationship with Noel (which has inexplicably stalled since his summer trip to NYC to visit his brother), her self-centered mother (who has moved from raw foods to cooking whole pigs), her father (whose grief over the loss of his mother might be ruining his marriage), college applications (via video clips), her friends (will she and Nora ever patch things up?), and one more year of wenchy Kim and Cricket. Top all that with weekly sessions with Dr. Z, and can anyone really blame the girl for feeling as though her life is falling apart?

And can I just say that I love the style of writing used in these books. Lists, emails, letters to zoo animals, and footnotes! Ruby Oliver has taught me that footnotes can be fun when they're not in dry, boring textbooks! I love the little extra info she provides, like this: "Roly-poly: A roly-poly is a bug, technically a woodlouse, that curls up in a hard little ball if you touch it. But what I mean is, Hutch is a social outcast." (p. 41) Little touches like that make Ruby seem so real.

Fans of the Ruby Oliver books have probably already read this one :o) If you haven't read any of them yet, definitely start with the first book, and work your way through the quartet. You'll be very glad to have met Ruby Oliver & Co.

FYI, the complete quartet is (links go to Goodreads):
Cover note: I really, really liked the hardcover editions of the first three books--the little marshmallow snowman from The Treasure Map...was my favorite. I get that the publisher wanted the books to look uniform and all, but I really felt the original covers were, well, original. The new covers are nice, they just don't really stand out, in my opinion.

Purchased book (and had E. Lockhart autograph it! Plus, I have another signed copy to give away soon!)

Enjoy your reading!


  1. Ahhh, I love it when books are written in a sort of non-traditional format - kind of like Zusak did with The Book Thief? Loved that! Thanks so much for the great review!

    -Linds, bibliophile brouhaha

  2. I haven't read anything by E. Lockhart, but I think some of her books would make great summer reads.

    Glad you enjoyed it! :)

  3. @bibliophile: I usually love non-traditional writing, too, BUT! I just finished a book with footnotes on my nook and did not enjoy it at all, I think because the nook pages aren't aligned with the "real" pages, so I was constantly flipping back and forth (by the time I'd gotten to the footnote I'd usually forgotten the reference, you know?). It was a little distracting.
    @Natalie: oh, you should give E. Lockhart a try! The Ruby Oliver books are great, I think.
    Thanks for stopping by!


Thanks for taking the time to comment!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.