Delacorte Books for Young Readers, $16.99, 224 pages
According to Ruby Oliver, a real live boyfriend listens when you speak, never looks at his phone when you are talking, is nice to your friends, and doesn’t pressure you for more than kisses. Unfortunately, the two boyfriends Ruby has had didn’t live up to her requirements: Jackson cheated on her and Tommy was imaginary. Fans of E. Lockhart’s Ruby Oliver novels will rejoice to find out that there is nothing imaginary about the fourth book in the series, Real Live Boyfriends.
Ruby is back for a final time in the conclusion of this coming-of-age story. She is a senior at Seattle Tate Prep and on top of dealing with boy trouble, she must cope with the loss of her grandmother, her stressful job, her bickering parents, and college applications! Ruby is filled with angst and self doubt. Her friendships are up in the air and she can’t understand why Noel isn’t being a better boyfriend. Will there be a happy ending? Teen girls will easily relate to this chatty, witty, and funny character. This conclusion of four years of boy-craziness will leave readers cheering for Ruby and hoping Lockhart chooses to create a series following Ruby in college.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin