Monday, July 8, 2013

Ruby Oliver: The Rest of the Series

Back in January I finally read The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart (my thoughts). It instantly became one of my favorite YA books. I really like the way the themes were addressed and I loved Ruby's voice. I expressed reluctance to read the rest of the series in that review, but in the end I couldn't stay away. Ruby is one of those characters who worms her way into your brain and heart. I wanted to see how she fared after the events of Sophomore year.

The Boy Book: The Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them
I admit I was worried that all my fears were coming true and I shouldn't have picked up the sequel about halfway through.  Again, Ruby's voice is the great strength of the book. Her realistic tone and vulnerability as well as her mistakes make her genuine. I was wondering if this was simply going to be a rehashing of the first book and that is why I become wary at the halfway point. However, Ruby turns it around and I really enjoyed seeing her grow. The choices she makes toward the end of the book made me happy and I like that she felt so empowered by them even if she had regrets for where they led.

The Treasure Map of Boys: Noel, Jackson, Finn, Hutch, Gideon-and me, Ruby Oliver
Ruby is trying so hard to be a good friend to Nora, continue to battle the consequences to her reputation from the Boyfriend List, and maintain some sort of life. I really liked the progress Ruby made in this book, the realizations she had about the people around her, and her choices. (One of which had me cheering for her-she has come so far!) Her parents continue to amuse her (and me). I still think her mother could do with some therapy too, but she loves Ruby. I like how Ruby came to see how much her parents do care for her and how much she appreciates them, even if they do still embarrass her from time to time. I have to say I really like where this book ended. A lot. I like where Ruby is, her epiphanies, and how things resolved with Nora and Noel.

Real Live Boyfriends: Yes, Boyfriends Plural. If My Life Weren't Complicated I Wouldn't Be Ruby Oliver
Once you have read three books of a four book series, it is impossible to not read the last book. I loved the way this book ended, but felt that much of it was a rehashing of things that happened in book three. Yes, it is important that Ruby realize she is not actually mental, or even all that neurotic, but I felt she was on her way there by the end of the third volume. I didn't really need to see it. Mostly I was annoyed at the Noel drama in this one. It felt a little forced. I didn't dislike this book, but I certainly didn't like it as much as the others. Ruby's voice is still wonderful though and anyone wanting to see what happens as Ruby winds up her existence in the Tate Universe before going off to college should definitely read it. You won't be able to stop yourself if you read the first three anyway. (Hutch is awesome. As always.)

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