I picked up The Boy Book right after finishing the first book in the Ruby Oliver series, The Boyfriend List, expecting it to be just as funny, just as poignant, and just as amazing. I got all three!
This book starts pretty much where The Boyfriend List left off. The summer is now over, Ruby is starting her junior year. She's still seeing her shrink, Doctor Z, she's still a social pariah - unless you count carpooling with Meghan friendship, and she's still broken hearted over Jackson - who is still going out with Kim.
But there are further complications; stirrings of interest in two other guys on her Boyfriend List. Noel, the guy from school she has a laugh with in Paint Elective, who suppoted her during the whole "Spring Fling debacle", as she calls it, and Angelo, the son of her mum's best friend, who turned up to her Spring Fling after party with a corsage who she kind of had a moment with. I have to say, I really enjoyed watching Ruby with these guys and questioning her feelings - or if there were any feelings - because she is still hung up on Jackson. When something happens between her and Angelo, is it just a thing, or is it a thing thing? Is she having moments with Noel, or are they just friends? Does she want to have moments with Noel or a thing thing with Angelo, anyway? And why on earth is Jackson sending her notes when he's seeing Kim? It's all so complicated and brilliant reading! I was rooting for Noel the whole way through, he's so quirky and cool and over all the teenagery crap. I liked him!But what happens in the end? You'll just have to read to see!
The only trouble is, as social pariah, Ruby has very few people, bar her therapist, to share and have girly chats with. Just Meghan. Meghan wouldn't normally be her first choice, because she found her unintentional flirty behaviour, PDAs with her boyfriend last year, and general gorgeousness highly annoying, but she has no-one else. What's great to see is te friendship that grows between the two girls as they get closer, and Ruby realises Meghan isn't the shallow, social airhead she thought she was. With her being a pariah, and with the therapy she's getting, Ruby is starting to look at people in a different light, and those she didn't think to highly of before, she's re-evaluating. Even those she thought hightly of - her ex-friends - are being re-evaluated.
It's also great to see therapy help Ruby take action to solve her problems, rather than wallowing. IT helps her rebuild her friendship with Nora, and over time, helps her take a look at herself and help herself. It's just great to see her a much stronger, focussed young woman.
This may sound like I've told you the whole story, but I haven't. Despite being only 193 pages long, quite a bit happens, with a fair few humourous incidents. a really fantastic book, and I can't wait to read The Treasure Map of Boys, the third in the series. Highly recommended!