Monday, March 23, 2009

The Boyfriend List., E. Lockhart

Since I loved E. Lockhart's The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks so much I wanted to give some of her other books a try. The Boyfriend List didn't disappoint. I have a hard time imagining enjoying one of her books more than Frankie but this was a very well written, interesting, believable story. One thing I really like about the narrator, Ruby Oliver, is that she sounds like a smart teenage girl not like a smart 25 year old or even a smart 40 year old which you sometimes run into in young adult titles.

I so relate to Ruby's feelings on this note: "So I was keeping quiet about the whole horror that is my life..." (p.5) Sometimes I feel like that is the story of my life as well. Constantly pretending to be a happy, enthusiastic, idealistic teacher who wants nothing more than to spend my days elbow deep in paint, glitter, and snot while singing "The More We Get Together" (although I shouldn't lie I do like to sing repetitive songs). Sometimes I really do like my job but a lot of the time I am just tired and trying to keep my fake smile looking like a real one while pretending that everything is just fine.

Ruby's parents are some of my favorite characters. It is so easy to picture her dad spouting things like this off, "I think that it's important to come to a loving place when people are unkind. I want Roo to see that people act badly out of pain." (p.29) with her angry perfomance artist mother of the one woman show, "Elaine Oliver! Feel the Noise!", threatening to call the mean boy's mother. I love the mom's justification, "If I didn't carry around fury I wouldn't have a career. People pay to come see me have fury. It's productive. It's cathartic." (p.30)

And I also completely relate to this description of Ruby's friend Kim,

"Kim has this quality. It's a great quality- until it's turned against you. She's quiet, she doesn't rock the boat. But if you really make her mad, she goes nuts. It's like she spends all this time being a good person, holding up ideals, getting good grades and being nice- and then when someone else fails to live up to her standards, she goes on a rampage." (p.25)

I am totally Kim when someone is mean or threatening to anyone I feel protective of... I've always been that way and fortunately my crazy anger doesn't surface too often.

Ruby's story definitely ends leaving you wanting more... I'm anxious to pick up the sequel.

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