Book Review: The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart (2023)

Title: The Boyfriend List

Author: E. Lockhart

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult

Publisher: Delacorte (US)/ Corgi (UK)
Publication date: September 2011
Paperback: 229 pages

Ruby Oliver is 15 and has a shrink. She knows it’s unusual, but give her a break—she’s had a rough 10 days. In the past 10 days she:
lost her boyfriend (#13 on the list),

lost her best friend (Kim),

lost all her other friends (Nora, Cricket),

did something suspicious with a boy (#10),

did something advanced with a boy (#15),

had an argument with a boy (#14),

(Video) Teen Book Review: The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

drank her first beer (someone handed it to her),

got caught by her mom (ag!),

had a panic attack (scary),

lost a lacrosse game (she’s the goalie),

failed a math test (she’ll make it up),

hurt Meghan’s feelings (even though they aren’t really friends),

became a social outcast (no one to sit with at lunch)

and had graffiti written about her in the girls’ bathroom (who knows what was in the boys’!?!).

But don’t worry—Ruby lives to tell the tale. And make more lists.

Stand alone or series: First book in the Ruby Oliver series

How did I get this book: Bought

(Video) Teen Booktalk: The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

Why did I read this book: I have become a big fan of E. Lockhart ever since I read The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks last year, and have been slowly catching up with her back list.


I was going through another one of those Dreaded Reader’s Block (I tried to read and couldn’t finish no less than 6 books in 5 days) when I decided to give The Boyfriend List a go. There are few certainties in my life right now but one of them does seem to be the fact that I can completely rely on Contemporary YA to save me from the DRB.

In the past 10 days 15-year- old Ruby Oliver has become a social outcast at Tape prep, lost all of her friends and her boyfriend Jackson broke up with her (and started dating her former best friend). It is no surprise that Ruby has a few panic attacks and then prompted by her mother, starts seeing a shrink, Doctor Z. As a starting point, the doctor suggests a Boyfriend List – a list of boys that Ruby has dated or wanted to date, present and past, going all the way back to preschool.

The list is what frames their sessions and the narrative, each chapter supposedly relating to a boy in the list: supposedly because of course, the subject of this book is Ruby Oliver and her relationships with her family, her friends and yes, with the boys in her life. The Boyfriend List is Ruby’s journey of self-discovery whilst attending high school – a journey that only but starts with this book (as it should be, she is only 15 after all). It includes funny and heartbreaking moments – also embarrassing and stupid ones. And I loved the cool psychologist and her sessions with Ruby. These were portrayed in a very positive way and I truly appreciated that.

Ruby Oliver behaves like a teen, thinks like a teen and I am probably not going to be the first one to note how events and behaviours in the novel reminded me a lot of my own teenage years. One of the things I absolutely adore about E. Lockhart’s books is how she just gets teenage angst and confusion right. More than that though, she writes those in a way that is infused with feminist lessons without making it even remotely preachy or heavy-handed.

And this, THIS is how you write feminist YA:

1) Ruby Oliver is a cool character, because she has an amazing voice and is written extremely well. But she is not an excepto-girl, she is no more special than any other girl out there – her experiences are relatable because most of us and most of her own friends are going through them. This is not to say that she doesn’t have unique traits and personality.

2) One of the things that Ruby comes to realise is that lust and desire exist outside the boundaries of love and it is possible to feel one without the other, it is possible to feel desire for people you don’t even like all that much or even when you like someone else. And how that is perfectly fine and natural and healthy. The real question is how do you deal with those feelings and that is something to each individual.

3) Of course, not everybody will think so and there is a lot of slut shaming in this book, even Ruby at one point wonders if she is a slut or not. There is a great moment in which the kids learn how charged this word is and its social context. This scene was probably too close to being didactic but since it was within the confines of a lesson, it was less jarring that it could have been. The point is how it was addressed by Ruby later on.

4) One of the things that Ruby observes throughout this novel is how much of her behaviour stems from repetition of commonly accepted gender roles. She does a lot of passive waiting for the boys she likes to make a move or behave in certain ways – because that is supposed to be norm. But Ruby discovers she has a voice and doesn’t necessarily need to wait for things to happen to her.

(Video) The Boyfriend List - Book Review

I appreciate that my list is perhaps a bit too clinical and doesn’t really convey how naturally these things appear in the text, how well the story develops and how funny the book truly is. That is part of my evil plan to make you all read it and discover for yourself, just like I did.

Plus, the ending was pitch perfect – with just enough growing up done but without tidying things up too perfectly – which just made me want to pick up the next book ASAP. Which I did.

Notable Quotes/Parts:

Below, a list of present-giving misdemeanors, perpetrated by Jackson Clarke upon the unsuspecting and inexperienced Ruby Oliver.

ONE. In first month of going out, put a tiny ceramic frog in my mail cubby every Monday morning. There were four. I still have them on my desk. Each one is in a different position and has a different expression on its face. Okay, that’s not a misdemeanor. It’s very nice. But then –

TWO. Stopped with the frogs. No explanation. That fifth Monday, I looked in my mail cubby first thing, all frog-ready, and it was empty.

I looked again after my first class, and it was still empty.

It was empty all day.

Why no frog?

I felt stupid bringing it up because it was just a tiny ceramic frog and not a big deal or anything, but I wondered all day why he hadn’t given me a frog. Then I thought, maybe he forgot to bring it to school with him and he’ll bring it on Tuesday.

But on Tuesday, no frog, again! A frog-less day.

(Video) Bookish Adam Reviews The Boyfriend List

At the end of Tuesday, Jackson asked me if anything was wrong. I tried to make a joke of it, felt so dumb even bringing it up, but it was so bothering me, like we had this special thing that we did and now he’d canceled it. “Ruby!” he laughed. “There were only four frogs, that’s why! They had four different expressions at the store, and I bought them all. I ran out. It doesn’t mean anything.”

I said Okay, and I was sorry to be so silly. But if I had been him — that is, if I had been the one giving the frogs, I would have found a frog-substitute for the Monday after the frogs ran out. I would have found a gummy frog, or a plastic frog-bath toy, or written a note with a frog on it. At the very least, I would have warned him that the fourth frog was, in fact, the final frog. Something. He wouldn’t have gone wondering and feeling disappointed for two days.

THREE. Christmas. A reasonable time to give a present to your girlfriend, no?


To read more, go HERE.

Rating: 8 – Excellent

Reading next: Okay For Now by Gary D Schmidt

Buy the Book:

Book Review: The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart (3) Book Review: The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart (4) Book Review: The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart (5)

Ebook available for kindle US, kindle UK, & sony

(Video) Your Geeky GFs Bookie Babe Series: Video 3 The Boyfriend List


ContemporaryE. LockhartFeminismRomanceYoung Adult


What is the boyfriend list about? ›

The Boyfriend List is the humorous story of fifteen-year-old Ruby Oliver's quest to discover what about her love life has driven her to debilitating panic attacks.

How many pages are in the boyfriend list? ›

256 pages

Is E Lockhart a good writer? ›

Her wit and insight make her a popular choice for both adult and young adult audiences, as well as for libraries and community reads programs. E. Lockhart's novel The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks won a Michael L. Printz Honor Award and was a National Book Award finalist.

What happens in the book the list? ›

An intense look at the rules of high school attraction - and the price that's paid for them. It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list.

What are the top 10 things you should know about your boyfriend? ›

21 Things You Should Know About Your Boyfriend—And Everyone Should Know About Their Partner
  • What their hopes for this relationship are. ...
  • What their favorite hobbies are. ...
  • What they do to relax. ...
  • What their love language is. ...
  • What their eating and drinking preferences are. ...
  • What their allergies or medical needs are.

How old is E Lockhart? ›

What is boyfriend actual name FNF? ›

ninjamuffin99, PhantomArcade and Kawai Sprite have all stated that Boyfriend's name is simply Boyfriend. An official T-shirt created in collaboration with PKettles and Shark Robot refers to him as Boyfriend.

Where is E Lockhart from? ›

Lockhart was born in New York City, and grew up in the Boston area in the 1970s. Her mother was a pre-school teacher and her father a playwright.

What are the characters names in boyfriends? ›

All There in the Manual: The boyfriends and girlfriends both have "normal names" revealed by the author's twitter: The boyfriends' names are Felix, Vincent, Kevin, and Adrian for Goth, Prep, Jock, and Nerd respectively. Meanwhile, the girlfriends' names are Luna, Stephanie, Alex, and Lala.

What are the rules of boyfriend and girlfriend? ›

Relationship Rules Every Couple Must Follow
  • Love with no conditions whatsoever: ...
  • Your relationship is your priority: ...
  • Keep your communication channel always open: ...
  • Hug as often as you can: ...
  • Have sex generously: ...
  • Spend quality time together: ...
  • Be honest and truthful to build trust: ...
  • Criticize but don't hurt:
18 Nov 2022

How many absolute boyfriend volumes are there? ›

Absolute Boyfriend (絶対彼氏。, Zettai Kareshi) is a six-volume manga series by Yuu Watase, first serialized in Shōjo Comic.

What is E. Lockhart writing style? ›

Most of the story is written in your standard prose style, with complete sentences and paragraphs and such, but Lockhart occasionally writes in poem form. Describing fairytales, Cadence says: So many have the same premise: once upon a time, there were three.

Who is the best blog writer? ›

Here are the top writing blogs that every writer should follow:
  1. The Creative Penn. The Creative Penn is one of the world's most comprehensive writing blogs. ...
  2. Jane Friedman. ...
  3. Helping Writers Become Authors. ...
  4. The Write Life. ...
  5. The Jeff Goins Blog. ...
  6. Jerry Jenkins. ...
  7. Write to Done.

Who is the best Nigerian writer? ›

10 Best Nigerian Writers Every Writer Should Know About
  • Chinua Achebe.
  • Femi Osofisan.
  • Sefi Atta.
  • Wole Soyinka.
  • Buchi Emecheta.
  • Teju Cole.
  • Ben Okri.
  • Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani.

What happens at the end of the list book? ›

They also talk about the girls' backstories. After, the novel shows how the list affects each girl's life. It ends with the famed Homecoming dance, where we discover everything. The final sentence of this book says out loud what this novel has been meaning to tell the reader all along.

What is the theme of the book the list? ›

The theme of the book is 'things aren't always what they seem' which is also the theme and title of this poem. In the book this is the theme because the girls that are on the 'pretty' list, had their high school lives get worse, while the girls on the 'ugly' list, had their high school lives that get a little better.

What was the melting in the list? ›

The city of Ark is the last safe place on Earth: the polar ice caps have melted and flooded everything, leaving few survivors.

What can I ask a guy to make him smile? ›

Personal Questions
  • What was your first kiss like?
  • What is your dream job? ...
  • What is the worst thing you've done to another person?
  • When was the last time you cried in front of someone?
  • What is your love language?
  • What is your zodiac sign?
  • What is your MBTI?
  • How did you meet your best friend?

What is the most important question to ask your boyfriend? ›

Serious Questions to Ask Your Boyfriend
  • What makes you the happiest?
  • How can I support your interests?
  • Do you hold grudges?
  • How would you describe your family?
  • Tell me about your relationship with your parents and siblings.
  • What do you want to improve or change about yourself?
  • Do you have any regrets?

Why did Lockhart write We Were Liars? ›

And when I came to write We Were Liars I started with a setting. And then I followed through and I imagined this family, and the lives of the teenagers in the family who have grown up summer after summer connecting with each other all summer long and then going back to their ordinary lives.

Where did Emily Lockhart go to college? ›

E. Lockhart

What to read after We Were Liars? ›

10 Books for Fans of We Were Liars
  • Genuine Fraud. by E. Lockhart. ...
  • Little Monsters. by Kara Thomas. ...
  • Everything, Everything. by Nicola Yoon. ...
  • One of Us Is Lying. by Karen M. ...
  • Be True to Me. by Adele Griffin. ...
  • Rosie Girl. by Julie Shepard. ...
  • Even in Paradise. by Chelsey Philpot. ...
  • Liar. by Justine Larbalestier.

Who is a Boyfriend or girlfriend? ›

A boyfriend is a male friend or acquaintance, often specifying a regular male companion with whom a person is romantically or sexually involved. A boyfriend can also be called an admirer, beau, suitor and sweetheart. The analogous female term is "girlfriend".

How old is Pico FNF? ›

It was speculated on Newgrounds for years that Pico and his friends were around 10-14 years old, but Tom Fulp confirmed that all the major characters in Pico's School are high school seniors (around 16-18 years old).

Who is the ex Boyfriend of girlfriend FNF? ›

In the official Friday Night Funkin' canon, Pico is Boyfriend's only ex.

What is the theme of the book We Were Liars? ›

We Were Liars focuses on the theme of consequences of one's mistakes. It is centered on the wealthy, seemingly perfect Sinclair family, who spend every summer sitting gathered on their private island.

Who is e lockharts agent? ›

When her agent, Elizabeth Kaplan, got her a two-book deal with Delacorte for her novels starring Ruby Oliver—The Boyfriend List (Delacorte, 2005) and its sequel, The Boy Book (2006)—Lockhart decided to forge a separate YA identity.

What is the summary of We Were Liars? ›

The novel We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is a shocking and twisted tale about the seemingly perfect Sinclair family who hides their secrets, lies, and flaws behind their tall and handsome builds. The story takes place on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts, where the Sinclair family spends their summers.

What is the best Boyfriend nickname? ›

Generally cute nicknames for your boyfriend
  • Boo.
  • Booboo Bear.
  • Sweetheart.
  • Baby Boy.
  • Baby/Babe.
  • Baby Love.
  • Boo Thang.
  • Love Bug.
19 Sept 2022

What is the guy's name in your Boyfriend? ›

Peter, also known as Your Boyfriend, is the main antagonist in Your Boyfriend.

What is the 24 hour rule for relationships? ›

The 24 Hour Rule is a simple and effective method for saving relationships, particularly when you are tempted to act out of high emotion: When emotion is high, don't let words fly. Stop! Give it 24 Hours before you act.

What is the golden rule of love? ›

Our golden rule for couples is: “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.” Instead of treating our partner as we would like to be treated, we need to treat them as they want to be treated.

What is the last episode of my absolute boyfriend? ›

How many volumes will my androgynous boyfriend have? ›

My Androgynous Boyfriend
ジェンダーレス男子に愛されています。 (Jendāresu Danshi ni Aisareteimasu)
MagazineFeel Young
Original runFebruary 8, 2018 – present
16 more rows

How many volumes of my boyfriend are in orange? ›

My Boyfriend in Orange (Japanese: モエカレはオレンジ色, Hepburn: Moekare wa Orenji-iro) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Non Tamashima. It started serialization in Dessert. As of August 2022, 13 volumes have been released. A live-action film adaptation has also been released.

What are the 4 types of writing styles? ›

Your audience and writing purpose will determine your writing style. The four main types of writing styles are persuasive, narrative, expository, and descriptive. In this blog post, we'll briefly explore the defining features of these four writing styles.

What are the 5 types of writing styles? ›

there are only five main kinds of writing: expository, descriptive, persuasive, narrative, and journal or letter writing. Each writing genre has its own unique purpose and requires different skills.

What are the 3 writing styles? ›

As explained in the USC Rossier infographic, “There are three writing capacities: writing to persuade, writing to explain, and writing to convey real or imagined experiences.” These three types of writing are usually called argument, informative, and narrative writing.

What is the most successful blog in the world? ›

#1: Timothy Sykes ($1 million per month)

Timothy Sykes is a penny stock trader and trading teacher, famed for making millions of dollars off an initial five-figure investment. Sykes' eponymous blog is the biggest money-spinner in our list, raking in approximately $1 million per month.

Who is the richest blog? ›

  • – $35 million per year.
  • – $35 million per year.
  • – $32 million per year.
  • – $30 million per year.
  • – $25 million per year.
  • – $25 million per year.
  • – $25 million per year.
  • – $16 million per year.
1 Apr 2022

How much does a blog writer get paid? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $360,500 and as low as $19,500, the majority of BLOG Writer salaries currently range between $31,500 (25th percentile) to $47,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $65,000 annually across the United States.

Who is the No 1 writer in the world? ›

AuthorMin. estimated salesNumber of books
William Shakespeare2 billion42
Agatha Christie2 billion85
Barbara Cartland500 million723
Danielle Steel500 million179
66 more rows

Who is the No 1 English writer? ›

It's worth also pointing out that here at NoSweatShakespeare we have no doubt that William Shakespeare is by far the best (and probably most famous) writer in English literary history.

Who is the best female writer in Nigeria? ›

1. Buchi Emecheta: Chinua Achebe seems to embody African literature. English literature syllabus in universities that teach world literature or post colonial literature, undoubtedly include Things Fall Apart by Achebe.


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