If my life weren’t complicated – I wouldn’t be Ruby Oliver.
Since I loved this series so so much, I just had to do a combined review of the last 3 books, and thus chronicle for the last time (maybe) my love for Ruby Oliver and her highly entertaining and colorful lists and narratives.
Previous books in the series: The Boyfriend List
In this review:
The Boy Book
My synopsis: Ruby Oliver survived the sophomore social debacle, now all she needs is to take a step back into the Tate Universe for her junior year… hopefully, she can walk out with her mental health intact. And maybe some tips from The Boy Book will help.
We can’t know or say what other people will do. You have to think what you want to do. What you can do to get the situation where you want it to be.
As usual a lot of things happen. Ruby develops new relationships, reconciles with some friends, discovers some true friends, and also attempts to define her relationships – Ruby is finally taking control and isn’t as passive-aggressive or as thoughtless as she used to be. There were some developments I didn’t see coming, and it was really exciting to witness. Also, one of my favorite sections from Ruby Oliver’s The Boy Book is the list of clever responses to catcalls – here’s a couple that got the most laughs/giggles out of me:
- I can’t get angry at you today. It’s Be Kind to Animals Week.
- Didn’t I dissect you in Biology class?
The Treasure Map of Boys
My synopsis: Navigating the second half of junior year and the state of Noboyfriend, Ruby’s panic attacks are visiting more often than is ideal (zero is ideal) and her love life is more complicated than ever.
But is it real if it’s uncomplicated?
Oh, the drama – but to be honest, while I was reading these books, I lived for Ruby’s drama. They just felt so real and significant – oh, believe me, everyone’s drama is significant (maybe not for you and me, but for them it is, so let’s all give a little grace to each other, okay? If you have a choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.** )
**a quote from Wonder by R.J. Palacio, which I have yet to read, mind you! But I’ve seen the movie – it’s a great one!!
In The Treasure Map of Boys, we got to see a little more of Ruby’s passion and what she can do – we get to discover that she’s a leader and an animal whisperer. I like seeing another dimension of Ruby within the Tate Universe when she got fully involved in the bake sale. And then I loved her interactions with the animals too at the zoo.
On the romance side, she still hasn’t fully moved on from Jackson, and then there are still a couple (maybe several) other guys in the running – but the one she truly likes is off-limits due to girl code. I liked the complications, and the resolution is even better – this one had a truly delicious ending.
…sometimes, people do cut you slack and forgive you and want you anyway. Sometimes they do. And when they do, even if it’s not a happy ending – it is delicious.
Real Live Boyfriends
My synopsis: Senior year, Ruby is in a serious relationship, one more year and she can leave the Tate Universe forever – the thing to consider is… is she ready?
Love is when you give someone else the power to destroy you and you trust them not to do it.
I have to say, Real Live Boyfriends is a satisfying conclusion to the Ruby Oliver series. Bravo, E. Lockhart!
By this fourth piece, the main cast of characters have gone through such growth – the character arcs are amazing, not least of all, Ruby Oliver’s. It almost made it feel okay to say goodbye (almost, but not quite)
We now have an idea of Ruby’s career aspirations (good to know, I can actually imagine a future for her, it’d be greater if E. Lockhart writes MORE books about the grown-up life of Ruby Oliver!!). And it also ties in to Ruby’s journey in discovering the many definitions of love, not just the romantic love.
As for Ruby’s love life, she gets her perfectly imperfect happy ending.
I want your updates. I do. I want all your updates, Ruby.
If you stayed for all that, THANK YOUU!
Have you read The Ruby Oliver series? What are some middle-grade novels you’ve read as an adult but still enjoyed?