Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Boyfriend List--E. Lockhart

Fifteen year old Ruby has everything going for her, a group of best friends, a perfect boyfriend, interesting albeit annoying parents, and then she loses it all (except the parents) and has panic attacks instead. Trying to figure out what went wrong, Ruby starts therapy and comes up with the reason: boys. She comes up with a list of all her boyfriends, even the ones that were imagined and unofficial and crushes from afar.

Ruby (Roo) is a funny typical boy-obsessed teenage girl. At times she is shallow and self-centered, and other times she really is the victim of her cruel peers. Her best friend is right that she was not meant to be with her "perfect boyfriend" (I thought his unique valentine's gift--half a carnation--was nice, but Roo wanted the everyday roses and didn't see the value in being different) but that doesn't mean her best friend should go out with him! What kind of a friend is that? Roo is not the nicest to her friends either--she snubs the only friends who really appreciate her. But she comes around in the end.

I liked The Boyfriend List. Roo is a likeable character, even with her faults. There were a couple of times when I was confused as to what was happening when, but no more confused than when I talk to real teenage girls.... and I think it was more a problem with my mommy brain than with the writing. It all made sense in the end. :-)

I think high school girls will appreciate the story more--they have more of a history with boys than middle school girls. Although middle schoolers are getting just as cliquey as high schoolers, and they are definitely into boys, it just reads more like a high school book. And there are some references to certain, um, acts, that I hope middle schoolers don't know. Although these days, you never can tell. I'm reading this with my high school book group in January so we'll see what they say...

Reading: Drowned Wednesday--Garth Nix
On My Nightstand: Girls Dinner Club--Jessie Elliot

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