I bought this for my 16 year old daughter. She has just met her first boyfriend and is very insecure about herself and I wanted to find a book that would show her that boys don't necessarily want a girl that is tall, skinny and confident! The book showed the boys point of view which is why I bought it and I learned a thing or two myself! I would have liked maybe a few more comments from the boys but all in all a helpful well written book that is in a style a teenager will enjoy. Small snippets of information rather than dialogue overload.
Just like the title says, BOYOLOGY is a "crash course," although it's more of a crash course in dating, rather than boys in general. For instance, if you want to know what a "safety" is in football so you can have a conversation with your brother on a Sunday afternoon, then this book is not what you're looking for. However, if you want to figure out whether your brother's friend is flirting with you while you're all watching Sunday afternoon football, then this is the book for you.
Before we go any further, I must offer a clarification: Where I'm from, teenage males are not referred to as "boys." They are "guys." For me, the word "boy" conjures up images of dimpled 5-year-olds with gaps where their front teeth should be. The only people around here who call teenagers "boys" are school principals. This is doubtless just a regional difference, so if you're from Chicago like I am, just mentally substitute the word "guy" for "boy" when you're reading BOYOLOGY (i.e. GUYOLOGY). Please don't let that little objection turn you off from this book, because it has a lot of good advice to offer about boys or guys or whatever you call them.
BOYOLOGY contains a great deal of useful information for teenage girls who are trying to find their way around the confusing world of crushes and dating. While much of the advice might be things you have heard before in one form or another, it's nice to have it reinforced by a neutral third-party (i.e. someone who's not your mom or your minister). For instance, the book tells girls to be themselves and establish their physical boundaries before things get hot and heavy. There are also plenty of things that you probably haven't heard before, including fun date ideas for couples or groups, step-by-step instructions on how to kiss, and a quiz to see if you're a good date or not.
The book is optimistic, by which I mean that it spends relatively little time on the "What if he's not into you?" scenarios, and many more pages on successful flirting, dating, and becoming a couple. The author balances her approach by offering not only the fun side of dating, but also worthwhile safety information. She points out the importance of letting your parents know if you're "seeing" someone online, as well as how to avoid and, if necessary, deal with sexual assault. I recommend her tip on taking a minute to program a taxi service phone number into your cell phone so you can always get home safely. The book even has a chapter at the end about breaking up. You might never need tips on maintaining your dignity when running into the ex and his new girlfriend, but when you do need them, they're worth their weight in gold.
The book doesn't just offer the author's perspective. It has words of wisdom from celebrities, like Daniel Radcliffe and Zac Efron, and it provides advice from actual teenagers (lots of them boys/guys) who have "been there, done that." Even the author's husband (who used to be a boy/guy) chimes in from time to time.
About the only problem I ran across in BOYOLOGY is the same problem that other books like this can't really avoid. Books that rely on current culture become outdated quickly. There is so much time between when a book is written and when it's finally released, that there's no way for authors to be up-to-date on fads and popular expressions. For instance, this book discusses texting, but there's no mention of Twitter. It mentions MySpace, but not Facebook. In fact, this review itself will be outdated in a few months because Twitter and Facebook will probably have been replaced by something new. Other than that minor complaint, this is an interesting and useful book for teenage girls. The advice is pretty timeless and the celebrity quotes are an interesting addition.
So my advice is: Pick up a copy, have fun, and good luck out there!