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The Boyfriend List

The Boyfriend List
By E. Lockhart
Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2009
Audience: Older teens (Some younger teens could handle it. I wouldn't have had a problem with it.)

From 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.

I liked this book a lot. (I was in no way biased by the nod to the world's only Corn Palace, which is not far from me. Honestly, it's not that impressive.) I think it was the best book I’ve read about a high school experience in a long time. Who hasn’t lost a friend in their life? I also liked how everything didn’t end perfectly. When stuff like that happens in real life, sometimes “friends” don’t come back.  The time frame in which everything happened felt very realistic, also. I really felt that Ruby learned something by the end.

Also, her parents were crazy! I got anxious listening to them. Not helpful. I really liked the connection Dr. Z made between Ruby and her mom. I never would have noticed it. My favorite thing about the book was that they figured out the source of her panic attacks so they would go away. The only problem that I had with with the book was the story's format. It started out with an explanation about why the boy made it on to her list, then it went to about a week before, then the present. It was confusing at first, but I got the hang of it fairly quickly.

I’ve already started the sequel, The Boy Book. I’m looking forward to seeing how things go for Ruby. I hope they don’t get to be repetitive. From what I have read so far, it doesn’t sound like Ruby has realized that Jackson is a jerk yet. I hope the girls get together and decide that he is the problem. Things will never be the same again between them, but hopefully they can find some peace.