Mini Book Reviews: Ruby Oliver Novels by E. Lockhart

Just as a preface before we get to the reviews, I read all four books in four days. I couldn’t put them down! But because they’re so short, I don’t think I can do a normal sized review for each. Hence why I am doing mini reviews for all four novels in this post.

 

The Boyfriend List

Title: The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver
Author:
 E. Lockhart
Series:
 Ruby Oliver #1
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
 March 22, 2005
Pages:
 229
Source:
 Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads): 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.

 

review6

 

I’d never read the Ruby Oliver novels before, and I was definitely missing out. The first book starts out the series with a bang. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars. I think Ruby is a great character, even if she is kind of neurotic. I love all the lists found throughout the novels. I love making lists, and this made me bond with Ruby even more. I can’t even imagine having all that stuff happening to me all at once. It’s no wonder she’s having panic attacks and needs to see a shrink. Doctor Z was a great secondary character. I loved learning about how Ruby was involved with the various boys on her list. The boy stories were pretty hilarious and interesting. I read this book in one sitting and I knew I had to read the rest of the novels right away.

5 stars

 

The Boy Book

Title: The Boy Book: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them
Author:
 E. Lockhart
Series:
 Ruby Oliver #2
Publisher: Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
 September 26, 2006
Pages:
 208
Source:
 Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads): Here is how things stand at the beginning of newly-licensed driver Ruby Oliver’s junior year at Tate Prep:

 

Kim: Not speaking. Far away in Tokyo.

 

Cricket: Not speaking.
Nora: Speaking–sort of. Chatted a couple times this summer when they bumped into each other outside of school–once shopping in the U District, and once in the Elliot Bay Bookstore. But she hadn’t called Ruby, or anything.
Noel: Didn’t care what anyone thinks.
Meghan: Didn’t have any other friends.
Dr. Z: Speaking.
And Jackson. The big one. Not speaking.

 

But, by Winter Break, a new job, an unlikely but satisfying friend combo, additional entries to The Boy Book and many difficult decisions help Ruby to see that there is, indeed, life outside the Tate Universe.

 

review6

 

This was my least favorite of all the Ruby Oliver books, but it was still great nevertheless. I ended up giving The Boy Book 4 out of 5 stars. So Ruby’s old friends pretty much suck, which you learned about in the first book. In this book, they continue to suck. But Nora starts to suck a little less. Once again the series continues to be hilarious and engaging. I loved reading about Ruby’s encounters with the opposite sex, trying to figure out what she’s going to do/who she might date next. As she continues to go to therapy, Ruby keeps picking up on “therapy talk” and realizing what kind of things her shrink would say as the series progresses. This book just wasn’t as good as the other three, but I still enjoyed it.

4 stars

 

The Treasure Map of Boys

Title: The Treasure Map of Boys: Noel, Jackson, Finn, Hutch, Gideon—and me, Ruby Oliver
Author:
 E. Lockhart
Series:
 Ruby Oliver #3
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication date:
 July 28, 2009
Pages:
 248
Source:
 Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads): From E. Lockhart, author of the highly acclaimed, New York Times bestseller We Were Liars, which John Green called “utterly unforgettable,” comes The Treasure Map of Boys, the third book in the uproarious and heartwarming Ruby Oliver novels.

 

Ruby is back at Tate Prep, and it’s her thirty-seventh week in the state of Noboyfriend. Her panic attacks are bad, her love life is even worse, and what’s more:

 

Noel is writing her notes, Jackson is giving her frogs, Gideon is helping her cook, and Finn is making her brownies. Rumors are flying, and Ruby’s already-sucky reputation is heading downhill.

 

Not only that, she’s also: running a bake sale, learning the secrets of heavymetal therapy, encountering some seriously smelly feet, defending the rights of pygmy goats, and bodyguarding Noel from unwanted advances.

 

In this companion novel to The Boyfriend List and The Boy Book, Ruby struggles to secure some sort of mental health, to understand what constitutes a real friendship, and to find true love—if such a thing exists.

 

review6

 

This book was another hilarious addition to the Ruby Oliver series. I ended up giving this book 5 out of 5 stars. Ruby has been in her state of “noboyfriend” for quite some time, and I think it’s helped her grow as a person and learn more about what she deserves for a boyfriend. And of course because she’s Ruby Oliver, there’s no short supply of boys around. If I had her kind of game in high school, things would have been very different. Ruby’s old friends still suck, except Nora, so she’s befriending new people (or at least trying to). Of course, because it’s high school, there’s drama afoot. Ruby’s trying to figure out what she wants and what she’s willing to risk in order to get it.

5 stars

 

Real Live Boyfriends

Title: Real Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, Plural. If My Life Weren’t Complicated, I Wouldn’t Be Ruby Oliver
Author:
 E. Lockhart
Series:
 Ruby Oliver #4
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
 December 28, 2010
Pages:
 225
Source:
 Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads): From E. Lockhart, author of the highly acclaimed, New York Times bestseller We Were Liars, which John Green called “utterly unforgettable,” comes Real Live Boyfriends, the fourth book in the uproarious and heartwarming Ruby Oliver novels that finds Ruby Oliver as neurotic and hyperverbal as ever as she interviews her friends for a documentary on love and popularity and while doing so turns up some uncomfortable truths.

 

She’s lost most of her friends. She’s lost her true love more than once. She’s lost her grandmother, her job, her reputation, and possibly her mind. But she’s never lost her sense of humor. The Ruby Oliver books are the record of her survival.

 

review6

 

This was such a great ending to the series. I absolutely adored this book. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars. Ruby has had a rough time of it throughout the series, but she still manages to keep her chin up and is finally a senior at Tate Prep. This book takes us through some of her newest losses and how she survives them. The last scene of this novel definitely makes the entire series worth reading, even though each book is great. I loved the last scene. I squealed aloud (thankfully I was at home, alone). I felt like Ruby’s friend throughout the series, rooting for her to find true love…or at least true friendship. I’ll definitely miss this hilarious, interesting character.

5 stars

 

 

Final note: Such a great contemporary YA series. Each of the books is pretty short, so it’s a series you can read quickly. I bought all the books after I read them, because I’ll definitely want to reread them in the future. Check this series out if you haven’t already!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge