The Boyfriend List (Ruby Oliver Quartet Series #1)

The Boyfriend List (Ruby Oliver Quartet Series #1)

4.2 174
by E. Lockhart
     
 

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From E. Lockhart, author of the highly acclaimed, New York Times bestseller We Were Liars, which John Green called "utterly unforgettable," comes The Boyfriend List, the first book in the uproarious and heartwarming Ruby Oliver novels.

Ruby Oliver is 15 and has a shrink. She knows it’s unusual, but give her a break—she…  See more details below

Overview

From E. Lockhart, author of the highly acclaimed, New York Times bestseller We Were Liars, which John Green called "utterly unforgettable," comes The Boyfriend List, the first book in the uproarious and heartwarming Ruby Oliver novels.

Ruby Oliver is 15 and has a shrink. She knows it’s unusual, but give her a break—she’s had a rough 10 days. In the past 10 days 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),

drank her first beer (someone handed it to her),

got caught by her mom (ag!),

had a panic attack (scary),

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)

and 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.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In hopes of discovering what is causing her panic attacks, Ruby makes a list of every boy with whom she has ever been involved. "Spot-on dialogue and details make this a painfully recognizable and addictive read," said PW in a starred review. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT
In this sequel to The Boyfriend List, Lockhart continues to expertly capture the sentiments and voice of a teenage girl. Main character Ruby Oliver narrates the sweet story of her junior year of high school, covering all the major topics in the process. She deals with avoiding ex-boyfriends, making new friends, fighting with old friends, and coping with parents. Between all this, Ruby makes time to visit her psychologist, which provides the reader with a bit of catch-up and another view on her life. Wholesome and generally cheerful, Ruby is easy to relate to, making her an ideal heroine. She's self-analytical, which works to her advantage, and her conflicts are universal and important without being earth shattering, making this novel a pleasurable read. KLIATT Codes: J--Recommended for junior high school students. 2006, Random House, Delacorte, 208p., $15.95 and $17.99. Ages 12 to 15.
—Joanna Solomon
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Ruby, first introduced in The Boyfriend List (Delacorte, 2005), continues to narrate the events in her life at Tate Prep. Interspersed throughout the story are excerpts from The Boy Book: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them, a journal written by the teen and her friends in years past. Ruby is now in her junior year and discovering that there is life after a boyfriend breakup and the loss of previous friends for not following "The Rules for Dating." She discovers that she can make new friends, reconnect with some of her old ones, and simply accept that some people are lost forever. She continues therapy with Dr. Z. and gains control over her panic attacks. The story is both humorous and witty, and the language is realistically raw. Sections such as "The Care and Ownership of Boobs" are particularly funny. Teens will relate to the situations that Ruby finds herself in and learn from her skills about how to cope with the "minefield" of crises that today's teens face.-Sheilah Kosco, Bastrop Public Library, TX Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
After being dumped by her boyfriend, rejected by her girlfriends and humiliated by her classmates, Ruby Oliver, a 15-year-old moderately popular girl turned pariah, reassesses her history and her actions. Ruby's tool for this task is her newly made compilation of "all the boyfriends, kind-of boyfriends, almost-boyfriends, rumored boyfriends and wished-he-were boyfriends" in her life. It's a clever gimmick and author Lockhart uses it as a prism through which Ruby, with help from her therapist, can view her life and herself. Slowly, Ruby and the reader begin to understand that she's not the total victim she appeared to be initially, and while she hardly deserved the cruelty that's been heaped upon her, she had a distinct hand in her fate. The issues Ruby deals with are serious, but the first-person narrative is amusing and the overall tone is light. Although the gimmick gets tedious and repetitious in spots, Lockhart shines at depicting the all-encompassing microcosm of school social life, and wisely eschews an unrealistically happy ending, instead offering hope and honest growth. (Fiction. 12-14)
From the Publisher
Praise for the boyfriend list:
 

• “Spot-on dialogue and details make this a painfully recognizable and addictive read.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred
 
“Lockhart shines at depicting the all-encompassing microcosm of school social life.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“Lockhart has created a fun character in the spirit of Louise Rennison’s Georgia Nicholson and Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones….The snappy dialogue makes this story a winner.”—School Library Journal
 
“An ingenious way to look at one teenager’s life….The book is spectacular, with a well-constructed story and deep, emotional significance.”—The Romantic Times
 
“Breezy and genuine, with a tender understanding of who really walks the halls in America’s high schools. The Boyfriend List made me laugh and, yeah, I was kind of attracted to Kim.”—Ned Vizzini, author of It’s Kind of a Funny Story
 
The Boyfriend List is a wonderful comic exploration of the maddening (but hilarious) world of mothers and fathers, the gut-wrenching politics (and excitement) of multiple crushes, and the complications (and kinship) of friendship. Ruby Oliver is a winning girl (even if she doesn’t realize it) we’d all befriend in a heartbeat (as long as she doesn’t have her eyes on our guy).”—Jill A. Davis, author of Girls’ Poker Night
 
“Ruby Oliver’s list of boyfriends is a wonderful and tragic document of our times. I felt kind of bad for some of the guys on the list, but at the same time, while I read, I kept wishing I was on it.”—J. Minter, author of the Insiders series

An ALA Best Book for Young Adults

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307514790
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
01/16/2009
Series:
Ruby Oliver Quartet Series , #1
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
102,237
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

Read an Excerpt

1. Adam (but he doesn't count.)


Adam was this boy that I used to stare at in preschool. His hair was too long, that's why. It stuck out behind his ears and trailed down his neck, whereas all the other five-year-old boys had bowl haircuts. I didn't have too much hair myself--it didn't grow fast and my mom was always trimming it with her nail scissors--so I was a little obsessed with hair.

Adam's last name was Cox, and after I had been eyeing him for a couple of months, I named this stuffed bunny I had after him. All the grown-ups laughed when I said the bunny's name was Cox, and I didn't understand why.

Pretty soon, Adam and I were playing together. Our parents took us to the zoo, and we'd spend time after school in the nearby playground, drawing with chalk and walking up the slide. I remember we went swimming a few times at the YMCA, and hung out in a plastic wading pool in his backyard. His cat had kittens, and I got to help name them because I came over the same morning they were born.

And that was it.

We were only five years old.

When I was old enough for kindergarten, I started at Tate Prep and he went somewhere else.


Doctor Z looked down at the Boyfriend List. She didn't seem too impressed with my Adam Cox story. Or maybe it was the list itself she didn't think much of--though it had taken me a lot of work to do. I started the night after our first appointment, in bed in my pajamas, writing on this thick, cream-colored stationery my grandma Suzette got me. It says Ruby Denise Oliver on the top in this great curlicue font--but I never use it, since anyone I'd want to write to has e-mail.

My first draft, I only wrote down Jackson and Cabbie. Then I added Gideon at the beginning, with a question mark next to his name. Then Michael, the guy who was my first kiss--putting him in between Gideon and Jackson.

Then I turned off my light and tried to go to sleep.

No luck.

Well, I wasn't sleeping well lately anyway--but I lay there with this feeling that the list wasn't finished. I remembered that I'd told Doctor Z about Angelo already, so I turned the light back on and squeezed him in between Jackson and Cabbie.

Oh, and I had mentioned Noel to Doctor Z, too--though we were only friends. I stuck him in right after Jackson, just to have somewhere to put him. Then I rewrote the list in nice handwriting and managed to get myself to sleep--but in the middle of the night I woke up and wrote down two more boys and my History & Politics teacher.

Then I crossed them all out.

At breakfast the next morning, I jumped up from my cereal bowl and put one of them back on.

At school, the hallway by the mail cubbies suddenly seemed like an obstacle course of old crushes and rejections. Shiv Neel. Finn Murphy. Hutch (ag). All three in my face before I even got to my first class. I pulled out the list and wrote them down.

All day long, I thought about boys. (Well, even more than usual.) And the more I thought, the more I remembered.

Adam, the mermaid.

Sky, the jerk.

Ben, the golden boy.

Tommy, who surfed.

Chase, who gave me the necklace.

Billy, who squeezed my boob.

Never in a million years would I have expected the list to be anywhere near so long. But by the end of the day, there were fifteen names on there, and the list was all scribbly-looking, with arrows zooming around to show what order the boys should really go in.

It was a mess, so during geometry I recopied it on the stationery in my best writing and threw the old one away.2 Then I tucked it into a matching envelope to give to Doctor Z.


"Why did you stop playing with Adam?" Doctor Z wanted to know.

"I told you, I started a different school."

"Is there something more?" she said, looking at me over those red-rimmed glasses.

"No."

I had liked making the list, it was kind of fun. But ag. What was the point of talking about something from ten years ago that wasn't even important? Zoo trips with Adam Cox and his mom weren't exactly significant to my mental development.

Not that there was anything else I wanted to talk about.

I just wanted the panic attacks to stop.

And the hollow, sore feeling in my chest to go away.

And to feel like I could make it through lunch period without choking back tears.

And Jackson. I wanted Jackson back.

And my friends.

"Did you ever see him again?"

"Who?" I had forgotten what we were talking about.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Meet the Author

E. Lockhart is the author of the highly acclaimed New York Times bestseller We Were Liars and the Ruby Oliver quartet (The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, The Treasure Map of Boys, and Real Live Boyfriends), as well as Fly on the Wall, Dramarama, and How to Be Bad (the last with Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle). Her novel The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks was a Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book, a finalist for the National Book Award, and winner of a Cybils Award for Best Young Adult Novel. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.




From the Hardcover edition.

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