Just like I said yesterday, the Ruby Oliver books would be easy to jump into as stand-alone titles, but to get the full impact you should read them in order. If you haven’t yet read The Boyfriend List and The Boy Book, you’ll spoil yourself by reading this review. Be careful!
Now in the second term of junior year, Ruby is finally starting to feel like her therapy is working.
Well, actually things might not be too great.
Her panic attacks are getting worse again – maybe because she’s in the thirty-seventh week of being in the state of Noboyfriend, maybe because she has pretty strong feelings for her friend Noel (and knows that he has feelings for her too – or at least did last term) but is trying hard to resist them since her friend Nora likes him, or maybe it’s because her ex-boyfriend Jackson dumped her ex-best friend Kim and is now hanging around Ruby at her bake sale table.
In this third installment of Ruby Oliver goings-ons, Ruby tries to hold on to the friendships she regained as she does her best to be something other than a basket-case.
Which can be hard when, despite how hard she tries, everything in her life is going downhill fast: her already bad reputation, her job, her romantic prospects, her friendships, and her sanity.
Welcome back to the life of Ruby Oliver.
The Treasure Map of Boys is yet another awesome addition to the series! It’s still hysterical, still perceptive, and still spot-on with high school cruelty. The portrayal of Ruby’s social mishaps, break-ups, make-ups, hook-ups, and more is refreshingly honest, semi-frenetic, and undeniably entertaining. I gobbled down this one just as fast as the others.
While reading The Treasure Map of Boys, as well as the two previous Ruby Oliver books, I find myself getting very involved. They’re easy to sink into. I was torn between Ruby’s prospective new boyfriends (always leaning towards Noel because of their excellent friendship and true “real” relationship potential, in my eyes) and empathized with her continued conflicting emotions regarding Jackson, the jerk who stomped on her heart. Her mixed bag of yearning to have him want her again, anger over what he did, jealousy over him being with other girls, and stoicism towards really wanting anything to do with him again is not only candid to the point of being painful, but also extremely relatable.
Plus, Ruby’s family life is always funny – but also provides another area of slow but steady growth for our heroine. And when some horrible, riling plot twists regarding various aforementioned characters turn her relationships sour, I got worked up for Ruby, sad for her. It’s a fantastic look at when love should be unconditional – and it’s not, between friends, family, and boyfriends.
Though despite sometimes being touching and unhappy, Ruby’s saucy, witty, and fun personality always keep the humor abounding – especially in one instance in particular at a Birkenstocks store in which I could not help but laugh out loud – a lot! You’ll know what I’m talking about when you read it…
The Treasure Map of Boys was wholly satisfying – but with an end like it has, I was very glad I got to jump right into the fourth novel in the Ruby Oliver quartet: Real Live Boyfriends.
To complete “Ruby Oliver Week” come back tomorrow to read my review of the last book!