This is the third book in the Ruby Oliver series, which started with The Boyfriend List and The Boy Book. Ruby is 16 and still sees herself as a social leper (or her new term for it, “roly poly”) in the Tate Universe (the small private school she attends on scholarship), but at least she has a few people who will talk to her after the debacle of sophomore year.
This book chronicles Ruby’s continued struggles with losing all of her friends (read the first book), dealing with mixed signals from her ex-boyfriend (Jackson), trying to figure out what’s going on with her possible new boyfriend (Noel), getting a job (at the zoo), continuing therapy (and meeting Dr. Z’s boyfriend), and the new family pet (a giant dog who makes the houseboat they live on seem even smaller). Throughout, we get insights into Ruby’s life as she learns and adjusts all the while staying the quirky character we’ve come to love.
Rated: High. The book includes less than a dozen swear words, five of those the f-word. Ruby is 16 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. The books actually seem like they are getting less risque, subject- and language-wise… but it’s a series.