“I can’t do anything but try to stay out of trouble.”
“Then how will you stay out of trouble, Ruby?” she asked me. “There must be something you can articulate.”
I thought for a moment. “I can keep away from boys,” I answered.
The Treasure Map of Boys is the third book in the Ruby Oliver series by E. Lockhart. In this book, Ruby is still in therapy and still trying to navigate her interpersonal relationships in the Tate universe.
What I Liked
– I love Ruby Oliver. She is totally one of my favorite characters ever. I cannot say that I personally relate to her, but she would be a friend of mine in real life. I don’t know what that says about me. Or my friends. But there you go.
– Another complex look at female friendships and relationships.
– The book is funny and fun.
– I really like the way that Lockhart uses the books to examine issues related to feminism (more on this later).
– I loved the ending a lot.
What I Didn’t Like
I cannot think of anything!
I know that The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is Lockhart’s specifically feminist novel, and while it obviously is with its emphasis on power structures, the old boys club, and the glass ceiling, I really enjoy Ruby Oliver’s brand of feminism more—probably because as a teen, I’d be more able to relate to it. Ruby likes boys and is constantly negotiating her world because liking boys and being liked by boys creates so much confusion for her with the other girls. I mean, she is a famous slut and hasn’t done anything, really. And it’s all reputation, which is very important, especially for teenaged girls of her socio-economic status.
There are also moments in the novel, like when Ruby is organizing the bake sale, where the characters specifically address gender roles and responsibilities.
And why was it that I had to lie to my friend in order to do the right thing by her? In order to be a good person, I had to pretend I didn’t feel the way I felt.
Ruby encapsulates the double bind. She is also selfish and self-centered in her way, which makes her authentically a teenager.
In conclusion: Great read if you’re looking for something fun.