The Treasure Map of Boys: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

It’s the second term of Junior year. Ruby is still in therapy and still has no boyfriend (this is actually her 37th week sans boyfriend–not that she’s counting).

Her reputation in the Tate Universe still  stinks. And it probably isn’t going to get better any time soon.

This term Ruby is also in charge of running a bake sale and, much to her chagrin, playing bodyguard to Noel and matchmaker for Nora (both of which stink). She is defending the rights of pygmy goats (at least one, anyway), dealing with smelly feet, and trying really hard to be a good friend without attracting a boyfriend. But it’s really hard to stay in the state of Noboyfriend when Gideon is flirting with her, Jackson is talking to her again, Finn starts blushing around her, and Noel is his usual charming self.

It’s all a terrible mess but maybe when it’s all over Ruby will be able to see some of the real treasures in her life, even if the boys remain confusing, in The Treasure Map of Boys: Noel, Jackson, Finn, Hutch, Gideon–and Me, Ruby Oliver (2009) by E. Lockhart.

The Treasure Map of Boys is the third book in Lockhart’s Ruby Oliver series (preceeded by The Boyfriend List and The Boy Book). The book could stand alone but honestly since they’re so short it’s worth just reading them all in order.

This book picks up right where the previous book in the serious left off. Ruby is still grappling with her feelings for Noel and what to do about them in order to be a good friend. She also tries to shake things up at Tate with a bake sale that challenges traditional gender roles (and Tate’s social order).

As usual Lockhart presents Ruby’s story with aplomb and wit. In addition to a charming plot that might not be like the movies but is still pretty awesome, Ruby is a really strong character. Equal parts feminist and non-conformist Ruby is a quirky breath of fresh air.

Her mental health isn’t perfect, her love life is a mess, but she handles it all with style (and just a few panic attacks). Ruby Oliver continues to be a joy to read about in The Treasure Map of Boys.

Ruby’s adventures continue in Real, Live Boyfriends.

Possible Pairings: Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti, The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson, Alice, I Think by Susan Juby, Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan, Vibes by Amy Kathleen Ryan, The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott, Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee

Exclusive Bonus Content: This is the first book in the series that I read with the new, repackaged covers. The covers (like the one shown here) feature a model who is presumably Ruby instead of abstract imagery. I like the original covers because they have unisex appeal and they’re quirky like the books and zero in on these minute but key aspects of the plot (frogs, penguins, marshmallow men) to exhibit on the cover. On the other hand, I like the clean look of the new covers and how they sort of capture Ruby’s style. BUT I hate that none of the covers show Ruby wearing glasses. Her zebra stripe glasses (and not wearing contacts) are a huge part of her character. I think the fact that she has glasses and her own almost weird style but still has all of these boys crushing on her is great. So while I like the new covers, as a glasses wearer, I cannot love them completely.