From E. Lockhart, author of the highly acclaimed, New York Times bestseller We Were Liars, which John Green called "utterly unforgettable," comes The Boyfriend List, the first book in the uproarious and heartwarming Ruby Oliver novels.
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.
Ruby Oliver's parents send her to a shrink after the 15-year-old begins experiencing panic attacks. Doctor Z asks her to list boys she "ever had the slightest little any-kind-of-anything with" and, as Ruby winds her way through the list, she slowly reveals what has brought her to therapy. Her basic crisis is this: after six months of dating, her boyfriend, Jackson, breaks up with her, only to go out with her best friend, Kim, the following week. When Kim confesses ("It's not like we could even help it. It's like fate"), Ruby has her first attack. Matters only intensify when Ruby winds up going to the spring formal with Jackson anyway, and kisses him (she claims "he kissed me back"). Kim exacts sharp revenge and Ruby's other friends stop talking to her; the heroine feels like she has become a "leper." The copious footnotes occasionally detract from the narration, but readers will be absorbed in Ruby's honest story. Lockhart (pseudonymous for Jenkins, author of That New Animal, reviewed above) convincingly captures the intentional and unintentional cruelty that comes with dating; even Ruby inflicts pain (Shiv, a popular Indian-American boy she once kissed, is hurt after he thinks she made fun of him: "I heard you... something about I smelled like nutmeg? Like you were disgusted by kissing an Indian or something"). Spot-on dialogue and details make this a painfully recognizable and addictive read. Ages 12-up.