Book Review: “Real Live Boyfriends”

“Real Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, Plural. If My Life Weren’t Complicated, I Wouldn’t Be Ruby Oliver (Ruby Oliver #4)” by E. Lockhart

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

GoodreadsOther Ruby Oliver books

Source: Library

Summary from Goodreads:

Ruby Oliver is in love. Or it would be love, if Noel, her real live boyfriend, would call her back. But Noel seems to have turned into a pod-robot lobotomy patient, and Ruby can’t figure out why.

Not only is her romantic life a shambles:
Her dad is eating nothing but Cheetos,
Her mother’s got a piglet head in the refrigerator,
Hutch has gone to Paris to play baguette air guitar,
Gideon shows up shirtless,
And the pygmy goat Robespierre is no help whatsoever.
Will Ruby ever control her panic attacks?
Will she ever understand boys?
Will she ever stop making lists?
(No to that last one.)
Roo has lost most of her friends. She’s lost her true love, more than once. She’s lost her grandmother, her job, her reputation, and possibly her mind. But she’s never lost her sense of humor. The Ruby Oliver books are the record of her survival.


Hooray, Ruby and Noel are finally together! Sadly even though they are together, they are not without their problems. I was really hoping that after the last 3 books that Ruby would chill out and just relax because now she finally has a good boyfriend. He’s nuts about her and he knows about all of her craziness. She’s still a bit neurotic about whether he really likes her.

Lockhart does a really good job of capturing all the anxiety of romantic interactions in your teen years. I could totally sympathize with Ruby about the agonizing of whether to sit with her boyfriend at lunch, the awkwardness that ensues when you’re not sure what to talk about, fretting over phone calls, and all that other weirdness that goes on with young love. It also makes me very glad that I never have to live through high school love again.

This whole series is a great examination of high school relationships. Even though they are funny and a bit out there, there is a good deal we can learn about what and what not to do. You don’t have to put up with crappy friends just because they’re your ‘friends’. Sometimes it’s in your best interest to move on. It’s good to have casual acquaintances. You not need to friends with everyone. Be honest with your friends. Omitting your feelings doesn’t really help anyone especially when it comes to the opposite sex. Popularity is an illusion. If you have friends that actually like you that is enough. I could definitely see this being helpful for younger readers but also a good reminder for older readers as well.

The bottom line? I liked the book and really liked the series. I don’t remember the last time I read a series in about a month.


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