A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ruby is an authentic character, and as such is obsessed with boys, uses words like "slut" and "hooters," and goes to Starbucks. In one scene, she has a pretty serious kissing session in a unoccupied school classroom.
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What's the story?
This is the third installment in the Ruby Oliver series, and the neurotic, funny narrator is still suffering from panic-attacks -- and obsessing over the same boys (even her ex, Jackson, who cheated on her with her former best friend). This book begins in the winter of Ruby's junior year as she plans a fundraising bake sale focused on "deliciousness," gets fired from her job at the zoo for trying to protect animals, and gets caught kissing the boy her friend has a crush on. Ultimately, through lots of trial and introspections, she discovers that the treasure map that her therapist asks her to draw about "something you want for yourself in life" should include something more than boys.
Is it any good?
Ruby can be grating at times, but she is such a funny and believable character that readers will forgive her for being a bit self-centered. Teens new to the series will certainly fall in love with her, and empathize with her through her many scrapes. Fans won't find a whole lot new here -- even the boys she's obsessing over are the same as in previous installments -- but they will appreciate that Ruby is as honest, insightful, (and neurotic) as ever.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about reading a series. This is the third book in a series that also includes The Boyfriend List and The Boy List. Do you like following a character through many adventures? What do you think would be fun about writing one -- or hard? Why would publishers be interested in printing them?
Ruby has a reputation for being a "slut" at school, though all she has ever done is kissed boys. The boys who kiss her don't seem to be tarnished in the same way -- even the former boyfriend who broke her heart by hooking up with her best friend. Does this seem realistic to you? Does it seem fair?
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