Real Live Boyfriends. E. Lockhart. 2010. December 2010. Random House. 240 pages.
A real live boyfriend does not contribute to your angst.
You do not wonder if he will call.
You do not wonder whether he will kiss you.
And he does not look at his phone while you are talking, to see if anyone has texted him.
Of course he calls. He's your boyfriend!
Of course there will be kissing. He's your boyfriend!
And of course he listens. He's your real live boyfriend!
Real Live Boyfriends is the fourth Ruby Oliver novel. The first three are The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, and The Treasure Map of Boys. (I think Real Live Boyfriends is my favorite of the four.) Ruby is preparing for her Senior year at last. And for Ruby that means making a video--asking all her friends and family what love is, what it means to be popular, what it means to be a friend. Will this be the year where her life finally starts making sense? Will this be the year where she finds a real live boyfriend? Who is better boyfriend material? Noel or Gideon?
I love Ruby Oliver. I do. Her life may be far from perfect, but Ruby makes crazy look fun. No matter how much drama is going on in her life--be it at home, work, or school--you can always count on Ruby to see the funny side of any situation. (Even at her grandmother's funeral.) Ruby is one of the best narrators.
I loved everything about Real Life Boyfriends. Especially the writing and the characterization. If you love YA Romance, you should give Ruby Oliver a try!
From Noel's interview with Ruby (for the documentary):
Noel: A lot of people see friends as something you have on Twitter or Facebook or wherever. If someone wants to read your updates and you want to read their updates, then you're friends. You don't ever have to see each other. But that seems like a stupid definition to me.He then promises Ruby that he wants all her updates.
Noel: Although on the other hand, rethink. Maybe a friend is someone who wants your updates. Even if they're boring. Or sad. Or annoyingly cutesy. A friend says "Sign me up for your boring crap, yes indeed"--because he likes you anyway. He'll tolerate your junk. (46)
A scene highlighting Gideon:
"So you have a boyfriend?" Gideon asked. He leaned forward and touched the hem of my sundress with the tip of his fingers.Another favorite quote, this time from Meghan:
"I-I think I do," I answered.
I have a boyfriend who doesn't call me back, I thought.
I have a boyfriend who doesn't answer my emails.
"You think, or you know?" asked Gideon, looking up at me.
"I don't exactly know right now, I said. "The thing--it's hard to explain. The thing we have is somehow not the thing it was before."
At that juncture, a shout of "Gas!" could be heard from the deck. The guys had come back and were going to refill the boat.
"You should call me," Gideon said, standing up to leave. "When you know for sure."
"For sure, what?"
"For sure you don't have a boyfriend."
"What if I do?" I asked. "I mean, I am pretty sure I do."
"Then don't call me." He was standing in our doorway, silhouetted in the light. "But call me." (63-64)
If you have friends who actually like you, you're popular enough. (104)*Reviewed from an ARC.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews