cover image The Boy Book

The Boy Book

E. Lockhart, . . Delacorte, $15.95 (193pp) ISBN 978-0-385-73208-6

Ruby Oliver, the smart, neurotic heroine from The Boyfriend List , is now 16 and a junior scholarship student at Tate Prep. She's still in therapy, and still trying to cope with losing her boyfriend to her best friend—plus her new social standing as a "certifiable leper." Through sessions with Dr. Z and spending time with "The Boy Book" (a "Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them"—this also serves as the novel's subtitle), which she wrote with Kim, Nora and another friend, Ruby begins to process what happened. She builds a new circle of friends, even rekindling her friendship with Nora. But she faces tests along the way: Ruby's ex leaves her flirty notes, even though he is with Kim; she has a panic attack after a confrontation with Kim; and she must decide what to do when the great guy that Nora likes tells Ruby he wants to kiss her. Each chapter begins with an excerpt from "The Boy Book," which is hilarious, and sometimes rather racy (e.g., "What to Wear When You Might Be Fooling Around" advises a "shirt that buttons up the front, for obvious reasons"). The book not only covers topics teens obsess over, but it helps illustrate the connection Ruby had with her friends, especially Kim, and what a loss she has suffered. Ruby's overanalytical, fast-paced and authentic narration will win over new devotees, while her loyal fans will no doubt hope for more. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)