At First Sight: Ruby Oliver is entering Senior Year and, even though she thought her mental health would be better, the Tate Universe is making her crazier than ever, particularly Noel.
During the last part of Junior year and the beginning of summer, Noel was Ruby's Real Life Boyfriend - he called her, made her feel special, they went on dates and kissed a lot - but then he went to New York to visit his brother Claude and the Noel she knew and loved started to vanish bit by bit.
And Ruby just plain doesn't know how to deal with this new Noel. Plus, as Noel pulls away, Gideon Van Deusen (brother to on/off friend Nora) keeps coming closer.
Second Glance: Oh, Ruby, while during Treasure Map of Boys you made me feel like you were finally growing up and I was cheering for you, in Real Life Boyfriends you reminded me of all the things that made it so hard for me to get into The Boyfriend List (first book of the series).
See, when Ruby's boyfriend Noel stops acting like she wants him to, she spirals out of control so fast it makes me wonder if Ruby will ever stop judging so much of her own value by the way her boyfriend acts. Plus, this book made me see how self-absorbed she is, and that yeah, Nora is right, she's full of self-loathing.
The only parts I loved about this book were Meghan and Hutch - though neither was around much, and yeah, that made me sad. Meghan and Hutch should have their own books, they are that awesome.
Ruby... well, in this book she drove ME a little crazy with her actions. So did Noel, actually. The reason why he starts acting the way he does is a very powerful one, but the treatment the author had toward it was more 'convenient' than 'organic'. Like, Noel was acting that way because it served the plot, rather than because it rang entirely true of his character (in a way it did, but I also felt like the author let it go on for way longer than what felt natural).
Bottom Line: Real Life Boyfriends was a bit of a mixed bag of nuts to me. Some parts I liked, some I really didn't, but it was a conclusion to the Ruby Oliver series and it wasn't all that bad. Not my favorite bok of the series, though.
Favorite Quote: "Get over it, Roo. If you have friends who actually like you, you're popular enough." -Meghan.