Abria Mattina's Reviews > Being Friends with Boys

Being Friends with Boys by Terra Elan McVoy
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Aug 05, 12

Read from July 28 to 29, 2012

Why I liked it:

1. The boys are sweet, as it Charlotte’s reaction to them. They’re good at treating her like just one of the guys, but sometimes the gender difference becomes very obvious — like when a dispute occurs and Charlotte is frustrated by their unwillingness to talk about it, to vent and dissect every little detail of the conversation. Reading it as an adult, there were a lot of moments that made me chuckle knowingly and think, “You’ll learn, sweetheart, you’ll learn.”

2. Charlotte is average without being a shell. It’s a pitfall that some authors fall into, making their female protagonist so unremarkable that she is simply a placeholder for a character, easily influenced by the more developed characters around her. Charlotte is different. Sure, she’s a Plain Jane whom boys like because she’s relatable and doesn’t try to be Barbie, but she also has a distinct personality and identity that teenage girls can relate to.

Charlotte is also funny, often by accident. There are times when she is adorably naive, like when she tests the waters with a band of college housemates, all of them lesbians, and doesn’t foresee lots and lots of drama in that house.

Why it disappointed:

1. It’s predictable. I knew on page six how the book would end. It was just a matter of what happened along the way and how the characters handled it.

2. The ending was rushed. That inevitable conclusion I saw coming on page six happens within the last two pages and entirely in Charlotte’s head. It’s almost glossed over, so it doesn’t reach its potential in terms of emotional impact or reader satisfaction.

3. The names. This is more a pet peeve of mine than an objective criticism, but oddball names just make me itch. The weirdest was Lish, one of Charlotte’s friends. Every time her name came up I wondered what the heck it was short for.

Closing thoughts:

Being Friends with Boys is a good rainy day book. It’s a quick read, has a relatable voice and cast of characters, and is sure to resonate with fans of YA.
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Reading Progress

07/28/2012 page 132
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