The Boy Book: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them (Ruby Oliver Quartet) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-06-09 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 29 user ratings

"Review originally posted here.

This book was the beginning of my love story for this series, while I did liked the first book I wasn't completely head over heels for it, but on this one Ruby won me over. In this book she is starting over, with her old friends and Jackson still totally ignoring her she has to start a new group of friend and a new life - I totally loved Noel, Meghan and Nora (Nora hangs out with them in this book right?), each of them bringed something to their little group and here was when my love for Noel started to happen too.

The trip at the end (?) of this one was great too, I loved the talk Kim and Ruby had and it shows how much Ruby grew so far. If I had to change one thing on this one: I would kill Jackson on the most slow and painful way. Oh also, at the beginning of each chapter there is an excerpt from The Boy Book - a book Ruby and Kim (and occasionally Cricket and Nora) would write about the things they learned about boys.
" said.

"I enjoyed this story even more than the first. I donlt know if this is because this one is sligtly less soul shatteringly empethetically depressing or because our heroien, Ruby, isn't so irriating when it comes to descion making. She also doesn't whine as much; althougt there is some whining involved but give her a break it's teen angst. Mostly I think I liked reading this book more because it follows more of a strict pattern and time line. With Roo #1 she seemed to jump around from past to "present" to future wthin her narrative. In the Boy Book she follows more of a strict retative pattern with her story. It starts with an entry from the real boy book that has relavance to the chapter then goes on telling her story n order with a few back stories and te occasional nutshelling of key events from the last book. And to my great appreciation Ruby never got ahead of herself in her story like she used to.
over all I truly enjoyed reading this book. Found the style, writing, and plot of this book to altogether superior to the previous Ruby Oliver book. I look forward to reading the next few aswell.
" said.

"Re-read...Ruby is back for another torturous year at Tate. Armed with tidbits from Doctor Z and the go to boy guide, The Boy Book, Ruby is attempting to wade through the remaining muck left behind from her disastrous sophomore year in which she lost not only her boyfriend, but all of her friends and was left branded with the blue spots of social lepersy.

The Boy Book is a perfect continuation of Ruby’s story and naturally, there are boy issues. First there's Noel, who she can't quite decide if she likes or likes likes. Then there's Angelo, a family friend and newly acquired scamming mate (make out buddy) and of course, there’s the nefarious Jackson, her former boyfriend, who's mysteriously sending her notes again while her former best-friend Kim, and his current girl friend, is away in Tokyo.

This book was all I hoped it would be. Filled with Hooter Rescue Squads, penguins, llamas, philosophical retreats and neurotic developments, Ruby had me laughing out loud, shaking my head, and shouting in solidarity. This was an excellent follow up to The Boyfriend List and I can’t wait to see what mess Ruby finds herself in next.
" said.

"Okay, I must admit that I was already sold after The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver but this book literally has me gushing. The series is only getting better. And even though it seems like it's just a book about high school girls liking boys, it ha really useful and deep messages like:
1) Life can get really complicated and you have to do the best you can
2) Doing the right thing isn't always easy, especially when you're not even sure what the right thing is
3) Movies do make us have unrealistic expectations of love

See? She even has me making lists now. All I'm saying is that this book is awesome and I'm about to gobble up the next one. And the footnotes are awesome too.
The beauty of all this is that no matter what Ruby does, I can't help but fall in love with her and keep rooting for her all through the book. And that's how a main character should be. Yay!
" said.

"I am loving these books. Like the first, The Boy Book was funny, I liked the characters, and again I liked the writing style. (This time, instead of a list of boyfriends and time-jumping, the story has excerpts from a book about boys that Ruby wrote with her friends, and the story is told in a linear fashion.)

I also really liked Ruby's growth in this book. I like her friends, I like her evolving relationships. Truthfully, there's nothing about this book that I didn't already say about the first, so I'll just leave it at enjoying Ruby's growth as I hurry off to read The Treasure Map of Boys.

" said.


My Very Own Soundtrack Part Deux:
Agnes Obel - Words Are Dead
Broods - Bridges
Florence + the Machine - Addicted to Love
Amsterdam - Daughter
The Neighborhood - Let It Go

I thought about making a new shelf for this series. Something witty and quirky and funny and meaningful - something uniquely Roo. Alas, my creativity is limited to meager words in this simple, single review.

The thing about this book is that I thought it completely unnecessary (since I loved the first book so much), until I read it.

Then I realized Ruby needed this. I needed this.

"I see Kim, and there is still an ache for the kind of friends we used to be. Because I don't have that with anyone, the way I did with her. And maybe I never will. Maybe friendships aren't like that when we get older. But the Kim ache is dull. Not a surge of immediate panicky pain and anger like it used to be. It's an ache for what happened in the past, not what's happening now. I can live with it. And I do."

I think those words will stay with me for a long, long time. Not because they was super-poetic, or fancy, or some kind of brilliant literary work of art - but because there was so much truth packed in that single paragraph.

Because I think we've all had friends like that at one point in our lives that we don't have now. I think it reflects a special kind of loss that we can all relate to. Growing pains that no one is immune to.

In this book, Roo gets into a deeper, more complicated, tangled mess and her social life is still somewhat "roly-poly." She did frustrate me, but I couldn't help but get sucked right back into her beautiful messes. She takes small steps, but they make all the difference.

Oh, and if there was ever a doubt, I'm completely Team Noel. Now & forever." said.

"Where oh where was this book when I was fifteen!?!?!?

If I had this book it would've been so much easier to survive adolescence. Easier to cope as a social retard. I would have had a guide to help me navigate the confusing sea of boy-girl relationships. I wouldn't have had to grope my way through like a headless chicken, clueless and alone.

If you're suffering from depression due to problematic relationships, no need to pop pills or see a shrink. Reading this book is therapy in itself.

Ruby Oliver novels have nothing extraordinary in them. The plot isn't what you'd call high-concept. The story is about a teenage girl coping with heartbreak and alienation from friends, trying to fit in, trying to figure out who she is and what she wants, and trying to find hope in new love and new friendships. Any girl who had a more-or-less normal childhood would have been in Ruby Oliver's shoes at one point in her life. That makes Ruby Oliver extremely relate-able. She has an authentic teenage voice. They way she overanalyzes things is very close to how my own mind works. I would have had the same thoughts running through my head in a similar situation. It's why I love this series. Ruby Oliver is the most relate-able fictional character I've ever read.

Just because this is YA doesn't mean only teens can relate. Most of the social friction and relationship issues experienced by the teens in this book mirror the issues experienced by any woman in her 20s, 30s, 40, and maybe even beyond (I have a friend here in Goodreads who's 40 and loves this series). Here's a sample of the guides Ruby and her friends compiled to address their dilemmas:

The Care and Ownership of Boobs
What to Wear When You Might Be Fooling Around
Levels of Boyfriends
Neanderthals on the Telephone: Or, How to Converse
Boy-Speak: Introduction to a Foreign Language
Why Girls Are Better than Boys get the drift. What girl hasn't experienced the awkward telephone conversations and the confusing and contrary alien language of boy-speak? (None, unless you've been locked up all your life in a convent).

One of the complaints I saw from the previous book was that "nothing happened." Something did happen, but since the changes are internal (Ruby's emotional journey), people who can only recognize plots triggered by external events would totally miss the point. As for me, Ruby Oliver's story is exactly the kind of slice-of-life teenage story that I dig, so give it 5 stars.
" said.

"The Boy Book by Emily Lockhart picks up where The Boyfriend List left off. Ruby has turned sixteen and she's acquired her driver's license. She's now in junior year at Tate Prep, the school she attends in Seattle, on scholarship. Roo has started writing in The Boy Book, a book she and former best friend, Kim, started a few years ago. Things at school are still strained but Ruby is trying to get on with her life as best she can.

Like the first book in the series, The Boy Book features funny footnotes and lists and each chapter starts with an excerpt from The Boy Book which really added to the story.

Once again Ruby makes for a fantastic protagonist. She's missing her former friends, having to deal with her mum, still seeing her psychologist, Dr Z, and making new friends. Roo is sick of baby sitting for a kid that constantly throws up so she applies for a job at her local zoo, Woodland Park Zoo. I loved Ruby's interview as once there she talks about how interesting she finds animals and about different situations she's read about which leads on to her talking about how problematic zoos are and I was laughing and nodding and thinking "Yes, Roo, you are spot on!" Ruby immediately thinks she's put her foot in it but she gets the job and it really adds to her sense of well-being and self-worth.

As in book one, The Boy Book is full of Ruby's thoughts and situations that made me connect with the story in a strong way. Even though Ruby is young she's really self-aware, intelligent and observant and I found myself agreeing with her and the entries in The Boy Book, they reminded me of being a teen and being in high school.

In this book we get to know Meghan a little more, as she's now Roo's closest friend and I really found she grew on me. In the first book she's just that girl who girls love to hate but there's definitely a lot more to her than meets the eye. We also get to spend more time with Noel and Hutch as well.

I really love that these books deal with the friendships we develop in school because as teens, they're probably the most important thing to us at the time and they play a big role in our lives. I was sad for Ruby at the end, because losing a former best friend is hard but it's a good lesson because no one stays the same forever, so ultimately I was happy for her at the same time.

Bonus points for more vegetarian references as well as macrobiotic references - it's the new phase Roo's mum is going through.

This was a brilliant sequel and cemented my love for Ruby even more. I recommend this series to all fans of contemporary YA and YA romance.

The series can be purchased online and I suggest you grab all four at once!
" said.

June 2018 New Book:

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