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Magan: The Ruby Oliver Series by E. Lockhart

series review for The Ruby Oliver Series by E Lockhart

The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver
The Boy Book: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them
The Treasure Map of Boys: Noel, Jackson, Finn, Hutch, Gideon—and me, Ruby Oliver
Real Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, Plural. If My Life Weren’t Complicated, I Wouldn’t Be Ruby Oliver

The Ruby Oliver Series by E. Lockhart
Publication Dates
: 9/26/2006 | 4/22/2008 | 7/28/2009 | 12/28/2010
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 229 | 208 | 248 | 225
Target audience: Young Adult
Keywords: high school, friendship drama, seeing a therapist, dating relationships
Format read: First three borrowed from my library, the fourth purchased for my kindle.
Summary: Ruby Oliver is just a normal girl with two best friends — until she begins having panic attacks and has to see a therapist because her boy life is out of control and her best friends are no longer speaking to her.

Things I Know About Ruby Oliver and Why You Should Read This Series:

  1. Ruby is a little bit (okay, maybe a lot) crazy. She is boy crazy. She doesn’t interact with people well because she is so self-conscious and feels like she’s doing and saying the wrong things all the time. She blurts out whatever comes to mind and doesn’t think before she speaks. (This makes for some great laugh out loud moments while reading.)
  2. Ruby just doesn’t understand boys. She wants to date them, but is pretty judgey and particular about them. She gets herself in awkward situations and The Boyfriend List portrays how it seems like she’s had lots of crushes on boys and really gotten around, but that’s just not the truth. When she finally does get a boyfriend (hello, Jackson!) — things are anything but easy. Especially when…
  3. Ruby’s best friends aren’t super trustworthy. Her BFF Kim? Yeah, she kind of gets in the way and steals Ruby’s boyfriend. And you know what? She turns things around and makes Ruby seem like the bad person. So what happens to poor Ruby? She has panic attacks because school starts to suck so bad when all of her friends turn on her. And that leads to…
  4. Ruby begins to see a therapist. She doesn’t really know what to talk about and she’s a bit ADD in her thought process, jumping (leaping) from one topic to the next, but her therapy sessions are quite entertaining (especially as she begins to understand herself a bit more and doesn’t want to listen to what she knows needs to happen). She begins to realize that she’s got way more than just boy issues. For instance…
  5. Ruby’s parents are also crazy. Her mom is extremely self-involved and is always experimenting with some new diet. She dapples in Ruby’s life in the worst possible ways, and while she thinks she’s being helpful, she’s really not. Her dad is really into plants and has a greenhouse and Ruby’s just not into that, but does connect with him more. (It’s really easier if Ruby just avoids her mom because their relationship is just… complicated.)
  6. Ruby’s seclusion leads her to make a new friend. Or two. Noah and Megan are two people Ruby doesn’t ever socialize with much, but while she’s got no one else to talk to because her life is crap, she is kind of forced to get to know these two better. Turns out Noah’s got a lot of attractive qualities and Megan’s not the person Ruby pegged her to be (funny how that happens, right?).
  7. Ruby is relateable, funny, sarcastic, self-depricating, pure, and original. There’s really been no other character for me that has rivaled Ruby Oliver. I could have breezed through all four books in one day because I just ate them up. After waiting (months) for the last book from my library, I finally broke down and purchased it for my kindle because I just had to know how Ruby’s story ended. Each book dictates a year of Ruby’s high school life, beginning freshman year.
  8. You’ll only grow to love Ruby more throughout the series. Sure when Rub is a freshman and she’s going through all the stupid things she’s done, you might shake your head and say, “SILLY GIRL!” But, she grows up, she gets wiser, and becomes more comfortable in her own skin. She becomes a bit more daring and bold. (If that’s possible — she has some guts, I tell ya.) The more I read, the more I wanted to continue to read.

If you want a fun series that you’ll breeze through quickly and laugh out loud multiple times while reading, Ruby Oliver is your girl. These books made me remember all those times when I didn’t know what I said wrong that made my friends upset with me. It made me laugh at how naive I was when it came to boys, and how monumental every emotion seemed to be back in high school. You’ll remember what those times were like for you, but from Ruby Oliver’s  humorous perspective.

Rather Be Reading Buy It Icon

The Boyfriend List (Goodreads | Amazon)
The Boy Book (Goodreads | Amazon)
Treasure Map of Boys (Goodreads | Amazon)
Real Live Boyfriends (Goodreads | Amazon)

March 18, 2013 - 9:25 am

Estelle's Shelve It >> March 17, 2013, Estelle - […] Attention: Audrey, Wait! A review of First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky A review of The Ruby Oliver Series by E. Lockhart A PMS Survival Kit from Magan A review of This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. […]

March 14, 2013 - 10:30 am

Rachel - I loved this series in high school! I totally got Ruby, and I loved her for that. She’s a really humorous girl without even trying, and it’s cool how we see her change over time. It’s such a fun group of books that are pretty easy to fly through. I really love how you organized this review because I think it does give a great picture of the entire series without ruining anything. Oh, and I agree with Ginger, more people need to read this series!

March 14, 2013 - 10:22 am

Annie - This series sounds amazing! Ohmigod, I must read this now! It’s been on my TBR for soooo long. Had I not read this post I would have totally forgot there was even such a thing as Ruby Oliver! I’m definitely reading it now though. 🙂

March 14, 2013 - 12:06 am

Cindy - This definitely sounds like a fun series, and I definitely want to give this author another shot (I didn’t like another of her books, which I just read recently.) Glad you enjoyed the whole thing, and this is such a fun review!

March 13, 2013 - 8:23 pm

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - Why haven’t I read this series yet? It sounds like something I would love. I need to find the time as soon as possible 🙂

March 13, 2013 - 6:58 pm

Anna - One of my most favorite series — EVER

March 13, 2013 - 5:17 pm

VeganYANerds - Love your list review! These books are some of the best I’ve ever read and I plan on re-reading them, and that’s a big deal because I do not have time for re-reads!

March 13, 2013 - 1:39 pm

Magan - Alexa — she’s a girl who makes a lot of mistakes, but I like that she’s definitely not perfect. I mean, we all did stupid things back in high school, right? 🙂 I hope you love them as much as I did.
Lisa — FINISH THEM! They only get better! Seriously! And then you can do re-reads! You have to finish these before the bebe comes along!
Natalie — I’m positive you could read all four of these during your train ride! They’re so, so good! I hope you love them (and that your library has them)!
Lena — read them RIGHT NOW! They’re sooooo gooood and such super fast reads!
Ginger — YAYYY! I’m so glad you and I agree on these! They really are the best. And I hope more people pick them up too. I was so sad when my library couldn’t get the fourth book back from whomever hoarded it for MONTHS.

March 13, 2013 - 12:44 pm

Alexa Y. - This series sounds absolutely delightful! I’m almost certain that I’ve marked it off as a series that I would like to read, but your list has given me even more reasons to want to get to it straight away. So glad you enjoyed it! Ruby certainly sounds like a character that I could be friends with.

March 13, 2013 - 11:29 am

Lisa [is busy nerding] - I’ve read the first two of this series and keep putting off the last two because I don’t want it to end! Seriously, Ruby is the freaking best.

You nailed it with this though: “Ruby is relateable, funny, sarcastic, self-depricating, pure, and original.”

YES. Love all those things. AND the plot is solid too!

March 13, 2013 - 9:49 am

Natalie - I’ve never read any of this series, but it really sounds like I need to! I remember one of my friends reading “The Boyfriend List” and telling me it was really funny and that she thought I would enjoy it, but I only remembered that now!! I’ll definitely stop in at the library and see if they have these. I’m going on a long train-ride Friday and Saturday, and these would be perfect to read then!

March 13, 2013 - 9:24 am

Lena @ Addicted 2 Novels - Ya know, I own all of these books and still haven’t read any of them. I need to. Note to self: read this series ASAP.

March 13, 2013 - 8:35 am

Ginger @ GReads! - Yup, this is one of my favorite YA series (of all time). I blew through these books in a matter of days. I had to get my hands on the next one because they were THAT GOOD. I adore Ruby and wanted to be her (well teenage Ginger did). I hope your review gets more people to pick up this series because I feel like they’re books that get pushed under the rug and forgotten sometimes. More people need to read them!!

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