Sunday, January 23, 2011

Real Live Boyfriends, by E. Lockhart

Now entering her senior year, Ruby has gotten some semblance of control over her panic attacks, but her life is still crazy. Mom has switched from a raw diet to all-barbecue (challenging Ruby's vegetarianism). Dad is mourning his dead mother and gone distant. Ruby is making up with some friends (Nora) and breaking for good with others. But most importantly, Ruby is obsessing about whether Noel is her Real Live Boyfriend or not (when Noel comes back from New York, it sure doesn't seem that way!). All of which makes it that much easier for Ruby to end up with Gideon, when he starts showing his interest. But Ruby discovers that that just makes things more complicated!

E. Lockhart continues to amaze me with her breezy and hilarious writing and her deep sympathy for the struggles of adolescence.
I love the Ruby Oliver series. Ruby is funny and endearing, yet feels very realistic (I have to defer to any teens out there to validate that I'm correct about this -- all I know is that I want her combination of spunk and doubt to be realistic!). This particular installment is deeper and a bit darker than its predecessors, but Ruby is growing up and her issues are growing up with her. There's still plenty of laughs (Ruby's parents remain the primary source of amusement for all their neuroses), but there is depth and emotional payoff as well. A gem!

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