Title: The Boyfriend list
Author: E. Lockhart
published by: Ember
Genre: Young Adult
Where to find it: Amazon
Synopsis: Ruby Oliver is 15 and has a shrink. She knows it’s unusual, but give her a break—she’s had a rough 10 days. In the past 10 days she:
lost her boyfriend (#13 on the list),
lost her best friend (Kim),
lost all her other friends (Nora, Cricket),
did something suspicious with a boy (#10),
did something advanced with a boy (#15),
had an argument with a boy (#14),
drank her first beer (someone handed it to her),
got caught by her mom (ag!),
had a panic attack (scary),
lost a lacrosse game (she’s the goalie),
failed a math test (she’ll make it up),
hurt Meghan’s feelings (even though they aren’t really friends),
became a social outcast (no one to sit with at lunch)
and had graffiti written about her in the girls’ bathroom (who knows what was in the boys’!?!).
But don’t worry—Ruby lives to tell the tale. And make more lists.
The book I want to talk about in this second post is “The Boyfriend list* *15 guys, 11shrink appointments, 4 ceramic frogs – and me, Ruby Oliver”. A book a bit old, it was first released in 2005 but it deserves to be read at least once, especially by teenagers.
The book tells the story of Ruby, a fifteen years old, that end up at the therapist (or a shrink as she calls her) because of her panic attacks. During the appointment with the therapist, we discover why she is so anxious and, in the end of the book, we discover that, if we would be in her shoes, we would probably end up at the same therapist.
This is a book that sincerely narrates how you can feel unfitting and not able to cope with life when you are a teenager. The relationship with your parents is not as friendly as movies describe it, you are often alone trying to have an adult perspective of what is happening to you. When you are fifteen every problem seems huge and insuperable and often you don’t realize that you already have the capacity to deal with those problems.
Ruby finds herself, out of the blue, without friends, boyfriend and being the outcast of the school. Reading this book from an adult perspective, I would want to shout out to Ruby that she is not the wrong one, that her friends are jerks. I would suggest her to have a change of scenery, find a different company, but then I realized that I would have done the same thing if I were in her shoes. Teenagers tend to live like a pack, the strongest achieves to surround himself of the faithful and the weak ones (the ones that clearly can’t survive without a pack), the ones considered a threat are left behind, rejected. Exactly like in a pack, it’s difficult to find another one accepting you, so you slowly become an outcast, trying to survive alone until you grow up realizing how stupid you were worrying about people that surrounded you in high school. Anyway, when you are fifteen, the only thing that you want is to be accepted.
“The boyfriend list” is a book to read at least one time during your life. If I had a book like that when I was fifteen, I would certainly felt relieved to know that I was not the only one to feel like Ruby. I gave it 4 on 5 on Goodreads because sometimes I found irritating to read the footnotes that the author often use, but it’s only a matter of personal taste, I prefer a more linear reading.
4 on 5
Reviewed by Erika