Monday, March 27, 2017

Book Review: The Boyfriend List

I discovered E. Lockhart's The Boyfriend List while searching for young adult novels dealing with social anxiety. Although the main character does suffer from some anxiety (she's had five panic attacks), she never really struck me as a thoroughly anxious individual. I guess I expected more social angst. Apart from hiding her true feelings about things, she was fairly spunky and didn't shrink back from the opinions or responses of others.

Ruby Oliver writes a list of 15 boys who might be considered boyfriends, some fully deserving the title and others just peripheral to that role. The list is an assignment from her psychiatrist to help her discuss some of the problems that might be causing her panic attacks. As she discusses each boy on the list, she opens a window to her world. Her life is full of the chaos of unrequited love, muddled misunderstandings, and fractured friendships.

While the voice and dialogue did, indeed, ring true, I never really felt drawn to Ruby. There was a sense of detachment there. I'm not sure why. I wanted to like her and wanted to care about her world, but for some reason, I didn't connect. This isn't my first E. Lockhart book (We Were Liars), so I can't say that I wouldn't read another by this author, but I certainly didn't finish the book wanting to continue with the Ruby Oliver series.

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