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  • Real Live Boyfriends
  • Written by E. Lockhart
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780385734295
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  • Real Live Boyfriends
  • Written by E. Lockhart
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780375897580
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Real Live Boyfriends

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Yes. Boyfriends, plural. If my life weren't complicated, I wouldn't be Ruby Oliver

Written by E. LockhartAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by E. Lockhart

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List Price: $8.99

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On Sale: December 28, 2010
Pages: 224 | ISBN: 978-0-375-89758-0
Published by : Delacorte Press RH Childrens Books
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ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

From E. Lockhart, author of the highly acclaimed, New York Times bestseller We Were Liars, which John Green called "utterly unforgettable," comes Real Live Boyfriends, the fourth book in the uproarious and heartwarming Ruby Oliver novels that finds Ruby Oliver as neurotic and hyperverbal as ever as she interviews her friends for a documentary on love and popularity and while doing so turns up some uncomfortable truths.

She’s lost most of her friends. She’s lost her true love more than once. She’s lost her grandmother, her job, her reputation, and possibly her mind. But she’s never lost her sense of humor. The Ruby Oliver books are the record of her survival.




From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpt

1. Real Live Boyfriends!    

A definition:  

A real live boyfriend does not contribute to your angst.  

You do not wonder if he will call.  

You do not wonder whether he will kiss you.  

And he does not look at his phone while you are talking, to see if anyone has texted him.  

Of course he calls. He's your boyfriend!  

Of course there will be kissing. He's your boyfriend!  

And of course he listens. He's your real live boyfriend!  

You can sit down next to him at lunch whenever you want. There's no need for mental gyrations such as: Will he want me there when he's hanging with his friends? Or will he half ignore me in order to seem golden in front of them?  

Of course you can sit with him. He's your boyfriend!   You can assume you'll see him on the weekend. You can call him just to chat. You can expect he'll be nice to your friends.  

Contrary to some rumors, however, you don't have to be in love. You don't have to engage in any horizontal action beyond what you're in the mood for. You don't even need to stay together after high school. But you have to like him and he has to like you--and everyone has to know you're together.   He's your real live boyfriend!        

2.     The Insanity of My Parents! And Romance!    

From seventh grade to ninth, I had a real live boyfriend named Tommy Hazard.  

Tommy was perfect. He had clear skin, he was never obnoxious in class, and he was excellent at sports. He had beautiful strong shoulders and a secret mysterious smile. Tall but not too tall. Great teeth. Smoldering eyes.  

In fact, he was superhot and could have any girl he wanted. And the best thing was--he went weak whenever he saw me.  

He was also imaginary.  

I told my best friend, Kim, all about him. He changed according to my mood. Sometimes he was a surfer boy in board shorts and a bead choker, tossing the water out of his hair as he smiled down at me. Sometimes he was a skate punk. Other times a mod guy in a narrow tie who took beautiful black-and-white photographs.  

Then I started going out with Jackson Clarke, sophomore year, and Tommy Hazard disappeared--I guess because I finally had a real live boyfriend with a real live heart pumping in his chest.  

Only--then it turned out he didn't.  

Have a heart.  

And he didn't want to be my real live boyfriend anymore--  

He wanted to be Kim's.      

Flash to end of junior year.  

When I wrote the above definition of a real live boyfriend, it was fourteen months since Kim and Jackson got together and shattered my heart, plunging me into an abyss of bad mental health. I wrote it sitting in the B&O Espresso, where Meghan and I were supposed to be studying for finals. We were hopped up on dobosh torte and coffee drinks, and I couldn't think any more about chemistry formulas.  

I flipped to a new page in my notebook and wrote something else, just to give myself a break.  

Meghan crinkled her sexy little freckled nose when she read it. "What do you mean, real live boyfriend?"  

"Exactly what I wrote."  

"But--" Meghan looked perplexed.  

"What?"  

"Isn't this just what a boyfriend is?" she asked. "Any boyfriend?"  

Just to be clear, Meghan has had a pretty much continuous cycle of serious boyfriends since seventh grade. Me, I had been in the state of Noboyfriend since April of sophomore year, when the Kim/Jackson debacle made me pretty much dysfunctional.  

And while you could argue that Meghan's male-oriented outlook on life was all about the fact that her dad died when she was twelve and that's why she's the only other teenager I know who sees a shrink on a regular basis, there was no denying that she was being truthful when she said she didn't know what I was writing about. She and her boyfriend, Finn, who was making espresso behind the counter at the B&O right that very minute, got together just before Spring Fling junior year and were as real and live as real and live could be. And before Finn, Meghan had been real and live with Bick.  

And before Bick, with a guy she met at camp.  

And before that, with Chet, who moved away.  

And before that--you get the idea.  

Meghan didn't know much about how it felt to wonder if a guy still liked you. She didn't know about half-boyfriends and awkwardness and partial breakups and all that human weirdness--partly, yes, because she is one of the most oblivious people I've ever met and really might not know human weirdness if it bit her, but also because she somehow knows how to connect with boys. Not like they're Neanderthals or wildebeests or aliens or pod-robots, but like they're normal human beings.  

Which obviously they are.  

Only, it is extremely hard to tell sometimes.  


From the Hardcover edition.
E. Lockhart

About E. Lockhart

E. Lockhart - Real Live Boyfriends

Photo © Courtesy of the author

I ate cinnamon toast for breakfast. I am writing this in my pajamas, which are cute and have cherries on them. I drink too much coffee. I am always cold and wear a ski hat indoors on a regular basis. I like yoga videos. I don't like television. I like to cook. I am a feminist. I always meet deadlines. I hold a grudge. I give good presents. I don't eat meat. I don't wear yellow. I make friends slowly. I am afraid of airplanes. I can not draw.

When I was a teenager, I went to an art school (where I was a leper) and a prep school (where I was popular). Then I went to Vassar, where I went dancing every night and took ballet for credit, followed by Columbia, where I worked extremely hard and nearly lost my mind. Now I earn my living writing.

I am trying to write honestly about the feelings I had when I was a teenager — although not about the things that actually happened to me. (I was never a famous slut, like Roo.) In The Boyfriend List, I wanted to articulate the psychological horror of going to school every day with the guy who dumped you–seeing him with his new girlfriend. And I wanted to describe the kind of microcosm that exists in a small school where everybody's known each other forever.

I write on a Macintosh in a tiny office that doubles as my closet. It has a window. It has a cat or two. I work in the morning five days a week and then run errands or try to exercise. I outline. I revise as I go and then do several more drafts after that. I try to generate at least a page of small-type single space text every day, but I fail a good deal.

I love to read. I grew up loving Astrid Lindgren and Joan Aiken. Now, Arthur Conan Doyle, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, P.G. Wodehouse, Iris Murdoch, John Irving. A book by one of them, and I am set for the day.
Praise

Praise

Praise for real live boyfriends:
 
“Fans will enthusiastically embrace this hilarious novel.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“Wryly comic lists, footnotes, and narration lay Ruby Oliver’s heart bare and construct a vulnerable, sympathetic character with whom many teens will relate.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Fans of the series will clamor for Ruby’s latest adventure.”—Booklist
 
A Junior Library Guild Selection
 
An ALA-YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Book


From the Hardcover edition.

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