Real Live Boyfriends (Ruby Oliver Quartet Series #4)

Real Live Boyfriends (Ruby Oliver Quartet Series #4)

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 Real Live Boyfriends, the fourth book in the uproarious and heartwarming Ruby Oliver novels that finds Ruby Oliver as neurotic and hyperverbal as ever as she interviews her friends for a documentary on love and popularity and while doing so turns up some uncomfortable truths.

She’s 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385734288
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 12/28/2010
Series: Ruby Oliver Quartet Series , #4
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 7.78(w) x 11.34(h) x 0.87(d)
Lexile: 730L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 Years

About 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.

Read an Excerpt

1. Real Live Boyfriends!    

A definition:  

A real live boyfriend does not contribute to your angst.  

You do not wonder if he will call.  

You do not wonder whether he will kiss you.  

And he does not look at his phone while you are talking, to see if anyone has texted him.  

Of course he calls. He's your boyfriend!  

Of course there will be kissing. He's your boyfriend!  

And of course he listens. He's your real live boyfriend!  

You can sit down next to him at lunch whenever you want. There's no need for mental gyrations such as: Will he want me there when he's hanging with his friends? Or will he half ignore me in order to seem golden in front of them?  

Of course you can sit with him. He's your boyfriend!   You can assume you'll see him on the weekend. You can call him just to chat. You can expect he'll be nice to your friends.  

Contrary to some rumors, however, you don't have to be in love. You don't have to engage in any horizontal action beyond what you're in the mood for. You don't even need to stay together after high school. But you have to like him and he has to like you—and everyone has to know you're together.   He's your real live boyfriend!        

2.     The Insanity of My Parents! And Romance!    

From seventh grade to ninth, I had a real live boyfriend named Tommy Hazard.  

Tommy was perfect. He had clear skin, he was never obnoxious in class, and he was excellent at sports. He had beautiful strong shoulders and a secret mysterious smile. Tall but not too tall. Great teeth. Smoldering eyes.  

In fact, he was superhot and could have any girl he wanted. And the best thing was—he went weak whenever he saw me.  

He was also imaginary.  

I told my best friend, Kim, all about him. He changed according to my mood. Sometimes he was a surfer boy in board shorts and a bead choker, tossing the water out of his hair as he smiled down at me. Sometimes he was a skate punk. Other times a mod guy in a narrow tie who took beautiful black-and-white photographs.  

Then I started going out with Jackson Clarke, sophomore year, and Tommy Hazard disappeared—I guess because I finally had a real live boyfriend with a real live heart pumping in his chest.  

Only—then it turned out he didn't.  

Have a heart.  

And he didn't want to be my real live boyfriend anymore—  

He wanted to be Kim's.      

Flash to end of junior year.  

When I wrote the above definition of a real live boyfriend, it was fourteen months since Kim and Jackson got together and shattered my heart, plunging me into an abyss of bad mental health. I wrote it sitting in the B&O Espresso, where Meghan and I were supposed to be studying for finals. We were hopped up on dobosh torte and coffee drinks, and I couldn't think any more about chemistry formulas.  

I flipped to a new page in my notebook and wrote something else, just to give myself a break.  

Meghan crinkled her sexy little freckled nose when she read it. "What do you mean, real live boyfriend?"  

"Exactly what I wrote."  

"But—" Meghan looked perplexed.  


"Isn't this just what a boyfriend is?" she asked. "Any boyfriend?"  

Just to be clear, Meghan has had a pretty much continuous cycle of serious boyfriends since seventh grade. Me, I had been in the state of Noboyfriend since April of sophomore year, when the Kim/Jackson debacle made me pretty much dysfunctional.  

And while you could argue that Meghan's male-oriented outlook on life was all about the fact that her dad died when she was twelve and that's why she's the only other teenager I know who sees a shrink on a regular basis, there was no denying that she was being truthful when she said she didn't know what I was writing about. She and her boyfriend, Finn, who was making espresso behind the counter at the B&O right that very minute, got together just before Spring Fling junior year and were as real and live as real and live could be. And before Finn, Meghan had been real and live with Bick.  

And before Bick, with a guy she met at camp.  

And before that, with Chet, who moved away.  

And before that—you get the idea.  

Meghan didn't know much about how it felt to wonder if a guy still liked you. She didn't know about half-boyfriends and awkwardness and partial breakups and all that human weirdness—partly, yes, because she is one of the most oblivious people I've ever met and really might not know human weirdness if it bit her, but also because she somehow knows how to connect with boys. Not like they're Neanderthals or wildebeests or aliens or pod-robots, but like they're normal human beings.  

Which obviously they are.  

Only, it is extremely hard to tell sometimes.  

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Real Live Boyfriends 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
tricksandstuff More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adored this book. It is by far my favorite of the series. I read it within a matter of three days but found myself trying to prolong the story. I fell in love with Noel because Lockhart does such a good job of making people like and dislike her characters, in my opinion. Although I think this was the end of the series, I desperately and selfishly hope there will be another because I began reading about Ruby Oliver's debacles in the 7th grade and still enjoy reading them as a senior in high school. I highly recommend this book but only if you've read the previous three and liked them as much as I did.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
This is the fourth and final book in the Ruby Oliver series.unfortunately. For those readers out there who've not had the pleasure of experiencing these fantastic stories, let us bring you up to date. Ruby Oliver, known as Roo, is a high school student with a definitive "voice." A bit on the sarcastic side (which is written extremely well by E. Lockhart), Ruby is one of those girls who just refuse to let life get the best of her. Her rather odd parents have slightly odd careers. Her father has his own website/magazine for horticulture enthusiasts. Usually a very calm individual, Dad is more interested in staring into his flower pots than noticing the things going on all around him. Roo's mother is a little on the frenzied, slightly crazy, side of life. Every month or so she comes up with a new thing - a new idea that she is sure will take the world by storm. Introduced in this story is a hysterical idea involving a pig's head and Mom's complete disregard for the fact that Roo is a vegetarian. Roo, her wacky parents, and a Great Dane live on a houseboat in Seattle. Roo is extremely excited because she has finally landed Noel as a boyfriend. He's "the one," although Roo has to deal with the backlash that came from the fact that Noel was the true love of her very best friend, Nora, AND Noel doesn't seem to be acting like a real-live boyfriend anymore. It's as if all of his kind-hearted, loving skills go right out the window when he travels to New York to visit his brother. The emails stop, the phone calls become non-existent, and Roo begins to wonder what the heck is happening. Now, even her own strange mother is upset because she doesn't think Dad is acting like her real live boyfriend either, and the arguments are getting insane. It seems that every week Roo visits her long-time therapist, her list of issues seem to grow longer and longer. Ruby Oliver's story began in freshman year and watching this young girl grow up and face the panic attacks and relationships that are common through the teen years are a true pleasure to witness. In this final installment the story becomes much more in-depth, as the author does a great job of showing the pitfalls and triumphs that come from growing up. This book shines the spotlight on real life and getting to that point where you're right on the edge of finding out who you are and who you want to become. Quill says: From the first novel, The Boyfriend List, to this unbelievable ending, the dialogue has been outstanding: quick, smart, hysterical, and completely and utterly real. From Ruby's nicotine-loving psychiatrist, to a "gay Chinese penguin tale" that will have readers laughing out loud, this is truly a terrific ending to a much beloved series.
laVermeer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Having read all four Ruby Oliver books, I found this one the weakest in the series. It's highly predictable and often quite uninteresting. Even Dr Z. seems to be bored by Ruby at this point. If you want closure on the series (and let's hope that this is in fact the final Ruby Oliver book), read it; but otherwise, this is one YA novel you can comfortably miss.
allawishus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love Ruby Oliver so much. I started listening to the Ruby Oliver books on audio, so this is actually the first in the series that I've read. I just listened to A Treasure Map of Boys and when I realized the final book wasn't on audio, I had to check it out from the library. Ruby's family goes a bit outer limits in this one, though no one seems too concerned and it's played for laughs more than anything. Still it made me feel sorry for her - no wonder she's a bit of a neurotic mess. I like the psychological evolution of Ruby through the series - at the end we see her being pretty upfront about what she wants from her relationships and she's got a more honest perspective on herself and the people around her. I like how Gideon is basically Ruby's fantasy boyfriend come-to-life and he's still disappointing in some ways. I like how she says she wants something real AND something uncomplicated and then finally realizes she can't really have both. One of the greatest things about this books is the realism in the friendships - Megan, the closest Ruby now has to a best friend, is portrayed as full of love and acceptance for Ruby and her foibles, while at the same time she's far from flawless in her expression of friendship. And yet Ruby realizes this about her, doesn't try to change her, doesn't end up having unrealistic expectations of her, etc. I like how Ruby still feels slightly muddled about Nora - someone who dropped her twice and DID have unrealistic expectations for her. And her realization that Nora didn't really love her the way she wanted to be loved as a friend was spot on. Lovely. Kim and Cricket are definitely stuck in their stock villainess roles, but they really do represent a realistic aspect of high school social life, and I like that Ruby still goes back to her early friendship with Kim and loves and accepts it for what it was. I'm ultimately not sure how I feel about Noel. He has a series-long history at not being able to deal with problems, of denial. I agree with Dr. Z that it would be hard to be in a relationship with a person like that. Also he seems to have a very warped view of Ruby; like he doesn't see her whole/real self. Anyway, I'm sure they'll break up once they go to college, so whatever. Anyway - I LOVE RUBY. She's such a fully developed character and I wanted them to make a Ruby Oliver television series so I could hang out and watch her every week. She's adorable.
kissmeimgone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My first time reading a Ruby Oliver book, and I found it hard to put down. Written with witty humor, I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the Georgia Nicolson series by Louise Rennison.
sithereandread on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
REAL LIFE BOYFRIENDS, by E. Lockhart, is the fourth book in the Ruby Oliver series. I hate to admit when I signed up for this tour I had no idea that it was the fourth book in a series. I usually don't like to read books out of series but I was very interested in this book from the synopsis so I decided to jump out of my comfort zone. Although I am sure there was more background that I was missing out on, I admit that I absolutely loved this book.Ruby's voice is absolutely charming and lovable. I love her sense of humor and her mature outlook on life. Although these characters were new to me, I fell in love with them almost immediately. I loved Ruby and Noel together and I was upset when they had relationship troubles after his trip to New York. The realization of what tore them apart was heart-shattering and I was anxious to see if at least their friendship would remain intact.Overall, this seems like a great series. I am very excited to get caught up on the other books. But in the end, I would definitely recommend this book.
jenniferthomp75 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fun, poignant way to end the Ruby Oliver series. Ruby is now a senior and although Jackson has left for college, she still finds a way to have boy issues.She's been dating Noel for a few months, but while he's been in NYC visiting his brother over vacation, he's changed. He doesn't call, doesn't answer his phone and hardly writes her back. Meanwhile, Gideon, her crush since she was little, has definitely shown more interest in her. What's a girl to do?Ruby's adventures are honest and funny. This book, in particular, seems to have Ruby dealing with more mature issues - fighting parents, multiple deaths and learning that life is always complicated.I sure am going to miss these books!
sdbookhound on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. I felt it was a satifying end to the series. I really don't like the cover - the character is 17 years old and the girl on the cover looks to be about 11 or 12.
bookgal123 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Know what drives me nuts? Story "conflicts" that could be dealt with or avoided completely with a five minute conversation. While there are storylines in this book that are complex and interesting, Ruby's biggest problem--the issue that takes up the bulk of the book--feels perfunctory and contrived. I still love Lockhart's books, and I will pick up the next one without a second thought, but I really wished she had taken a little more time with this last book and given Ruby's story the ending it deserved.Overall: A disappointing ending to an otherwise hugely enjoyable series.
smmorris on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Now a high school senior, Ruby Oliver has decided to make a documentary on love and popularity for her college admission packets. Ruby interviews her friends; the ones she hasn't yet lost. Noel, Ruby's boyfriend, has become a "pod-robot lobotomy patient." Her mother has gone away on a solo vacation, her grandmother has died and her father is stuck in the grieving process. Ruby's one constant is her sense of humor, which she needs when Noel goes to New York to visit his brother and is no longer a real live boyfriend.This is a hilarious volume in the ongoing saga of Ruby Oliver. Insightful yet driven to panic attacks, Ruby successfully deals with family and friends. She learns more about life in general and boyfriends specifically. Her definition of a real live boyfriend is spot-on but difficult to find. This is a fast read that is thoroughly enjoyable. Once you read page one you'll continue to turn those pages until there are no more - then wish there were another chapter or two.
chlokie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well, the brilliant E. Lockhart strikes again! Have you guys read the first three books in the series? Well, if not, YOU NEED TOO! No, honestly, these books are witty and hilarious, not to mention full of teen angst and all around Ruby O goodness!In this last book, Ruby is mainly trying to find who she is. I loved some of the messages the book sent out in Roo's video clips about popularity, love, and friendship. They are really honest and sweet. I also love just how much ANGST is in this book! To prove just how many problems Roo has, I got an excerpt from the book to show you:Doctor Z nodded. Then she asked: "What else do you think is tainting your brain?""Oh," I said. "Just my dad's depression, missing my dead grandma, our carnivorous household, Meghan always off with Finn, Norah always off with Kim and Cricket, Hutch in Paris, total isolation, mental illness, people who are cruel to animals, the question of whether to grow out my bangs, college applications, guilt over Noel, guilt over Gideon, major heartbreak and self loathing. Nothing out of the ordinary"-Pg. 130 Real Live BoyfriendsAnd Roo is so confused sometimes - she wants to do the right thing but she doesn't know how. I think we all feel like this sometimes, not know how to make things right. At first I adored Gideon's character, but then after a while I got bored of him, and I missed Noel. However for anyone who has read the first book, I really miss all the different guys in that one. Although in this one we got to see Hutch, Finn, Gideon and Noel, I missed her awkward relations with Jackson, her hilarious times with Angelo, and her visions of Tommy. Over all, I think this book was a really great ending to a fantastic series. Although it is not my favourite book out of the four, it is definitely sweet and funny and totally brilliant - a work of teen art ;)
taleofnight on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ruby now has a real live boyfriend, Noel, and she is in love. That is until Noel stops calling her and answering her emails while he's on a trip to New York to visit his brother. When Noel gets back from New York, he acts like nothing is different, and tries to go on without explaining anything to Ruby. And that drives Ruby insane. Why wasn't he answering any of her phone calls? Why wasn't he emailing her back? Why was he ignoring her? And he has the audacity to act like nothing has happened? On top of that, Ruby's dad is depressed and not bathing, and Ruby's mom is experimenting with meat in the kitchen every night when she knows Ruby is a vegetarian.This is the fourth and last of the Ruby Oliver books. All though it wasn't my favorite, it still had the Ruby Oliver humor to it that makes reading it just as enjoyable as the rest. When I first started reading, I really wished I read the first three over again to refresh my memory, but I didn't, so I was a little out of it in the beginning. Which may or may not have had an effect on how I felt about the book overall.I really got annoyed by Ruby's mom. It seemed like Ruby and her mom switched places at times and her mom was the teen and Ruby was the mom. Ruby's dad is depressed after his mom (Rudy's Grandma) passed away and cries in his dinner and doesn't move away from the couch for days. The story involves a lot of sad characters (OK, maybe only 3 characters, but oh well). That's just what I remember the most. It seemed like the book had a sad atmosphere for the majority of the story. But then again, that's how life is, right? And the whole reason I love this series is because it's realistic enough that anyone can relate.Real Live Boyfriends was a great ending to the Ruby Oliver series and I will be happy to reread the series as a whole next time.
ericajsc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Oh Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby. I love Ruby Oliver. With her self-loathing, second-guessing, obsessively overthinking, she could be me or almost any girl I knew in high school. Take, for instance, Ruby¿s reaction at receiving poems from Noel while he is out of town.1.He loves me! Poemy poem goodness! Romance!2.No. If he loved you, he¿d call you back.3.Maybe his phone broke.4.Then he¿d e-mail you that his phone broke.5.But a poem! Two poems. Romantic poems!6.Yeah, but what¿s stopping him from writing you back about Hutch¿s going-away party? He needs to write back about that. A real live boyfriend would write back about that.7.Yeah. That¿s true¿(This continues through 16 points, but I think you get the idea.)Can I tell you how many times I went through conversations like this (with myself; yes, I¿m crazy just like Ruby) in high school? No, actually, I can¿t, because there are far too many instances to count. It happened, I don¿t know, like every. Single. Day. Probably more than once.So this book is like the ¿after the happy ending¿ book. As Ruby points out early in the book, you¿re never at the end until you die. And everyone knows that happily ever after isn¿t necessarily happy all the time. This story deals with what happens when it¿s not happy, when things fall apart, when the silence is unbearable. I know, it totally sounds depressing, but it¿s Ruby Oliver, so it¿s not.All the characters in this book (in this series, in fact) are great, from Ruby¿s parents and Dr. Z to Hutch and Meghan and their other classmates. And even though Kim and Cricket are still around and antagonistic, they¿ve finally faded to the background of Ruby¿s world.And the ending of this book is perfect. Not perfect like everything is fantastic and Ruby will never have another problem again because she has conquered them all and is now a perfect human being. It¿s perfect in the sense that flaws are acknowledged and the fact that they aren¿t going away is addressed. In short: it¿s real. And that is absolutely wonderful!
BoundWithWords More than 1 year ago
This book you guys, Lockhart was so, so mean with my heart - this is definitely the more "serious" one of the series (I mean, if you would call one of the Ruby Oliver books serious), Ruby is finally on the senior year and things get bad right from the start - this time around not just friends fights but also with hecr family. I don't want to tell much about it's plot, just my feels and I have to tells that at the end I did teared up a little bit because of feels, my poor baby Noel. BUT I did felt like a lot of the book (the Gideon's parts) where such a filler, that scenes were there just because it needed to have some intrigue before the happy couple could work on their issues and march out on the sunset. Despite that I loved every second of this (THERE ISN'T JACKSON ON THIS ONE FINALLY!!) and it's with a sad heart that I say goodbye to Ruby and all her craziness - unless Lockhart decides to write about Ruby on college, which a totally support! I recommend this series to every contemporary lover but specially the ones that love books like Georgia Nicholson, or The Princess Diaries or even Geek Girl. Or if you have a friend/relative that is a teenager I super recommend this series as a gift - they will probably enjoy it!
BoundlessBookaholic More than 1 year ago
This was such a great ending to the series. I absolutely adored this book. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars. Ruby has had a rough time of it throughout the series, but she still manages to keep her chin up and is finally a senior at Tate Prep. This book takes us through some of her newest losses and how she survives them. The last scene of this novel definitely makes the entire series worth reading, even though each book is great. I loved the last scene. I squealed aloud (thankfully I was at home, alone). I felt like Ruby’s friend throughout the series, rooting for her to find true love…or at least true friendship. I’ll definitely miss this hilarious, interesting character.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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I love noel hes the best character next to ruby i wish there were more books in the series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow i just finished the book. Its a great ending to the series. I have fallin in and out and back in love with the charactures as they get older. Noel Meghan Kim Nora Jackson and Dr.Z.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Ruby Oliver has been in therapy. She has gone through Reginald several times. Her ex-boyfriend has cheated on her and turned into a pod-robot. Her best friends weren't such good friends. She has conquered bake sales, November Week and befriended a pygmy goat named Robespierre. Some of it was hard, some of it was fun. All of it led Ruby to a new group of strange but dependable friends and, maybe more surprisingly, to a new boyfriend. Noel is the perfect boyfriend. He's Ruby's real, live boyfriend and everything is perfect. At least it is for a while. But then everything gets complicated again. Noel shuts down and shuts Ruby out. Her parents are fighting. Hutch has gone to Paris to study and do whatever retro-metal fans do in France. Megan is busy with her real live boyfriend. Things with Nora are still kind of a mess. Then Gideon shows up. Shirtless. It's all a mess but with little patience and a lot of mishaps Ruby might be able to survive these recent debacles, her panic attacks, and even manage to make a few lists about the whole thing in Real Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, plural. If my life weren't complicated, I wouldn't be Ruby Oliver (2010) by E. Lockhart. Real Live Boyfriends is the fourth book in the Ruby Oliver Quartet. Ruby's earlier adventures are chronicled begining in The Boyfriend List and followed by The Boy Book and The Treasure Map of Boys. I love reading about Ruby's misadventures and all of her friends. Almost everything about this conclusion was spot on. My only real complaint: I wished Hutch was around more. Because he was my favorite character. Real Live Boyfriends was the right conclusion to a really fun, sincere series. Reading through the books Ruby felt like a personal friend and it's hard to believe her adventures are over so quickly (I only started reading the series a couple months ago). The book picks up during the summer before Ruby's senior year and conclude during at the end of the first semester. Lockhart provides closure for Ruby's panic attacks, her friends, her parents and even Robespierre the pygmy goat. Questions are answered about Kim, Nora, Cricket and Gideon. It's sad to see the end of the series but Roo fans will find a satisfying if bittersweet conclusion. Loose ends from the series are tied up while still leaving Ruby looking at a future that can be whatever she wants it to be. And knowing Ruby, you can bet it will be a bright, zany future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LY1 More than 1 year ago
Real Live Boyfriends is about Ruby Oliver and her boyfriend, Noel. The theme of the book is romance. The first person in this book is Ruby Oliver. The second person is Noel. Ruby Oliver is a senior in high school and she is in love, but problems start happening when Noel's family leaves to New York City for the summer. Noel has been going through rough times and has not been sending e-mails, love poems, texts, or calls from Ruby. Ruby is the type of girl who wants to listen and understand peoples' feelings. She often gets panic attacks when she is nervous or really scared. She thinks that she is losing Noel because he has not been talking to her or does not seem to care much about her. Noel is the type of guy that does not want to talk about his private life or his feelings. They break up and they both start dating other people. When Ruby's friend, Gideon, starts falling in love with Ruby after they had their first date, she feels conflicted because she still has feelings for Noel. Ruby does not feel that confident about herself because not only does she have problems with her boyfriend but also with her family. She used to argue with her mom, and her dad is depressed because his mother passed away. The character conflicts in the book reflect the conflicts in real life. It shows romantic relationships can be complicated and made more difficult by other problems in the characters' lives. This book is similar to the Twilight series because they are both romance books that show how the characters deal with conflicts. I really like this book because it talks about boyfriend and girlfriend relationships and how the characters deal with them. The book is for young teenagers and has a lot of drama, emotions, and romance. In fact, this is the best romance book that I ever read. The author's writing style is very easy to read and it made me want to read more of it. E.Lockhart has other Ruby Oliver books that I want to read next. Her other books are The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, and The Treasure Map of Boys. All of Ruby Oliver books seem very interesting and I want to read all of them and continue reading romance books. I hope E.Lockhart will continue writing more Ruby Oliver books.