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on 24 January 2014
I have never felt so relieved to finish a series. I LOVED the series but I don't think I could have take another book of Ruby's neuroticness.

Finishing this series makes me feel all grown up. With the end of Ruby's journey and the end of my own approaching, I cannot help but get a little nostalgic.

Ruby was an incredible character and one I will miss but one I am glad got a happy ending. She is a character that most teenage girls can relate to. We all have doubts, we can all be slightly crazy/neurotic, but most of us are genuinely nice if you get to know us. The problems she deals with are real so it's really easy to just relate to her and it helps that she has a great sense of humor so you always end up laughing your ass off.

What I personally love about this series was how it did not romanticize teenage years, it portrayed teenagers realistically. With Rabbit Fever as Ruby so eloquently puts it. They are still growing into their skin, they won't suddenly become mature overnight. It's a long journey to becoming an adult, in fact it's more like a roller coaster ride. There are a lot of ups and downs. Lots of mistakes made.

The one thing that I learnt from this series was how I seriously need to see a shrink.

I am happy that after such a long time I can actually say that a series I loved had a good ending, an ending I approved of, an ending that I wouldn't change, an ending that made me happy. I can bid adieu to this series with a smile on my face and go about seeking my own happy ending (realistically, I'll be making last minute touches on my college applications and getting paranoid about not getting accepted).
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on 4 January 2012
Real Live Boyfriends is just as brilliant as the other novels in the series, but it's also different. It's a pretty sad book. Sure, the others in the series weren't exactly bright and breezy, but this is sad in a different way. There is still Ruby's amusing outlook and witty voice, her lists and her funky words, but sad and sometimes scary things happen, and it's different. Maybe slightly better.

Why? Well, Ruby gets with Noel at last. (At last!). But then he starts being all weird for no apparent reason, and things end up not so great. And then Ruby has another boyfriend. That's not a spoiler, see the title; Real Life Boyfriends - plural. Follow this by complications, warped views of things and confusion, and well, you have Ruby Oliver's life as we expect it. But more. Better. I can't ellaborate, you'll just have to read it.

And now no more Ruby! No more Doctor Z, no more Noel, no more nutty parents, no more Meghan or Nora or anyone else. Despite the fact that these books are fairly short, so in the great scheme of things, Ruby hasn't been in my life long, there was something about her voice, her therapy sessions with Doctor Z, her story that I fell in love with, that touched me. Despite the deceptive light, comedic seeming surface, so many serious things happen in these books, and with the therapy element, they actually made me, as well as Ruby, look at things differently. And I'm devastated they're finished! This is a seriously fantastic series, and one that will be with me for a long time. I cannot recommend this series enough!
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Ruby is back with a whole new set of problems. I'll never get tired of E. Lockhart's Ruby Oliver. She is a senior now and seems to have this boyfriend thing under control. Or does she?

Ruby is pretty sure Noel is "the one." He treats her just the way she thinks a real boyfriend should. Why is she worried then? Well, that's how Ruby is. She still sees a therapist on a regular basis, although she isn't completely convinced that it's working. Things become even more confusing when dreamy Gideon begins paying attention to her. It's complicated by the fact that Noel is visiting his brother in New York, and not communicating as much as a real boyfriend should. Should she be satisfied with a few really nifty poems he has sent, or should she be expecting more?

At the same time Ruby is dealing with Noel and Gideon issues, her grandmother dies. She's sad and knows she will miss her father's mother, but her father is taking the death of his mother a bit too far. He sleeps on the couch, rarely changes his clothes, and stumbles around eating nothing but orange snack items. She is left to eat the meals her mother fixes that suddenly include every meat product known to man. Why can't her mother acknowledge the fact that Ruby is a vegetarian?

Home life continues to deteriorate when her mother decides she has had enough and heads off to some women's retreat with a friend. Ruby is left behind to muddle along with her depressed father. She must try to think about college preparations, hang on to her remaining friends, and figure out why Noel has changed since his return from New York.

E. Lockhart has a unique talent for capturing the angst of being a teenager while at the same time including laugh-out-loud humor that allows anxiety-ridden teens to find the humor in their own situations. I certainly hope readers will be able to follow Ruby a bit further as she begins college and continues her adventures with family, friends, and boyfriends.

Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"
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