Title: The Boyfriend List
Author: E. Lockhart
Published: March 2006
Series: Ruby Oliver, #1
Genre: Chick Lit, Realistic YA
Fifteen-year-old Ruby has had a rough ten days. During that time 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)
-had a panic attack
-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)
-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.
I don't usually read chick lit, but I was dared to read it (I was at the library with a friend and we pulled out books with suspicious titles and dared each other to read it--my dare was The Boy Book, Ruby Oliver #2). I am actually quite impressed. While Lockhart's characters aren't amazingly and superbly drawn, it was still better than your average YA.
Ruby's story was somewhat relatable for me because it takes places in Seattle, and I used to live there. Hot tubs? Dick's Burger and Shakes? Seattle people love those things! There's no way Lockhart isn't a Seattle girl, because she's recreated the lifestyle of a Seattle teenager perfectly.
A few of the characters were annoying at times, but I can easily look past that. Ruby's character was sarcastic and facetious without crossing the line into the realm of cynicism and annoyance. I can appreciate that, as with a lot of YA, the author attempts to make the protagonist witty and sarcastic and "relatable," when in the end, they just become annoying.
I highly recommend E. Lockhart's Ruby Oliver series, especially if you're looking for some slice of life chick lit to devour:)