The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver by E. Lockhart

Hi Everyone. It’s Becky. I recently re-read The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs, and Me, Ruby Oliver. I was surprised how aspects of this story are more relevant today than when it was originally released.

Title: The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver
Author: E. Lockhart
Note: I listened to the audiobook.

Summary: Ruby Oliver had a really nice life. She had friends, she was on the lacrosse team, and Ruby had a great boyfriend, Jackson, but when her life slowly unravels, and Ruby begins having panic attacks, Ruby finds herself without friends or a boyfriend, but she does get a new therapist. Can Ruby come to terms with what caused the changes in her life and find a way to be happy again?

Review: My lasting impression from the first time I read this book was that I kind of liked it. Now that I have reread the book, I can delve deeper into what makes this book a must-read YA novel. E. Lockhart did something in this novel almost 15 years ago that is still not common in YA lit, the author realistically discussed panic issues and normalized therapy. Ruby is basically like almost every other teen girl. She has a life she appreciates that is ripped from her by a clique of mean girls. Her story is relatable because this happens in high school across America every day. She is dealing with bullies and mean girls and, let’s be honest, they have always been here, and they will always be here. The beauty of this book is how Ruby deals with her issues. She seeks help from a trained professional, she works through her anxiety, and she tries to let things go that are upsetting or hurting her. I love that this book is about a girl in high school who needs help with her mental health, and her seeking that help is never shamed or demeaned. I wish more books portrayed the positives of therapy. I acknowledge that there is more to this book. Ruby is relatable, her experiences are realistic, and the book has some truly funny moments that make it even better to read. However, to me, the best part of this is the lasting message of self-care and self-acceptance that make it worth reading.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5

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