The Boy Book because E. Lockhart has a finite number of novels and I am coming to the end of them. Now that I've finished it, though, I just want to dig into the third book in the Ruby Oliver series.
Ruby Oliver is a girl after my own heart. In her own words, “I like to swim,” I said. “And read. And watch movies. But can you imagine a catalog description for that? ‘Exploring the Shallow Life: Students will enjoy a double feature of Love Actually and Bridget Jones’s Diary, wallowing in the hotness of Hugh Grant and Colin Firth, followed by thrift-store shopping, intensive reading of mystery novels, and a dip in the pool. Evenings will be spent consuming Popsicles and experimenting with cosmetics.’" This is almost the exact conversation I had with my mother when she asked what I wanted to do while visiting for Easter. I'm 31 and choose not to see myself as stunted, but rather that the character of Ruby is realistic and mature.
The Boy Book joins Ruby at the start of her junior year at Tate Academy. She's still a leper (but it's getting better), she still crushes on her ex-boyfriend (but it's getting better), and she's still trying to figure out who she really is (...). The plot is amazing and bittersweet, but any reader of E. Lockhart knows that's guaranteed. Ruby's growth is gradual, has its setbacks, and wrapped up in a satisfying final chapter.
What I love most about this book is Ruby's positive relationship with sexuality. Lockhart honestly explores what it feels like to have sexual feelings and be able to act on them. I really appreciated the scenes where Ruby fumbles through getting groped; I would have loved to read something so frank when I was in late middle school. When Ruby tries to figure out if she actually likes a boy, or if she just likes the way it feels to kiss him, I find it humorous and spot-on. Sister, let me know when you figure that one out!
E. Lockhart and Ruby Oliver are simply awesome.