Ruby Oliver’s sophomore year (at a small, private school in Seattle that she attends on scholarship) has a good start, including a boyfriend, and then everything falls apart and the panic attacks she starts having land her in a shrink’s office discussing her three best friends (Kim, Nora and Cricket) who are no longer speaking to her, and the list of 15 guys she’s ever considered as possible boyfriends, friends that are boys, etc. (including Jackson Clarke, who recently broke up with her).
This book is the first in the Ruby Oliver series (the other books, in order, are The Boy Book, The Treasure Map of Boys and Real Live Boyfriends). It is written in a journal-like narrative from Ruby’s point of view, including lots of lists and excerpts from various notes she and her friends have made while examining the boy species. I enjoyed them, and Ruby’s voice, but desperately hope my own daughter doesn’t think about boys (or sex) and participate in most of the boy-oriented activities Ruby is involved with, when she’s a teen.
Rated: High. The book includes more than a dozen swear words, about a handful of those the f-word. Ruby is only 15 in this book but allows and discusses some moderate sexual encounters, mainly in a sense of letting boys get to second base or beyond but not necessarily having sex. And these situations tend to be with boys who are just the boy of the moment. There is also a reference to a friend and oral sex.