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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ruby Oliver is back and better than ever
I didn't realize how much I missed Ruby Oliver until I started reading this third book in the series. I haven't read The Boyfriend List or The Boy Book in nearly a year, but as soon as I picked this one up, I was instantly sucked back into Ruby's crazy, "Ag" filled world.

Ruby's strong voice and writing style are once again present in this book. Her footnotes,...
Published on July 28, 2009 by Khy

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the worst books i've ever read
This book shows precisely how degraded society has become. A YA book with vulgar words (they used the f-word several times), teen girls talking about "horizontal action", and a completely inappropriate "heroine". This book is so indecent and immoral that it could actually be a caricature of degraded youth today if the author actually didn't believe in these so-called...
Published 17 months ago by Sean J. Hagins

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ruby Oliver is back and better than ever, July 28, 2009
I didn't realize how much I missed Ruby Oliver until I started reading this third book in the series. I haven't read The Boyfriend List or The Boy Book in nearly a year, but as soon as I picked this one up, I was instantly sucked back into Ruby's crazy, "Ag" filled world.

Ruby's strong voice and writing style are once again present in this book. Her footnotes, her notes at the beginning of the chapters, and uncommonly used words are all back and make Roo as entertaining as ever. The best part about Roo in this book is that she finally learns to grow. She still has her panic attacks, and freaks out over boys, but by the end, she really learns some lessons she needed to learn in order to make herself a better person. It got a little preachy when she went over all the things she had learned throughout the book, but it still showed that she is finally growing up.

There was a bunch of little things happening in the book along the way, so there was a lot of build up to the events of the end, which was kind of annoying, but it's worth it. The ending events show Roo's development extremely well, and I was actually proud of Roo for a certain event. But I can't tell you what that is. ;)

Fans of the first two books shouldn't be disappointed in the third installment, because The Treasure Map of Boys is absolutely spankin'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, August 9, 2009
Ruby "Roo" Oliver is trying to be good. Since the beginning of the school year she has had a thing for Noel, but her promise not to go after any guy one of her friends is interested in is complicating matters. Nora told Roo she likes Noel and that makes him off-limits.

Although her focus is on Noel, the other guys in her life are sending strange message as well. Jackson is back to his old self, flirting with Roo. Nora's college-age brother, Gideon, somehow seems interested in Roo, and Finn is volunteering to help with the bake sale she is running.

Since Roo's adventures in THE BOY BOOK, she has lost her job at the zoo and is now selling Birkenstocks at a local shoe store. She is still in therapy with Dr. Z, hoping to learn the cause of her panic attacks. As far as family issues, Roo makes a joke about Dr. Z recommending that she should have a dog, more specifically a Great Dane, and her parents take the news seriously when they bring home the giant but lovable Polka-dot.

With all this going on, it's easy to understand Roo's worry that her life will never make sense.

Colorful characters and crazy capers combined with believable high school stress and pressure make E. Lockhart's series a popular read. Roo's adventures offer plenty of laughs as well as a sympathetic voice for the ups and downs of the teen experience.

Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock it out Ruby!, September 10, 2009
What can I say? Ruby Oliver has dazzled me yet again. She is the voice of the female species, or at least, the better half of it.

It seems dear Roo can never catch a break. Just when she has finally gotten a handle on her panic attacks, formed a new group of friends, and has begun an enjoyable internship at the city zoo, it's all turned on its feet.

Roo gets fired
Jackson sends her a frog laden with meaning
Noel is flirting and sending her notes
Gideon sits with his thigh touching hers
Nora is ignoring her once again
And Roo has just met Doctor Z's fungi footed boyfriend.
Could things get any more complicated?

The answer is yes, yes they can. The Treasure Chest of Boys does not disappoint. Filled with bake sale stand offs, emulsions of the kitchen variety, hair band therapy, goat correspondence, Operation Sophomore Love, bodyguard duty and more, we are once again transported into the quirky, neurotic mind of our beloved Ruby Oliver. I'm sad that it is coming to an end, but I am anxiously waiting to read about Roo's next and last adventure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars E. Lockhart never disappoints, August 15, 2009
"The Treasure Map of Boys" is the third book about Ruby Oliver, a 16-year old girl unsure of what and who she wants in her life. Ruby's life is messy and stressful as she tries to figure out how to deal with her overbearing parents, ex-boyfriend, potential boyfriends, her on and off friends, and undeserved scandalous reputation.

Once again, E. Lockhart doesn't disappoint. Her knowledge of the inner works of a teenage girl's mind is profound and portrayal of Ruby's is extremely realistic. My only complaint is that in spite of a lot of self-examination and sessions with her shrink, Ruby still seems to be stuck in the same place where she was in the beginning of "The Boyfriend List," I personally would have liked to see more growth in her. However it did not stop me from thoroughly enjoying this clever book.

I will be anxiously awaiting the fourth and last book about Ruby or anything else written by E. Lockhart for that matter.
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5.0 out of 5 stars from MissPrint dot wordpress dot com, January 2, 2011
It's the second term of Junior year. Ruby is still in therapy and still has no boyfriend (this is actually her 37th week sans boyfriend--not that she's counting).

Her reputation in the Tate Universe still stinks. And it probably isn't going to get better any time soon.

This term Ruby is also in charge of running a bake sale and, much to her chagrin, playing bodyguard to Noel and matchmaker for Nora (both of which stink). She is defending the rights of pygmy goats (at least one, anyway), dealing with smelly feet, and trying really hard to be a good friend without attracting a boyfriend. But it's really hard to stay in the state of Noboyfriend when Gideon is flirting with her, Jackson is talking to her again, Finn starts blushing around her, and Noel is his usual charming self.

It's all a terrible mess but maybe when it's all over Ruby will be able to see some of the real treasures in her life, even if the boys remain confusing, in The Treasure Map of Boys: Noel, Jackson, Finn, Hutch, Gideon--and Me, Ruby Oliver (2009) by E. Lockhart.

The Treasure Map of Boys is the third book in Lockhart's Ruby Oliver series (preceeded by The Boyfriend List and The Boy Book). The book could stand alone but honestly since they're so short it's worth just reading them all in order.

This book picks up right where the previous book in the serious left off. Ruby is still grappling with her feelings for Noel and what to do about them in order to be a good friend. She also tries to shake things up at Tate with a bake sale that challenges traditional gender roles (and Tate's social order).

As usual Lockhart presents Ruby's story with aplomb and wit. In addition to a charming plot that might not be like the movies but is still pretty awesome, Ruby is a really strong character. Equal parts feminist and non-conformist Ruby is a quirky breath of fresh air.

Her mental health isn't perfect, her love life is a mess, but she handles it all with style (and just a few panic attacks). Ruby Oliver continues to be a joy to read about in The Treasure Map of Boys.

Possible Pairings: Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson, Alice MacLeod, Realist at Last by Susan Juby, Vibes by Amy Kathleen Ryan, The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott, Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee
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4.0 out of 5 stars Most emotionally involving book yet, January 1, 2011
Ashleigh (Jacksonville, FL USA) - See all my reviews
Also appears on The Screaming Nitpicker.

Warning: Spoilers ahead. Proceed with caution.

Ruby Oliver is back for the second half of her junior year and dealing with more drama than ever. She has finally realized that she has feelings for Noel, but can't do anything about them because Nora voiced hers first and. All she wants is to be a good friend and a good person; she doesn't want a repeat of the alienation that ensued after the Spring Fling incident. Around her, her life starts to implode on itself: she gets fired from her job, her feelings for Jackson return with full force, her therapy is going nowhere fast, and her panic attacks are happening more and more often. All the pressure of being a good person, running a bake sale, and finding a new job is pushing on her and Ruby is headed straight for a breakdown.

If you're looking for a book where the character does everything right and everything goes the way she wants it to, this is not the book you want to read. Ruby has literally no luck in this book--from getting fired from one job to getting two of her closest friends pissed off at her again, Ruby isn't getting anything right. She is screwing up every possible way she can screw up and is suffering from some sort of bad luck curse. Honestly, the number of screw-ups Ruby has in this novel is beyond excessive even for her. All of the misfortune does serve an important purpose, which keeps it from being misfortune written for the sake of it, but most readers may not realize this until the last twenty pages of the novel and despite the purpose, that does not stop all of the screw-ups from making this book borderline-depressing.

Sometimes around page one hundred fifty or even two hundred, for readers like me, it becomes obvious that Ruby is having a mental breakdown. All of the negative in her life is tearing her apart, bringing her down, and in connection bringing down the novel a little bit. What made me realize this? Someone is trying to take over the bake sale she put together with hard work because it isn't "cute enough" for the people coming there and Roo stands up for herself when the conqueror-wannabe brings our heroine's not-so-lovely reputation into the equation when it has nothing to do with the matter at hand. Roo successfully retains her hold on the bake sale, but then ends the fight by throwing food at the other girl. That was the moment her breakdown really popped out at me.

From that point on, the book is an emotional grabber and will refuse to let you go. The nineteenth chapter of this book, in which Ruby has a great revelation about the treasure in her life, will forever stick with me as one of the emotional pieces I have ever read. It is so, so emotionally charged and perfectly written that I, someone who does not often get brought to tears when reading, felt her eyes water within the first two pages of the nineteenth chapter and then had that become a normal reaction until the end of the book. I had to put it down once and have a good cry before I could pick it up again. This is definitely the most emotionally involving Ruby Oliver book yet.

For me, the main difference between these books and other prep-school-drama books is that the Ruby Oliver novels have substance. They don't feel like novels written just to entertain the brain; they're trying to get a message across to the reader through Ruby's troubles and usually succeed. It took me a long time to cue in on the issue of the novel: thinking about the good in life instead of the bad. In the past two novels, I picked up on it immediately and enjoyed seeing how the issue was covered and played out. This time? Not so much. At points, I had the legitimate worry that these great novels were becoming just as melodramatic and drama-centric as novel series such as the Gossip Girl books.

For a lot of this novel, Ruby let me down in the boy department. She's still the same girl she was at the end of The Boy Book with all growth intact except for one teensy little thing: despite how the end of The Boy Book showed that she was finally over Jackson, it turns out that she's not over him after all. Once she learns that he broke up with Kim, she's lovestruck over him again. It is perfectly fine for her to have a relapse in her feelings because people do that and she's not perfect, but as I said, I was disappointed she couldn't just stay over him. This might stem from my own dislike of Jackson.

She does realize late in the novel that she does not want him and will never want him again, no matter how much her fantasies of being back with him seem lovely, and that was perfect. Absolutely perfect. She was smart enough to separate what she wanted to have happen and what she knew would happen and saved herself more heartache. A thousand times yes. Where is all the media that gives this important message to girls? We need more bestsellers that give girls this message instead of bestsellers that tell girls to let their boyfriend control their life or that girls are lesser beings than boys or that his unwanted sexual harassment is fine as long as you fall in love in the end. Not all girls do this, but some girls model their dream relationship after what they read when they're young and in their more impressionable stages in life. This book is the kind of book they should be reading then, not Twilight and Hush, Hush.

(This had no bearing at all on the rating, but I still felt the need to mention it: this book needed a better editor. One should not be finding typo gems such as "And I wanted to her to be happy" in a published novel. Just a useless gripe, my friends; pay it little mind.)

Despite how it did the difficult and brought me to tears, Ruby's excessive misfortune, the difficulty in perceiving the message, and her relapse in feelings for Jackson when it seemed that she was finally done with him kept The Treasure Map of Boys form being on the same level as its predecessors. You may have noticed how many times I discussed good point in the novel and mentioned it being at the end and that is one big flaw. A book should be good from start to finish, not mediocre to bad at the start and then heart-breakingly beautiful and awesome at the end. Touching both sides of the spectrum in one novel is not fun. I am still looking forward to the final book in this quartet, Real Live Boyfriends, and also dread reading it because that means the end of Ruby's story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, not as good as the first two..., November 10, 2010
Ruby Oliver, the funny, quirky, crazy mental patient, is back at Tate Prep. She's once again dealing with the complicated world of boys (most notably Noel and the ex-boyfriend, Jackson) and friends (Nora and Meghan). She's still seeing Dr. Z and trying to work through her "issues" and deal with the panic attacks that are coming more frequently lately, especially when Jackson's around.

The premise here is a continuation of the first two books, as is the Noel-Jackson-Nora-focused plot. Roo is a crazy, quirky, remarkably confused and likable character that I've always been able to relate to far more than is probably healthy. In the first two books she worked out a few of her boy-and-friend-related issues after her best friend stole her boyfriend, and in the third installment she's trying to figure out just what she does want. What kind of friendships she wants and, more to the point, what sort of boy-girl relationship she wants. And who she wants that relationship with. Because one thing is obvious in this book: Roo wants a boyfriend. Badly. She ping-pongs between the various guys in her life: Noel, Jackson, Gideon, Finn, and despite frequently mentioning her horrible social status, she seems to have a constant group of guys who - it's obvious - would love to go out with her.

Despite the fact that these are the exact same characters that peopled the first two Ruby Oliver books, they seemed a bit flat and superficial this time around. Before, Roo was boy-obsessed, but it was with specific reasons. She was crazy about certain boys and confused over certain relationships. Now, she's just boy-obsessed. Any of them, whatever. And while this may be realistic to the teenage experience, it didn't sit quite right on Roo. In the past she had been focused on figuring out the relationships she had with guys in her life; in this book her goal was a boyfriend. That said, the characters and their dynamics continue to be well-written in this third book and the confusion of just dealing with people, not to mention the complex emotions that go along with having feelings for another human being, are portrayed wonderfully here. There were times when it seemed that there really was no "right answer" for Ruby and, even in the end, the book didn't shy away from this aspect of life.

On the whole, this was a good, funny-but-charming book. As with all of E. Lockhart's novels, there's true heart here. Though I definitely enjoyed the first two novels in the series more, this one is a worthy successor and the ending is fairly wonderful and sets us up for the fourth book perfectly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars And Another Book Read's Reviews, July 9, 2010
Ruby Oliver is back from Christmas vacation and well in all honesty, life hasn't gotten any less confusing for her at Tate Prep. You see, she hasn't had a boyfriend now in 37 weeks and the future is looking bleak as well, her panic attacks are getting worse, and her friend Nora has told her to stay away from the one boy she likes. Not only does she have to deal with all this drama, but Jackson, her old boyfriend, has all of sudden become very friendly, Nora's brother Gideon is coming on to her, and rumors are flying around the school about Ruby again.

Ruby is just not sure how she is going to survive her second semester of Junior year. There's bake sales, smelly feet, pygmey goats, and her constant struggle with her mental health to take into account, but hey she's survived before so who says she can't do it again!

I only read the first book in the series, THE BOYFRIEND LIST, but had no problem jumping into another of Ruby's many escapades. Ruby filled the reader in on any information they may have missed by not reading the other books to make this a great book.

I thought that the whole story was side-splitting hilarious and was so full of crazy adventures that I couldn't help but wish I could get caught up with it all myself. All the boy drama within the book was so real. It reaked havoc on friendships and drove everyone crazy, just like in real life. What made it even more authentic was the personality of they guys - it was so typical! While the boys had that typical personality, they were not super well developed. Ruby on the other hand was developed and relatable, but not always real.

Anyways, I really liked the book. The writing made the book easy to read and I loved how each chapter started out with a journal entry - it really set the mood. It was fun and light and I can't wait to hear more about her adventures. This is a great book that I really enjoyed and had me laughing until the very last page.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Additon!, June 30, 2010
The Ruby Oliver Noels, along with the Princess Diaries series and Shug by Jenny Han, were actually some of the novels that originally got me addicted to reading YA. To this day the Ruby Oliver series is still a favorite of mine, and Treasure Map of Boys only proves this fact farther.

In Treasure Map of Boys Ruby is in the thirty-seventh week of Noboyfriend, though that's okay because she's friends with Meaghan and Nora, she's been put in charge of Tate's bake sale, and is still going to her weekly therapy meeting with Dr. Z. But soon enough, everything comes tumbling down. Jackson's sending her frogs once again and acting like he cares, the sexual tension with Noel is getting worse and worse, especially given the fact that Nora likes him, and Gideon is becoming more and more friendly. Plus, add in the fact that she just saw Dr. Z out in public with her boyfriend, leaving Ruby creeped out and bringing the therapeutic process to an end, it seems like junior year keeps getting better and better-not.

It's a funny thing. At times I detest Ruby for the way she treats her friends, the ones who love and put up with her, but then I start to adore her wit and sympathize with her situation, and once again I'm back to rooting for her like my feelings of detest weren't even there five minutes ago. Isn't is just amazing how Lockhart can control my feelings in that way? I think so. Moving on, I have to say I love all the boys in this one, well except for Jackson, though I did like how Ruby finally, after all these months, stood up to him. Noel is his same cute, funny shelf but I hate the fact it always takes him forever to realize he likes Ruby as more than a friend, especially given the fact that he's leading poor Nora along at the same time. And Gideon! He's the sweet college boy you wish you knew, and I'm starting to think I would prefer Ruby getting together with him in the end instead of Noel. Hutch is awesome as well. I loved his idea of heavymetal therapy. Meaghan is without a doubt my favorite friend of Ruby's, since she's funny, honest, and, surprisingly, very wise. Plus, I give her props for putting Ruby for this long.

Just like the others, the plot of this was addicting and always left me with questions rolling around in my head, such as; "Who will Ruby end up with-Noel or Gideon? Someone else? No one at all?" to "Will Nora ever come to her senses?" and on and on. I loved all the development in this addition, even though I know the ending is coming soon sadly enough. Lastly, Lockhart's writing moved smoothly and left for more plot and character development to occur, which I love.

In all, The Treasure Map of Boys is a great, funny addition to the Ruby Oliver series, and if you haven't read this one yet or any of the series at all, I highly suggest you give it a go.

Grade: B+
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Treasure Map of Boys, January 13, 2010
The Treasure Map of Boys begins with a quick recap of events, not getting in the way of the story, but serving as a nice reminder. Ruby is as quirky a narrator as always, and I loved her typical engaging thoughts. Although not that much happens plotwise, Ruby's snarky narration is just awesome enough to keep my interest. I'm proud of how much Ruby has developed over the series, into the self-assured girl we see in this book, reminding me of Meg Cabot's Mia Thermopolis and her endless quest for self-actualization. I felt that the book had a solid ending that would have worked even as an ending to the series. It really felt like a complete work, though, unlike many books found in series, where they sometimes feel incomplete as individual works of fiction. On a different note, I think it is important for readers to realize and keep in mind through the reading that this is a work of fluff fiction, and should not be taken seriously. Ruby overexaggerates a lot, is completely obsessed with boys, and when it comes to it, leads a pretty shallow existence. Don't go into these books looking for a heavy read, go into them for a bit of relaxation and unwinding, a distraction from the busy realities of life. It's a cutesy story about a girl and her day-to-day relatable adventures. Ruby is one of those characters that I know I would hate in real life, but reading it from her perspective, getting her outlook makes me like her. I don't love her, bt I see the reasons behind the actions and Ruby makes more sense as a person--as much sense as a fictional character can make. And isn't that what books are all about? A heightened sense of understanding about the world around us?

Rating: 4.5/5
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