Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Treasure Map of Boys

So everyone knows how much I love The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, right? I still haven't gotten over the fact that it didn't win the National Book Award this year, and I haven't gotten over my disappointment that it didn't exist when I was 15. Before I read it I'd sort of avoided E. Lockhart's books because of... well, because of covers that look like this. Yes, I'm shallow, and yes I'm often wrong because of it, and I'm not going to type the phrase "chick lit" out loud, and I wouldn't use it in a derogatory way even if I did. But you know what I mean.

Once I read Disreputable History I quickly read everything else Lockhart's written, and it turns out I was so wrong to snub this stuff. The whole Ruby Oliver series is great; it's smart and funny and true, and Ruby's kind of an endearingly irritating idiot when it comes to boys, but only in the way we're all idiots about that.

I think this third book might be the best one so far. The plot's simple and complicated enough in that high-schooly way: Roo gets fired from her zoo job for defending a pygmy goat, then gets a new job selling Birkenstocks to Dr. Z's fungus-footed boyfriend; she's in charge of a school bake sale and gets sports boys involved baking delicious things instead of the cutesy marshmallow sculptures sold but not eaten at past sales (hence the cover image); she flirts with Noel in chemistry but Nora likes him too, and Jackson's maybe flirting with her again and maybe Finn is too and Gideon's cute and ack what to do! and blah blah blah. It's all the same, but this time she's kind of getting more self-aware as she figures things out, and man does it hit close to home. It's a fun, silly book on the surface that is also pretty smart and right on.

No comments:

Post a Comment