April 29, 2012

You're All Mine, Robespierre

Real Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, Plural. If My Life Weren't Complicated, I Wouldn't Be Ruby Oliver by E. Lockhart

Release Date: December 2010
Publisher: Random House | Delacorte
Pages: 225 pages
Series: Ruby Oliver #4
Source & Format: Library; Kindle e-book

Sum It Up
Following the end of her junior year, Ruby is finally at a god place in her life. She's in love with her real live boyfriend, Noel... or she would if he'd just call her back. In the span of one summer, it seems that he's turned into a pod-robot, and Ruby doesn't understand why.

Her mom's gone off the deep end, her dad's wallowing in Cheetos, Hutch has gone to Paris, Gideon shows up shirtless and that doesn't even include her friend problems.

She's been writing to her favorite pygmy goat, Robespierre, but he's been no help at all.

Amen, Sister Friend: Three Cheers for Ruby!
Ruby's a little crazy and a lot neurotic, but she's also incredible charming. It was such a joy to see her grow up, and I would honestly want to be her friend. There were moments that I wanted to shake her a little bit because I didn't really agree with all of her decisions. But, at the same time, I was proud of her for making up her mind and choosing her own path. So, at the close of this series, I'll say: amen, sister friend!

Literary Love: Get a Clue, Noel!
In all three books leading up to this one, I really liked Noel. I kept hoping they'd get together, and then it was really disappointed when they finally did. Why? Because Noel just screwed everything up! I won't spoil the ending for you, but I didn't one hundred agree with Ruby's decision. But it was hers to make, and I was glad that she made up her mind. The Nice Guy vs. Bad Boy debate was interesting, especially since it often comes up in YA books (and occasionally in real life).

Word Nerd: She's All Grown Up
I think Ruby has started to mature in this book, and her voice has gotten a little older and less cutesy. I'm still really impressed with Lockhart's ability to write a realistic and relatable contemporary teenager.

Extra, Extra: Crazy Mom
Ruby's mom has always been a little odd, but she goes totally crazy in this book! As a performance artist, she's always been over the top and eccentric, but it's a little too much in the final book. I think Ruby's trying so hard to find the answers, and her mom's wacky behavior really doesn't help.

Extra, Extra: Dear Robespierre
The letters to the pygmy goat at the zoo were my absolute, downright favorite part of this book! Hilarious! Endearing! Adorable! Can you tell I loved Robespierre?

Extra, Extra: Dr. Z
Let's not forget Ruby's therapist, Dr. Z. She's played a role in all the books, but I feel like I've got to give her credit as the books draw to a close. I loved that she encourages Ruby to find her own answers, work through her issues and mature as gracefully as possible. I'm also glad she laughs at, and occasionally uses, Ruby's slang.

So Quotable
Roo: You feel popular now?
Meghan: Sure.
Roo: But I'm a complete roly-poly. Being friends with me is like the opposite  of popularity.
Meghan: Get over it, Roo. If you have friends who actually like you, you're popular enough.

Bottom Line: This Can't Be Goodbye!
Ruby's had to deal with sucky friends, crazy parents, overwhelming panic attacks and confusing boys. Don't forget the boys. I really enjoyed the Ruby Oliver books, and I'm glad I got to read about someone like her. The ending wasn't exactly what I would have wished for her, but that's okay. I still think it was an absolute delight to get to know her!

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