The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver by E. Lockhart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In ten days, high schooler Ruby Oliver went from being popular to a social leper; her shrink and a list of fifteen former boyfriends help her begin to understand how exactly she got into this mess.
Ruby tells the story of how in one week she lost her boyfriend, her best friend, and suffered public humiliation of the worst kind. She tells the story of her life and likes to her poncho-wearing shrink, all while trying to navigate the treacherous waters at Tate, her private prep school.
The structure of this novel is sophisticated, all taking place in flashbacks as Ruby unravels her own history and is challenged by her shrink to reevaluate what she thinks she knows about herself and the people around her.
Lockhart has said that she was inspired by Nick Hornby's High Fidelity, structuring her novel around the list instead of around music. Ruby is funny and smart, and her experiences with high school angst ring true as she tries to figure out more than just boys, but also people in general.
E. Lockhart is the author of one of my all-time favorite YA novels: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and Ruby Oliver didn't disappoint - though she's not quite as unique a character as Frankie. This is the first book of the Ruby Oliver series, so there's plenty more to read for Ruby Oliver fans. You might also enjoy How to Take the Ex Out of Ex-Boyfriend by Janette Rallison, or try Meg Cabot's works.