Saturday, May 3, 2008
the boyfriend list- e. lockhart
So picture this:
Me. Sitting on the floor at Books-a-Million (YA section, more sprawled across the floor than actually sitting upright)... laughing hysterically.
This is not, "oh, that's so funny," laughter. This was crazy laughter. Doubled over laughter. Way past reasonable limits on laugh amount allotted for girl sitting all alone anywhere, much less for a girl sitting all alone on the floor of a bookstore. Way past.
This is me, reading the first 70 pages of The Boyfriend List, by e. lockhart. (I can't bring myself to spell her name with capital letters. It reminds me of e. e. cummings.) Anyway, that is another topic for another time. This is The Boyfriend List.
Ruby Oliver is having a bad week, which is turning into a bad month, which could very well lead to a bad year, or, most likely, a bad life. In the last ten days, Roo has: lost all of her friends, lost her boyfriend, lost a lacrosse game, experienced a massive amount of public humiliation relating to a list, become a leper, and had many interactions with many boys.
It is a combination of these events that leads to a panic attack, which leads to a parental attack, which leads to the office of a psychiatrist named Dr. Z. After listening to Ruby's rantings, which include a lot of the word 'just' and, of course, a lot of boys, Dr. Z asks Ruby to write the Boyfriend list.
What follows is a charming, funny, sweet, wonderful novel, as well as several lists(which, you know, are a total weakness of mine.) The chapters of this book are divided into each of the 15 boys on the list. But these are not, you must understand, all boyfriends. This is a list of every boy who has ever entered Ruby Oliver's mind as a maybe-kinda-possible romantic interest. These boys include Adam, who she used to play mermaid with; Micheal, who was the first kiss that she NEVER wanted to have; Gideon, her friend's older brother; Tommy, Ruby and Kim's imagined version of Prince Charming; and Jackson Clarke. Jackson who has been her boyfriend for six wonderful months, until he broke up with her, only to move on to her best friend two days later.
This book had so many incredible aspects that I couldn't possibly list all of them, but here is it's very best attribute, at least in my humble opinion: our heroine, Ruby Oliver. I realize that every single back-of-the-book says that the heroine is so true-to-life and so relateable, but that is usually not the case. In Ruby Oliver, however, e. lockhart has created the most life-like, relatable, and likeable heroine that I've seen in a long time and a lot of books. Why? Because Ruby is intelligent but still makes idiotic mistakes- and the same idiotic mistakes that every teenage girl is making today. (Tossing an un-labeled list of boys into a school trashcan when everyone is out to get her anyway?). She is spunky but she still allows the people she cares about to walk all over her, if it will keep them by her side. She has hopeless crushes and embarrasses herself and overthinks to no end. She doesn't want to give up on the people she loves, even if they've let her down, even if they don't deserve her loyalty. I identified with Ruby in a way that made me wonder if perhaps e. lockhart had written her especially with me in mind.
The other characters in the book are excellent as well. I immensly enjoyed Ruby's dynamic with her close friends; I loved nearly every boy to grace Ruby's list. (Not Jackson, though.)
This book is the most accurate description of a teenage girl's mind out there today. I would reccomend it to anyone who has a teenage girl's mind, who has ever had a teenage girl's mind, or whoever has ever wondered what exactly goes on in a teenage girl's mind. It's a made-of-awesome book with delicious characters and excellent writing and debacles.(and lists.) (and FOOTNOTES!) I can't wait to read the next two books, as well as e. lockhart's others!
Five cups of coffee, straight from the coffee capital of the United States! (Seattle, which is where the book is set.)
Perusing her own mental 'boyfriend' list,
wanting some coffee from seattle,
appreciating her much-more loyal friends,
still waiting for Tommy Hazzard(even though Gideon was my favorite),