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The Boy Book: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them (Ruby Oliver Quartet) Hardcover – September 26, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–Ruby, first introduced in The Boyfriend List (Delacorte, 2005), continues to narrate the events in her life at Tate Prep. Interspersed throughout the story are excerpts from The Boy Book: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them, a journal written by the teen and her friends in years past. Ruby is now in her junior year and discovering that there is life after a boyfriend breakup and the loss of previous friends for not following The Rules for Dating. She discovers that she can make new friends, reconnect with some of her old ones, and simply accept that some people are lost forever. She continues therapy with Dr. Z. and gains control over her panic attacks. The story is both humorous and witty, and the language is realistically raw. Sections such as The Care and Ownership of Boobs are particularly funny. Teens will relate to the situations that Ruby finds herself in and learn from her skills about how to cope with the minefield of crises that todays teens face.–Sheilah Kosco, Bastrop Public Library, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This sequel to The Boyfriend List (2004) finds Ruby Oliver starting her junior year still dealing with her fall from popularity. Following therapist Dr. Z's suggestion to find a new activity, Ruby gets an internship at the zoo, but she still obsesses over lost friendships and boyfriends. However, somewhere between rereading the advice in the Boy Book, an advice journal that she started with her ex-friends years before, and living in the present, she discovers she's ready to move on to new friends and opportunities. Ruby's intimate, first-person narrative, which includes a few sexual references, is lively, descriptive, frequently humorous, and peppered with periodic footnotes. Readers will easily relate to the dialogue and the situations Ruby copes with, including peer pressure and relationship breakups. Each chapter begins with a Boy Book entry--from the opening "Care and Ownership of Boobs" to "Clever Comebacks to Catcalls"--which reflects Ruby's continuing process of self-discovery and personal growth. Shelle Rosenfeld
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 820L (What's this?)
  • Series: Ruby Oliver Quartet
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (September 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385732082
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385732086
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,852,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I write novels.
My books: We Were Liars, Fly on the Wall, The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, Dramarama, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, How to Be Bad,The Treasure Map of Boys and Real Live Boyfriends.

Visit me at
Or come read the blog at
Twitter: elockhart
Pinterest: elockhartbooks

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#62 in Books > Teens
#62 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Herold on December 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
E. Lockhart's "The Boy Book: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them)" is fun, fun, fun.

Ruby Oliver starts her junior year in disgrace. Once one of a foursome of girls, kissing the boyfriend of the alpha member of the group cost her her friends. It doesn't matter that the boyfriend was formerly Ruby's own boyfriend--the girls had a code and wrote it down in their "Boy Book," a collection of lists and instructions on how to deal with the male species.

Ruby's also seeing a shrink, after experiencing a series of panic attacks following her very public fall from grace. Ruby's delightfully hippie parents suspect she may be a lesbian. And, Ruby is still pining after the boy (Jackson) who caused the angst in the first place.

Lockhart has really captured the voice of your intelligent, insecure sixteen year old. Ruby is fabulous narrator, fond of lists and a footnote or two. She talks too much, is a bit of a busybody, and doesn't, frankly, understand her own motivations. At least at the beginning of the book. By the end, however, and with the help of Dr. Z, new friends, old friends, and, yes, even her parents, Ruby has grown up enough to give the "Boy Book" away:

"Nancy Drews

That is, things I am good at*

1. The backstroke. Not great, but decent and getting better.

2. Talking. I'm like my mom that way.

3. Making lists. I really could medal in this one.

4. Movies. Remembering trivia and being able to say semi-intelligent stuff about cinema when called upon to do so.

5. Getting animals to like me. And not being afraid of them.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Pauley on November 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
know I love a book when, an hour after I've finished reading it...and when I should be fast asleep in bed...I'm thinking of ways the character could possibly get together with that guy. "What if..." I keep saying. Then I have to remind myself, "Hey, it's a fictional character, for heaven's sake! Get some sleep!"

Yeah, I just love Ruby Oliver. E. Lockhart's heroine reads like a real person, with all the crazy, mixed-up feelings that a normal teen has. Even though Ruby herself doesn't think she's all that normal, I think she is.

Hmmmm, or maybe that says something about me.

At any rate, Ruby is back and this is her junior year after the fiasco of her sophomore year when she lost all her friends, her boyfriend, and her reputation. She's ready for her life to settle down. She's ready for that big red "Don't Panic" button to show up.

Of course, she's still beset with boy issues. There's Noel, who she can't quite decide if she likes "that" way or not (and his mixed signals aren't helping). Then there's Angelo, someone she's known for years...and has just started "scamming" with (i.e. making out with while not officially going out). And the infamous Jackson, her former boyfriend, who's mysteriously sending her notes again while her former best-friend Kim (his current girlfriend) is away in Tokyo.

As she slowly makes up with Nora (one of the lost friends), further cements her new friendship with Meghan, and develops a confusing quasi-relationship/friendship with Noel, Ruby starts to get comfortable. When things seem to be conspiring against her and she feels like she might lose all that she's gained back, what will she do? Is it time to cut and run or take a stand?

Yes, she's neurotic. But, oh, that's why I like her so much.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Ruby Oliver is back!

E. Lockhart, author of the much acclaimed and popular THE BOYFRIEND LIST, has delivered a sequel that holds its own. THE BOY BOOK: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them, details the humorously heartbreaking junior year of Ruby Oliver, now 16 years old and newly-licensed to drive.

The drama from last year's debacle may be past, but it's far from over. There isn't any nice way to say it: Ruby is a social leper. Everyone looks at her and sees a fishnet-stockinged slut, which isn't exactly every girl's dream nickname. Her best friends from last year --- Kim, Cricket and Nora, the girls with whom she wrote THE BOY BOOK --- aren't speaking to her. Her ex-boyfriend Jackson is still going out with Kim, even though she's off in Tokyo. And Ruby's parents are still making her see Dr. Z, the shrink they hooked her up with to help her cope with the panic attacks that take over when life gets too crazy.

Universal Truth: "A guy becomes instantly more desirable when he is with someone else. And that is bad. Because you can't have him. And also because it's stupid and kind of sick."

As the gods would have it, Nora starts speaking to Ruby again after the whole topless photos incident drops her to Outcast Status Ruby. Ruby gets a job at the zoo, and things begin to change. Jackson leaves a note in her cubby, and she has to figure out what she's going to do about it. Tell someone? Write him back? Ignore it? Throw it away? But she hasn't forgotten about Jackson, even though:

1) She's hoping Noel (the guy from the bushes incident) will kiss her.

2) Angelo (the family friend) has hidden skills that make him an option, to say the least.

3) Kim stole Jackson from her because it was "meant to be.
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