Title: The Treasure Map of Boys
Author: E. Lockhart
ISBN: 9780385734264
Pages: 244 pages
Publisher/Date: Delacorte Press, c2009.

Noel had been kissing Ariel Olivieri.
Kissing.
Ariel.
Ag.
I felt shattered.
Except, how could I be shattered? We weren’t together. We would never be together, because of Nora liking him. We had barely spoken to one another since the term started.
Get over it, I told myself. You’re not allowed to be shattered.
He’s your Chem partner. You’re his bodyguard.
Nothing more. (50)

E. Lockhart continues Ruby Oliver’s journey through high school in the latest installment The Treasure Map of Boys. Following the events of The Boy Book, Ruby Oliver is faced with the dillema of being in a perpetual state of noboyfriend. That doesn’t mean that she still doesn’t have boy trouble though. She’s conflicted by her feelings towards her ex-boyfriend Jackson who cheated on her with her ex-bestfriend Kim. Noel also seems to like Ruby, but Ruby is trying not to let Nora find out because she promised Nora (who likes Noel) that Ruby wouldn’t date him. And then there’s the little fact that Nora recently got fired from her job at the zoo for calling a dad drunk. Overall, it’s no wonder that Ruby is having panic attacks. If only life wasn’t so complicated.

If readers are expecting another Frankie Landau-Banks, they will be severely disappointed. I have never seen an author portray two characters so differently yet equally successfully. Ruby Oliver is anything but sure of herself, questioning the actions, motivations, dialogue, and feelings of not only herself but almost every classmate she encounters. Readers are taken on a roller coaster of overwhelming self-consciousness.

I spent the rest of the day experiencing delicious jolts of happiness alternating with long periods of self-loathing.
Noel was crazy about me! And I was crazy about Noel.
I was a bad friend.
My love life was sorted out, I had left the state of Noboyfriend, he would call me tonight like he said he would and we’d go to the movies and there would be more kissing and everything would be wonderful.
No. That couldn’t happen. I was a crazy leg-wrapping slut who kept on making out with a guy even when I’d told my closest friend I wouldn’t steal him.
Noel was crazy about me! (160)

As much as I think the voice is entertaining and the footnotes are just as amusing, I can’t help but reserve raving about it. The reason being that I skipped around in my reading, passing over several dozen pages and finished the book without ever loosing stride or comprehension of what was going on. I feel I can’t place my whole-hearted endorsement on a book where I feel the need to skip ahead the reading and also where it doesn’t matter in the plot that I skipped ahead. Ruby’s attitude might be annoying for some readers, but I think most will be able to sympathize with her turbulent navigation of high school waters.

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