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Notes to Boys (And Other Things I Shouldn't Share in Public)

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  286 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
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NOTES TO BOYS (AND OTHER THINGS I SHOULDN'T SHARE IN PUBLIC) is a "mortifying memoir" from best-selling author and tv/film writer Pamela Ribon. Miserably trapped in small town Texas with no invention of the Internet in sight, Ribon spent countless hours of her high school years writing letters to h
Hardcover, 317 pages
Published February 18th 2014 by Rare Bird Books (first published December 30th 2013)
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Pamela Ribon
Jul 29, 2016 Pamela Ribon rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Since my mom isn't on Goodreads, I'm giving me her five stars. IT COUNTS.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Monica Wells
Feb 08, 2014 Monica Wells rated it it was amazing
What did I think about this book Goodreads? I am so glad you asked! This book was freaking fantastic. You will at first find yourself shouting "Why!?" and "How?!" to present day Pam who decided to put all this in print, and by the end you will be thanking her for it. Being a teenage girl is hard, it was hard when Pam was a teenager, it was hard when I was a teenager, and it is hard for my students who are currently teenagers. There are moments that will make you laugh until you cry and even a ...more
Jan 02, 2014 Danielle rated it it was amazing
As a librarian many of the books I read come in the form of advanced readers copies. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Notes to Boys. I admit I was kind of stalking this book in the hopes of doing just that. I had read and loved Pamela Ribon’s previous four books Why Girls Are Weird, Why Moms Are Weird, Going in Circles, and You Take It From Here, the latter of which I named my favorite book of 2012. Thus when I heard she had another book coming out I was excited. I had also enjoyed the sort ...more
May 16, 2015 Jennie rated it it was amazing
I was unprepared for how much I would love this book. It's laugh-out-loud hilarious, but also sweet, sad, and awkward. Ribon uses her letters to boys to get to the heart of being a fifteen-year-old girl, in all its horrifying intensity.

There are a few triggering incidences (sexual trauma, self-harm) that are peppered throughout the book, but I think Ribon deals with them in a sensitive way.

I'll be reviewing this more thoroughly for Forever Young Adult, but in the meantime, make sure you pick u
Jan 21, 2014 Lindsay rated it liked it
"Notes to Boys" is a funny and oftentimes humiliating look back at the silly and ridiculous notes that Ribon kept from her adolescence. Ribon kept a notebook filled with first drafts and notes that she actually sent to boys. Whereas most people would burn such embarrassing relics from the past, Ribon puts them front and center and shares her teen angst with the masses. Sometimes I laughed, other times I cringed out of humiliation I felt for her. Definitely an easy, laughable read.
Apr 05, 2015 Abi rated it it was amazing

First things first: this book is hilarious. You will laugh. That will happen, so pick it up and read it for that reason.

Second things second: it’s also beautiful and the type of book that’s so (entertainingly) honest about the experience of being a teenage girl (and a grown woman who can’t escape the memory of having once been a teenage girl) that it almost—almost—absolves the reader of all the mistakes, humiliations, and insecurities of youth. Those parts of your younger self that you’ve been t
May 04, 2014 Kirsten rated it really liked it
Oh gosh, I cringed from embarrassment-by-proxy and then I laughed and cringed and cried some more. This was actually kind of wonderful. I like that Ribon doesn't over-explicate the context for some of these letters and stories; there are references to pretty heavy things (abuse, sexual assault, depression) but where I would normally find Ribon's reluctance to engage with them head on to be kind of annoying, in this case it ended up making her experiences feel more universal. It's hard to ...more
There’s basically two main characters switching perspective throughout the memoir, although they’re ultimately the same person. Grown-up Ribon narrates us through her early ‘90s journey as Little Pam (LP), the wannabe writer who kept copies of the copious letters she sent to every teenaged boy unfortunate enough to look her way—and sometimes even to those who never did. Here and there we get sprinkles of (mostly bad) poetry and short stories. You can’t read too many chapters in one sitting, ...more
May 01, 2014 Erin rated it it was amazing
Notes to Boys is a hilarious look at how painfully embarrassing it is to be fifteen, but it also strikes an elegant balance between poking fun at Little Pam (or really, letting her embarrass herself) and reflecting on how real and hard these feelings are for teenagers. As Ribon says more than once in the book, being fifteen is the worst. And sixteen. And all those years when your hormones are conducting science experiments to see which combination will make you craziest.

Ribon may have been a dr
Mar 14, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own-it
What I love about Pamela Ribon’s books is how they are simultaneously hysterical and heartbreaking. They’re like two, two, two books in one! Except they aren’t, because she manages to move between the two extremes—giving more time to the hilarious, thank goodness—in a way that feels completely normal.

In “Notes to Boys,” Ribon adult-narrates her teen dorkiness. Her notes to boys are exactly that: uncensored bits from her journals and first drafts of notes—some 200+ pages!—detailing her ascent in
Aug 08, 2014 Alex rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, essay
Notes to Boys is a book in which Pam Ribon shares, well, notes that she wrote to boys she liked. In between her notes she interjects commentary and offers context, usually with much wit and the ability to make the reader LOL in its literal state. For example, when she ends a letter very abruptly Ribon will add the context, "And then Little Pam through the letter and ran away to..." and though the sentence always stars the same, the ending is always different and appreciated.

Notes to Boys is adm
Teena in Toronto
Jan 06, 2014 Teena in Toronto rated it did not like it
Can you imagine finding the diaries and letters you'd written when you were a teenager and reading them as a adult? Apparently the author did and this book is her analysis of them.

The book quotes the writings by date and the author cuts in to say what was going on at the time or make a snarky comment. And other times, the author provides detail about wanting to lose her virginity, her dad having the talk with her about the facts of life, the various boys she'd become obsessed with (some didn't k
Helen Dunn
May 23, 2016 Helen Dunn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Struggling between 3 and 4 stars for this one but since I have been a fan of Pamela Ribon (Pamie!) for many years I'm giving her the 4.

I listened to this as an audiobook and I think that's a good idea because she reads it herself and it's pretty hilarious to hear the drama of the old love notes read by Little Pam and the embarrassed, knowing voice of Grown up Pam interjecting from time to time.

Ribon does a great job letting you reimagine the total over-the-top drama and love sick nature of being
Jul 21, 2016 Kdunbier rated it it was amazing
First off, this book is hilarious. Like, "will alarm the people around you because they will think you are having a seizure" hilarious. There's some details that hit way close to the vest though man, so maybe it wouldn't be quite as hilarious to everyone as it was to me (my friend had that SAME nkotb lightswitch cover and I forgot entirely until I read it in this book!! I forgot that decorative lightswitch covers were a thing!!). That was amazing. Also I had such a weakness for skater boy hair ...more
Mar 06, 2014 Kari rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
Pam (of shares her teenage journals and notes and stories with commentary from her current self. Little Pam wrote a lot of notes to boys, and she saved all her first drafts, which are funny and sad and very very (squirm in your seat) awkward. Pam unflinchingly shares the intense feelings and words of Little Pam with great affection and gratitude for the things that she has learned since these tumultuous times, and that’s what gives the book such heart. I would love to give Notes to ...more
Feb 16, 2014 lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: mine-mine-mine, 2014
i really liked this and spent a lot of time crying laughing on the t and muttering "oh pam" under my breath, which are both things that strangers in a crowded subway car love!

i don't know how well it will work for someone who isn't already a fan of pam though? like, pam has been my real life hero for 11 years now, and even though all of her books are somewhat personal this one is (obviously) the most personal, since it's an actual memoir. but she's so smart and funny and great and i think what i
Jennifer Johnson
Feb 25, 2014 Jennifer Johnson rated it really liked it
They saw something that truely makes you laugh out loud is usually something that really resonates with you personally. Little Pam and Little Me could have been best friends. BFF's for life. Notes to Boys is hilarious in it's awkwardness and heartbreaking in it's honesty. I wore my heart on my sleeve.... and pants, and sweaters, and socks and whatever else I'd be wearing on any particular day when I was an awkward teenager. I've got notes to boys, (which I thankfully 90% of the time DID NOT ...more
Mar 06, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The beginning parts of this book seriously might be the funniest thing I ever read - I can't ever remember before laughing so hard that I actually couldn't read! The book remains funny, though it also gets more serious and poignant at times. Essentially a memoir of the author's teenage years, told through the mechanism of excerpting, and commenting on from her present day perspective, her teenage writings, all of which she kept . Journals, stories, poetry, even the titular embarassing notes ...more
Sep 20, 2014 Stacey rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much. I read the entire thing in one sitting, laughing helplessly for most of the time, but with my hand clamped over my mouth in the way you do when what you're laughing about is sort of painful. Little Stacey and now Stacey both identify so much with this book that reading it was by turns mortifying and deeply cathartic. I wish I had been able to read this when I was in high school and realise I wasn't alone. If you've ever been a teenage girl or you've ever wanted to ...more
Jul 23, 2015 Alison rated it it was amazing
Reading this book was like revisiting all my high school diaries and notebooks. That is to say: unintentionally hilarious and mortifying in equal parts. I read it in one sitting.

Pam Ribon's post-mortem of her earnest teenage purple prose had me snort-laughing in a way that made me glad I was alone in the house, or someone would have thought I might be choking.

Thank you for doing this, Pam.
Feb 10, 2014 Eleanore rated it really liked it
Very funny, and a great mix of personal and ridiculous (well, it's all personal). I never experienced so many feelings for boys as a pre-teen nor a teenager, let alone wrote so much feeling down, but it's fun to root through someone else's memory box, especially when she's got such a good sense of humor about it all.
May 09, 2014 Lisagayle rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Former teenage girls
Recommended to Lisagayle by: Read a review in a magazine.
Little Pam goes from 15 to 19. I think her letter to her 6 mo old daughter is the best in the book. Some parts of the book are down right funny and self-deprecating but there are other parts that make you feel sad and amazed how she got to adulthood without to many scars emotionally and physically. I recommend this book to any one that has been a teenage girl or has daughters.
Feb 16, 2014 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Funny and sweet and something every teenager should have to read. And there needs to be an audio version of this book--as funny and cringeworthy as the notes are to read, it's even better (and worse) when they're performed aloud.
Niki Stacey
Mar 28, 2014 Niki Stacey rated it really liked it
I always have great respect for someone that can make fun of themselves.
I felt utter humiliation for this lady the whole way through, mostly because I have written my fair share of notes and journal entries that if I still has I would burn so no one could every see them.
David Kravetz
Mar 19, 2014 David Kravetz rated it it was amazing
I don't think I've ever read a book that was so mortifying and hilarious in equal measures. Far and away my favorite book of Pamela Ribon, so far!
Aug 24, 2014 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Oh Pamie, your stories are awkward and weird and real and uncomfortable and awesome, therefore I love you.
Lee Fowler
May 24, 2014 Lee Fowler rated it really liked it
Simultaneously hilarious and horrifying. Makes me glad I was too shy to actually say anything to the people I liked back then.
Sep 17, 2014 Miranda rated it it was amazing
This book had me laughing and cringing at the exploits of Little Pam. I am so glad I'm not a teenager anymore.
Katie Culhane
Jun 10, 2014 Katie Culhane rated it it was amazing
For any girl who had a crush and did embarrassing things from age 13 on. So everyone.
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Pamela Ribon is a screenwriter, TV writer, comic book writer, author, and best-selling novelist. After working on Moana for Walt Disney Animation Studios and the upcoming Smurfs: The Lost Village for Sony Animation Pictures, she’s currently back at Disney Animation co-writing the Untitled Wreck-It Ralph Sequel. She recently developed a half-hour based on the best-selling memoir “Drunk Mom” by ...more
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