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Being Friends with Boys

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Charlotte and Oliver have been friends forever. She knows that he, Abe, and Trip consider her to be one of the guys, and she likes it that way. She likes being the friend who keeps them all together. Likes offering a girl's perspective on their love lives. Likes being the behind-the-scenes wordsmith who writes all the lyrics for the boys' band. Char has a house full of stepsisters and a past full of backstabbing (female) ex-best friends, so for her, being friends with boys is refreshingly drama-free...until it isn't any more.

When a new boy enters the scene and makes Char feel like, well, a total girl...and two of her other friends have a falling out that may or may not be related to one of them deciding he possibly wants to be more than friends with Char...being friends with all these boys suddenly becomes a lot more complicated.

361 pages, Hardcover

First published May 1, 2012

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About the author

Terra Elan McVoy

9 books274 followers
I have been reading and writing, basically, ever since I learned how to, and everything I've done has pretty much been connected to those two things. I went to college at a small, fantastic school (with a super writing program) called St. Andrews Presbyterian College. I got my Master's degree in Creative Writing from Florida State. I have worked as an event coordinator at a major chain bookstore; as a freelance writer; a composition instructor; an editorial assistant at an NYC publisher; as manager of an independent children's bookstore, in Decatur, GA, Little Shop of Stories (where I still work as a bookseller); and as Program Director of the AJC Decatur Book Festival.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 377 reviews
14 reviews
July 3, 2012
This book was okay, I did read the whole thing, so that says something, but it was definitely not what I expected. I was frustrated a lot of the time.

A few complaints:
- The book is different than what I expected from the synopsis. There isn't much "real" romance except for at the end. The rest is just confusing with no hints at all as to what the other characters' feelings are.
- I don't understand why Oliver gets mad at her or ignores her for like the entire book? And I can't believe the main character just takes it! And they "resolve" their problems by saying sorry with no real discussion and I was still left confused as to why he was mad at her in the first place. The MC was confused about it too.
- Trip just ignores her and stops talking to her too. We find out the reason at the end but you'd think she'd do more than just accept it. And I would've also expected/appreciated the author to leave SOME hints as to what Trip was upset about. I was just confused this entire book, not knowing what was going on and why everyone started ignoring her all of a sudden.

I don't recommend.
Profile Image for Jasprit.
527 reviews739 followers
May 14, 2012
3.5 stars

“Don’t forget who your real friends are”

Charlotte has always hung out with the boys; she practically grew up with Oliver and when Trip moved to their new school, they’ve been inseparable since. Over the summer they grew even closer when they started messing around in Oliver’s basement, what started off as fun and a bunch of laughs soon developed in a four group band (with Abe) called Sad Jackal. You had Oliver singing and messing around on guitar, Trip being the heart and soul of the group, Abe on the drums and Charlotte bringing the lyrics. Everything seemed fine that is until Trip drops the bombshell that he’s left the group. Charlotte doesn’t understand it; they had the best group dynamics when they worked together, now that Trips left it would never be the same. They would probably have to recruit new members and there would always be that awkwardness around Trip. Charlotte and Trip were extremely close friends, closer than Oliver and Charlotte. Trip and Charlotte had a special bond which couldn’t be explained, they understood each other, were totally open with each other, (shared their feelings with one another in a notebook they passed to each other several times in the day). Charlotte didn’t want the band to come between their friendship, but she had a duty to the rest of the band members too.

Being Friends with Boys started off great, it was fun; seeing Charlotte’s interactions with boys, how they treated her like she was one of them, heartfelt; the messages and notes she shared with Trip. But then things started getting complicated; with two new band members being recruited; Eli and Fabian. Charlotte had less time she could spend with Trip, with the school dance just around the corner the band had to practice more often especially so that they could click together as a group. Charlotte could sense it was a strain on her relationship with Trip, but there’s nothing she could do about it.

Things however started to getting a little too complicated and farfetched for my liking; Charlotte was in a flutter over who she wanted to be with, who wanted to be with her and who she rumoured to be with!!! Her life kind of turned into a wrecking ball with other groups wanting her to join their groups, and ex-best friends wanting to know her all of a sudden.

However the thing that surprised me about this book was that characters I had originally liked, kind of showed their true colours and left me disappointed in the end and characters I’d completely overlooked and had thought little of had the backbone to stick with Charlotte through the tough times. I guess you could say the opening line of my review is true; your true friends will always be around you no matter what.

However I did have a few minor irks with this book; Charlotte especially for the second half of the book made me want to pull my hair out, she kept on trying different things even though knowing it would be the wrong thing to do. And lately I’ve realised I don’t have the patience with characters who keep faffing around, it was clearly obvious who she was meant to be with, but it took her until 2/3 of the book to realise it. Also I love my music themed books; and this book did bring it to the forefront; getting the right song, jamming out together, but all the lyrics Charlotte was writing I would have loved to have seen them, we were told the titles of the songs, what influenced her in writing them but we never really got the chance to hear or read them.

Despite these irritations I did relatively enjoy this book; it was cute, funny, a decent music themed book and full of charming characters.

This review and more can also be found on my blog: The Readers Den
Profile Image for Heidi.
756 reviews174 followers
February 9, 2017
Originally reviewed here.

I approached Being Friends With Boys with a bit of trepidation. See, those of you who read my blog regularly know by now that contemporary isn’t what I call ‘my thing’, on top of which I’ve been in a complete YA reading slump as of late. Being Friends With Boys sounded more or less like the perfect YA contemp for me, and I was so afraid that it wouldn’t live up to that expectation. Well friends, I’m happy to say, it surpassed it! Being Friends With Boys wasn’t cutesy or fluffy or angsty, it was a pretty true reflection of what being friends with boys is like in high school and beyond. Turns out, it was a great match for me, and I clicked with this book the way I see a lot of other readers clicking with things like Anna and the French Kiss (which I liked, but had issues with).

I’ll be honest, I think the blurb makes this one sound more angsty than it really is, but it certainly got one thing on the nose: being friends with boys is complicated. I’ve always found it easier to make guy friends than girl friends, and generally enjoy hanging out with them more as well. Guys don’t care how much you primp, they like to hang out and listen to music or watch movies, they don’t hold onto grudges or let arguments fester, they’re pretty great! I expected Charlotte and her story to be a mirror reflection of me and some of my own experiences with being friends with boys, but it wasn’t at all! I actually loved how different Charlotte and I were, as were our experiences with guys, making Being Friends With Boys both relatable and fresh.

What the blurb doesn’t tell you, and what I somehow missed from the reviews I’d read before picking this one up, is that Being Friends With Boys has a lot to do with being in a band. Charlotte manages and writes lyrics for Sad Jackal, but when her close friend Trip leaves the band and they take on new members, Charlotte finds her rolls (and all of her relationships) changing. I loved the presence of music in this book, and feel it even managed to steer clear of the overly cheesy category which is so easy to fall into any time lyrics and music are written about in prose.

I liked Charlotte a lot, she’s not 100% sure of herself, but she’s still pretty confident, and becomes more so throughout Being Friends With Boys as she decides who she is, what she wants, and what’s most important. She’s rational, upfront, and mature. That said, I liked the boys as well! Charlotte and Oliver have been close since elementary school, they can read each other better than anyone and always snap back. Trip helps Charlotte to grow as a person, Abe and Eli totally have her back, Fabian is instantly a person she can lean on, and Benji has some surprising depths. Besides which (and here’s something else they don’t tell you), Being Friends With Boys has a surprising amount of insight about being friends with girls as well! Charlotte is dealing with the loss of her former best friend, her sister moving to college, and acclimating to life alone with her two step-sisters. She also has to deal with her relationships with her father, mother, and step-mother, and I really appreciated that these important adults weren’t completely absent from this one. All of the relationships in Being Friends With Boys rang true to me, and I’m so happy that they varied so greatly.

I loved that I didn’t know where the story of Being Friends With Boys was going, but it still somehow ended up in the perfect place. I appreciate that it wasn’t overly sappy or cheesy, and reflected pretty well on those of us who prefer the company of the opposite sex. I think my biggest confusion with this one lays with the cover. I really like it, it’s cute, and it matches Terra Elan McVoy’s previous covers, but it has zero to do with the story. I think coffee is mentioned maybe once? I’d like to see something more relevant to the actual story, like a beat up notebook, a burned CD (with the title written on it in sharpie like the mix name because I am a GENIUS here), or a microphone.
Profile Image for Devyani.
420 reviews6 followers
June 8, 2012
Soooo.. i finally finished reading this one ! Yay me .

What a disappointment . Seriously .
LOOK at the title ! doesn't it just grab your heart and call out your soul ?!
It's about Being friends with boys for god's sake ! BOYS.
If someone asked me as to what i expected out of this book here , I would have easily pointed out stuff like Love-triangle , Lots of music , A really great premises and ofcourse , BOYS. I'm a romantic , So cheesy ideas come naturally to me .

you come across many books where you read about extraordinary and heartwarming stories of friendship and those pair of friends just become the most cherished parts of your experience with the book and effect you on many emotional levels , Like for instance , In Unraveling , our protagonist Janelle's best friend Alex , Laney in Saving June or the troop of MM in On the Jellicoe Road ! There is something so great about the bond that you share with your bestfriend ! Some crazy thing that reminds you of that person who you would wake up at 4 o' clock in the morning or that person who calls you an hour before midnight on the eve of your birthday and says i'll make sure that i'm the first one to wish you! Don't we all just love to read about those amazing tales of friendship? those amazing people ? the ones that make us laugh and the ones that make us cry ? i had expected so much of these .
I wanted to love this book .
but like i said before , i was thoroughly disappointed .

okay so let's start with the synopsis of the book ,
Charlotte is a sixteen year old confusitus with a glitch in her brain . She's absolutely submissive and gullible . She moonlights as the lyricist of the rock band formed by her two best friends , Trip and Oliver . These people are close-knit friends . They've had days of absolute crackheaded fun and frolic , so it comes as a total shock to everybody when Trip announces that he's out of the band . Adding to that is the fact that someone has to fill for Trip and new recruits means further awkwardness and the absence of the rock-chemistry that bound the band together .
For Charlotte , it just gets messier and messier . Trip and Charlotte share a very close bond . They write about their feelings in a book that's by them and only for them and talk about anything and everything . Due to the separation , Charlotte isn't able to meet to meet Trip that often , things are starting to go haywire with Oliver , The ex-best friend list seems to be growing And suddenly , almost every guy starts liking her ! So yeah , Life's a mess .

If you may recall how i described Charlotte , I said that she is a sixteen year old confusitus with a glitch in her brain . She's absolutely submissive and gullible . and to describe her further She's annoying . Very annoying .
WHY CHARLOTTE ?! WHY ?!?!? Tomboys are supposed to be B.A.D.A.S.S !
You get walked over by Oliver the whole time and when it comes to making amends , YOU'RE THE ONE DOING IT ?
When Lisha does her Bitch attack and Taryn cuts of the phone right in your face , What the Heck Do You Do ?
and how can a girl be so oblivious ?!
Shame . Sad poopy Shame .

The characters fell slack . The book took an evil route . The ending was rushed .
Ugh , i can't even go further ...

Even though , Being friends with Boys , turned out to be a complete disaster for me , i did rate it two stars and that is for two reasons . 1. I'm pretending to just look at the funny , cute parts and mostly music related parts of the book . 2. Benji :)
Also , maybe my disappointment is the main cause to my Medusa-nature , but seriously , this book held lots of potential and had a great concept .
And the BOYS factor is the one which totally let me down , so i'm letting go of that ....for now .

Good start , fell slack by the end .

ugh , my disappointment :/
August 12, 2016
A wave of unexpected pleasure sweeps over me, and I hunch down farther into the cushions, not wanting anyone to see if they look up. This is my song- this sad, lame, wierd thing I wrote, this mysterious thing that came out of me- and they've made it into something

You know, this would be an acceptable statement, had it not been the twenty seventh time in a span of 50 pages that you've tried to shove it down our throats. And guys, there were a lot more pages to go

Contemporary in general is more character driven than plot driven, so if you characters are a complete flop, the book goes down. And God, there is not one character I liked among the Mains. All of them are selfish, annoying and downright stupid. They have no appreciation for family, loyalty nor do they have an iota of common sense.

Lets take the prime example of Charlotte; irritating, idiotic and incomparably ungrateful. Always jumped at every chance to talk dirt about her step sisters and step mother and then not only let Oliver steal the credit for her hard work, but also freaking let him stamp all over her pride and self respect.

By the way, Charlotte has incredible step sisters who are not only amazingly loyal, but also helpful and nice. Just because they like to date and dont always like asexual being does not make them stupid or embarrassing. Get over yourself, Charlotte.

God, there wasn't anything remotely redeeming in this book. In fact, I little more than halfway through the book, I figured there was really weird love pentagon going on and had a half mind to DNF it then and there. But I stuck out, and can't really say I'm glad.
Profile Image for Heather.
862 reviews
June 21, 2020
This has been on my to-read list for a long time, and I finally got around to reading it. It sounded cute. Not sure why there's a coffee cup on the cover, it doesn't really represent the book. Something band-related would make more sense, but anyway. It definitely wasn't anywhere near as good as the synopsis led me to believe, and it didn't live up to the potential.

I found the beginning to be confusing, I had to go back and read who left the band, who was who, and what was actually happening. Three names were thrown out from the get-go, and I had to play catch-up.

Unfortunately, tomboy books tend to be very stereotypical, with Charlotte eating like a guy, not picking at their food like typical girls. I'm a tomboy and I don't have a big appetite. I'm self-conscious of eating in front of others. You can still be a tomboy and not eat like a man or enjoy eating in front of people. Give me a break.
Also there's always scenes where the tomboy has to get the makeover, start dressing differently, wearing makeup and dresses and heels. I guess it's expected in a tomboy book.

I felt like we weren't given enough background information on anything. How she became friends with Oliver in 5th grade, when him, Abe and her started the band. How they were all musically inclined. At first I thought she couldn't sing at all, but it turns out no, she can, she doesn't never did. Was she shy? Then there was some mention of her not singing because of her sister. Did she used to sing with her sister, and then stopped because Jilly moved to college? I really have no idea.

Charlotte made it sound like her dad, stepmom and stepsisters were mean but they all sounded ok.
Apparently they've been at least living together for two years but when did her parents split up, how long did they date before they got married?
Why did their mom leave, exactly? How did Jilly feel about a stepmom and stepsisters? They don't seem to like them, yet I don't really see a problem with any of them. The relationships are all very on the surface.
It wasn't even clear what state this was even in. It mentioned Decatur. Is that Decatur, Texas? The author bio says she lives in Atlanta where this book is set, yet this never mentioned Georgia. Unless there's an Atlanta, Texas??
I couldn't get a sense of what anyone looked like, either. Trip had blond hair and was tall, Oliver was good-looking. I don't even know what color hair and eyes he has? Benji had brown eyes...Now that I think on it, I don't remember Charlotte's hair color either. I think it's dark.
Everything was so vague and unclear.

I thought only one of her guy friends would like her, and that there would be one new boy who liked her. But there's Benji, someone she's gone to school with and so could have liked, and who could have liked her, but apparently neither did, so it's all sudden. The second he talks to her and asks to study, and Trip finds out and warns her from him, she pictures them making out under the bleachers with his hand down her pants. Bizarre. Talk about zero to sixty. Did she even like him like that?!

I thought Trip was the obvious choice. Then there's Oliver, who's the face of the band, who she also seemed to like. And who she had a crush on for a short time when she was younger.
Then the new boy Fabian, who she has a crush on. What are we going for, a love pentagon? It was really too much, and it made Charlotte seem fickle.

I didn't like that Benji, Trip, Oliver and Abe all smoked pot. Not my kind of people.
I was happy Charlotte had dated someone before, cause Trip dated someone for a short while after meeting Charlotte. But of course her relationship ended before Trip moved there. And Oliver has had past gfs, & was seeing someone.
No one liked Oliver's crazy gf Whitney, but Trip said she had a nice rack. Something I also didn't care for.
Of course the guy the heroine is interested in is gay, and the boy she started seeing was more of a friend, yet Trip can start seeing someone.

I found the dialogue to be a little inane. And the characters all talked similarly, like ending with, so. And, well. They can't all talk the same!

The MC's thoughts were a little weird at times: 'The idea of Fabian waiting - of drawing things out - makes me glow in strange places, including my armpits. And twenty minutes later? That glow goes even deeper, loops twice around my knees and back up over my head.'

'I am lined with double rainbows. Diamonds from the blue. Glittering sunshine through my bones.'

'I'm hot-buttery warm all over again.'

'"Yeah, well, you're apparently not going to start making out with anyone in the parking lot, so..."
I pause. Because it occurs to me that he actually could. Make an effort. With another girl. There are certainly plenty he could have his pick of. It's surprising that he's stayed without a new one for so long.'
It's been what, a week or two? How long could it have been since he finally dumped Whitney?
This appeared to take a fake-dating turn, which was very unexpected. She was using Benji, but then he kinda knew it and didn't mind at first. Then it appeared Oliver would have to fake-date someone too. Why do these books always turn out so messy?

Charlotte was stupid to just start talking to Lish again, who dumped her for the volleyball girls.
The girls are talking about Benji and all the things he's done to and with different girls. All these guys were bad, if you asked me.
I felt bad in the end for Benji because he really liked her, and offered to help her when he doesn't need help in that class, & how it felt like she was using him to get better grades and also to stifle the rumor of her and Oliver going out.

Like One of the Guys, a book I recently read about a tomboy character who was friends with boys was similar to this in that the friends have been together for years, yet when things start hitting the fan, everything gets messy, and it makes me wonder if they were all such great friends then why did everything mess up so suddenly and completely. Btw, with the exception of her and Trip, who talk on the phone, share music, and hang out, she didn't seem remotely close to Oliver and even less with Abe. And you guys are friends?? Where's the friendship?

The way she realizes, after weeks of her and Trip not talking, that she likes him, was just so random. Right out of left field.
She references this Golden Summer with Trip, but what was it? The summer she met him?? And how they don't have the history her and Oliver have, so they can't just bounce back.

Everyone seemed to have something to say, yet no one was saying their mind to anyone. I do not like a book's plot to be based on characters simply not talking when they should. Communication, folks. Say it with me.

Her stepmom was like a vague person, like a ghost really, flitting in here and there, barely formed. I couldn't get a sense of her personality, if Charlotte really liked her, what their dynamic was like, what Hannah's relationship with her dad was like. Her parents never talked to each other.
Also it was like Charlotte's using her stepsisters, she makes them sound horrible, but sure accepts their help with makeup & fashion.

The writing felt wordy towards the end, these big paragraphs of descriptions I wanted to skip. Not enough dialogue in places. Some pointless writing, like how Darby complemented a woman in her wedding dress, who didn't appear to appreciate it. And buying shoes, having makeup and hair done. Why are we reading about all that? How about less scenes of descriptions and pointless stuff and ones with her and Trip?? There's an idea!

I was so mad, when Trip writes in the notebook that Lily broke up with him because he couldn't stop talking about Charlotte. I had hoped it was just a ruse to make Charlotte jealous, not that he actually dated her. That really ticked me off. Cause she didn't even date date Benji, they went on like one, two dates, only kissed like once, and then she wanted to be friends. She had been using him anyway. Trip doesn't even wait to see if Charlotte is actually dating someone, no, he goes out and jumps into dating someone likethat.
After the nacho date he didn't wanna be just friends, and he was jealous of her and Benji, who she actually didn't even date in the beginning, she was crushing on Fabian! And the thing she thought was a date was just him hanging out with her, cause he's actually gay!
I wait practically the whole book to hear that he isn't actually dating Lily, but no he did.
Lily did kiss him on the ear, but at least there was no kissing on the mouth scenes, so I thought everything could be in the clear. There was hope.

It makes no freaking sense that Trip wouldn't tell Charlotte how he felt, that if he liked her, he'd then dump her completely, ignored her, found new friends and then a girlfriend. Why are YA books so screwed up?
'"Big dummy, I know. But once I knew how I felt, it sucked not being able to BE with you. And you kept getting extra-fabulous, extra-hard to not be with. But after...Lily... He says it like it's embarrassing. "Not being with you at all hurt even more."'

That LONG LONG book and the end was so unsatisfying. How the hell do authors write books this long and yet the endings are inconclusive?
Trip was absent for much of the book. I CAN'T STAND when authors have the guy the heroine ends up with barely make an appearance in the book. You have to build a relationship, and you can't do that by only having him in a few scenes and then ignore the heroine and date someone else.

Also, why was Oliver acting so weird about the rumor of him and Charlotte dating? It seemed like he really did like her, like he broke up with Whitney cause he couldn't resist Charlotte any longer, like the rumor going around said he did. That he kicked Trip out of the band so Charlotte could sing. But was he mad and ignoring her because he was repulsed that people thought he liked her? You have GOT to explain that weird behavior, cause that is not normal.

I kept wanting Trip back in the band. Why couldn't' they all be in the band? So he could be a part of Hansel and Gretel Crumbs, which him and Charlotte wrote. It's not fair the band sings his song without him.
We don't even know his reaction to the song, because the author cut the book off right as they're about to sing it. They don't even end up together, technically, because they're going to talk more after the song. But the book ended then. He confesses he has feelings for her, but she doesn't tell him she also loves him.
This was not a romance book. This was a band book that consisted of screwed up teenagers. A long rambling story to get to such a screwed up, unsatisfying, upsetting ending.

Charlotte was irritating because she never told Oliver off, she never told Lish off, or her mom, or Jilly, or Trip, or Sylvia and the other girl whose name I cant remember. Bronwyn? Bryanna? Something with a B. Whatever. My point is that the heroine could not stand up for herself and call people out on their crap. Get a backbone, open your mouth and say what's on your mind.
I can't say I liked any of the characters. Not my cuppa. Really, the band isn't my thing either.

So glad I only spent two days on this, you have no idea. The title sounded so cute, but boy, it was a big letdown.
Again, like One of the Guys, they don't even seem like friends! No one does. You have to build a close friendship, not just tell us. If these are friends, I don't want enemies.

The synopsis is misleading. She doesn't know her friend likes her until the end, when Trip finally confesses after weeks of being an idiot. And she didn't say the new guy made her feel like a girl, as the synopsis says. So...yeah.

There wasn't a satisfying conclusion to anything and nothing gets solved. Like her relationship with her mom, her ex-friendship with Lish, her sister being gone, her fight with her dad, which just gets swept under the rug, as did everything else. In the end, this really had no point, and there was no message. Besides not to put up with people like Lish. And to communicate more.

Perhaps most confusing of all - why did Oliver call her spider?! That wasn't ever clear to me.
Also, why is Trip called Trip? I think it was a nickname.
Her and Trip didn't even kiss! How can you spend time kissing someone you don't end up with, but the author can't even squeeze in ONE kiss with the guy she loves?!
I have two other books on my to-read list by this author, but I'm not eager to read more, if they're anything like this. Another disappointing tomboy book. Still waiting on a good one...
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
May 6, 2012
I dont even know where to start.

This book got so frustrating at times, and so easily.

I hate how Char seem to just take things as it came. I mean Oliver was such a jerk so many times and she kept running back to him - like a softy... Then there's Trip... The relationship between them was amazing... even when they weren't talking... The only thing that got me mad was the lack of communication which in all honesty made it that much more fun to read.

He without a doubt deserve her - He noticed her before anyone else (even Benji who i wish she had delved deeper to feed my bad boy fetish lol) ...

Love how she finally stood up to that Lish girl - but hated how long it took her to do it - AND the lack of reaction to put that bitch in her place. I hate ppl like that, and I can completely understand the guy friend think - girls are so much drama! lol

The thing that pissed me off... and REALLY got to me long after...


OMFG.... I kept going on and on and on... WHY DIDN'T THEY KISS!!!!

And then it was nvr clear why he left the band - was it really because he n Oliver was fighting over her?? And if so - It wasn't even like Oliver tried making a move so the lack of information there irked me.

I felt bad for Benji being stuck in the friend zone (and how clueless can Char get to not know Trip was jealous??? lol)

Char and Trip were idiots - who belong together so it all worked out even if they didnt kiss *cough* <_<
Profile Image for Paige Brydson.
53 reviews3 followers
May 31, 2017
I'm still so confused as to how I felt this book. The first 18 or so chapters DRAGGED on for me and I really had to force myself through it because it just wasn't grabbing my attention. I wasn't falling in love with the characters. All around it just felt like a story I had heard before.

Then in the last two chapters all the sudden it gets pretty cute. Could this just be me getting emotional that I was almost finished and could start my next read? Nah, it was genuinely cute. But just that. Not extraordinary or fabulous.

It did only take me about 2 days so read though maybe this would make a good easy beach read. Something you don't have to pay attention to too much.

Profile Image for Molly.
474 reviews73 followers
December 12, 2012
Review also on my blog: wrapped up in books

The overwhelming majority of my friends are guys. I quickly learned in college that it was far easier to have guys as roommates. I was drawn to this title because I figured it would be something I could relate to, and I was right. I’ve been through many of the same issues that Charlotte deals with in this book that tend to crop up when girls are friends with guys: the gay guy crush, the just-a-friend guy whose girlfriend can’t deal, the guy friend you may like as more than a friend.

But that wasn’t what I enjoyed most about the novel. I was pleasantly surprised that Being Friends with Boys by Terra Elan McVoy is as much about a girl coming into her own and finding out what is important to her as it is about friendship — whether those friends are members of the opposite sex or not.

Though I don’t usually break down books into pros and cons, this format is the easiest for me to express my feelings about this book. While I did enjoy it and recommend it to readers who enjoy contemporary YA, I still had some issues with it.


The music. I loved the scenes with the band, and I loved watching Charlotte come into her own on stage. Despite having no musical talent whatsoever, I spent hours with my best friend in high school coming up with the perfect name for our fictional all-girls pop-punk band. I wanted to be in a band so bad. I absolutely loved how central the band was to the story.

Queer characters You all know I’m a fan of queer lit. And as important as coming out books are, or queer “issue” books are, I’m glad to see that secondary characters who are queer without that being a main plot point.

Realistic family dynamics. Charlotte has a blended family. Her mom left them to pursue her art. Charlotte is both proud of her mom for pursuing her dream and resentful at being essentially abandoned. Her dad is happily remarried. She has an older sister away at college that she misses, but stepsisters who are able to fill that sister-ly role. When so many YA novels operate in a world where teens don’t have parents or only have parents who are absolutely terrible, it was refreshing to see family play a role in the story even though it wasn’t the main focus.

Glimpses of life beyond high school. This book gave a taste of what life in college is like. Through her interactions with her sister and her college-aged friends, Charlotte is inspired to think about her future, and I think readers will appreciate this.

Charlotte. I really liked this character. She’s not sure of herself at first, but she has a genuine heart. I think she’s a character that a lot of teen girls will relate to. She’s a girl I would have wanted to be friends with in high school.


Portrayal of secondary female characters. I get that girls can be mean and flighty and selfish, but all the girls in Charlotte’s life were this way. Her former best friend only wants to hang with her again when she suddenly becomes very popular due to her participation in the band. Her friend (and bandmate) Oliver’s girlfriend is a jealous drama queen. As cool as the girls in the lesbian band were, they were also portrayed as flaky. I’m a girl who is mostly friends with boys, but I still have positive relationships with women, and I wish Charlotte had that, too.

The quick ending. So I pretty much knew what was going to happen from the beginning. I loved the middle and the way we got there, but I felt like the climax was rushed. There should have been an additional scene or something to give the ending more emotional resonance.

The cover. It’s deceiving. I love coffee, but I can’t recall any scene that takes place in a coffee shop. It would have been a lot more relevant if the cover would have been something music related, as the bulk of the story revolves around the main character’s participation in a band.

Overall, this is a book I enjoyed and think will appeal to a lot of teen readers.

Profile Image for Silvia.
70 reviews25 followers
February 12, 2013
To be honest, I was not really all that thrilled with this book. I pushed myself to finish it, because I was curious how everything was going to tie together in the end... And again, I really was not all that impressed.

Okay, so Charlotte, our main character, seems to me, to be a bit mousy and is just OK with letting other people walk over her, without putting up a fight. I feel she wasn't strong enough of a main character, and while she was going thru some stuff throughout the ENTIRE book, she was a bit to whiny for my taste. Its like, okay, from the very beginning I could tell that she obviously had a thing for Trip, and the author was hinting that the feelings were mutual. So when he all of a sudden starts snubbing her, instead of complaining about it in your head, do something about it! But no, she's too stubborn. Anyways, then there is Oliver, who I hated throughout the entire book. He is this super moody lead singer of Sad Jackal, and to be honest, he came across as more of an ass than just moody. He is extremely demanding, and then throws a hissy fit when Charlotte is actually doing something to improve the band, other than just giving them advice. I wish the author spent more time explaining why Oliver was always so pissed off at Charlotte, but I think then the book would be mostly about him! I loved Benji, because he was not what everyone expected, and I thought he was a great match for Charlotte, and he was. He showed her to be herself, along with her step sisters and other band mates.
Overall, alot of the sub characters (Jilly, Sylvia (!!!I love seeing my name in a book!), Taryn, Abe, etc) were very interesting, and added the needed depth to this book. However, I felt like the book dragged on and that Charlotte was just frankly not strong enough of a main character to lead this book. Sorry!
Profile Image for Adira.
418 reviews235 followers
April 27, 2015
I gave this book 3.5 stars.

The synopsis of this book is a little misleading, but the overall plot is very cute and very high school chic. I loved the main character, Charlotte, she was a strong and talented lead and McVoy gave her a magnificent storyline.

I recommend this to readers who just want an easy and quick read that leaves them feeling good.
Profile Image for catherine ♡.
1,153 reviews150 followers
April 10, 2017
This was definitely different from what I had gathered from the synopsis.
It felt okay for me - I was able to get through it without much trouble, but I wasn't full "in" it, and there wasn't much romance until the end.
Profile Image for emeraldsue.
437 reviews51 followers
February 10, 2017
“I know—better than anyone—that once someone’s made up her mind to leave you, there’s nothing you can do to make her stay.”
Profile Image for Chocolate.
144 reviews49 followers
May 17, 2018
4.5 stars.
Seriously, what kind of ending was that??
it was rushed and then it was done. cmon man.

The boy wasn't even there for half the book!!

You know what this reminds me of? the movie Justice League. where the hero's save everyone and everything, and Superman is only at the beginning and end, but somehow is still the star. like, NO.

Oliver: I get you, but I don't get you. shady of you to act like the songs were yours.

Benji: RULE OF BEN!! What'd i say? All Bens are awesome and nice. Honestly, I was disappointed when she didn't end up with him... BUT now i can have him :))

Band members: you cool.

parents: you cool.

her ho "friend" I already forgot her name: you bitch.

Favorite character: Benji, DUH. the boy got humor. AND manners, AND humor AND a beautiful face, I can tell.

It was a cool book though, at parts funny. so, 4.5 stars
Profile Image for Estelle.
856 reviews80 followers
January 21, 2013
Review originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog

Ahh, the age old question of whether or not guys and girls can really be friends. Readers, I’m here to tell you I still don’t know the answer to that one. I’d like to say yes, but based on my own personal experiences…. it’s not looking too good. And maybe that’s why I connected so strongly to Char’s story. She’s not exactly your typical girl and we know how much that can make you an outcast in high school. She’s not too big on fashion, not the best student, but loves music and manages a band with her two best friends, Oliver and Tripp.

When Tripp leaves the band out of nowhere, the dynamic between the three really changes. Char feels she can’t talk to Tripp about the band anymore which is a total loss to her because they were songwriting partners. Their distance grows even more when Tripp starts hanging out with new friends and the new band members actually start to make the band BETTER. Char also starts crushing on the talented Fabian and gains some attention from Benji, the sweet stoner, from her history class who is helping her study. (Hello, Marcus Flutie fans!)


All of a sudden a guy magnet and, not only managing but SINGING in the band, Char is in totally new territory.

After reading The Summer of Firsts and Lasts and now this particular book, I am a certified Terra Elan McVoy fan. Char’s home life is a little unsteady with her older sister, Jilly, away at college and the blending of her new family, which includes two stepsisters. But there is never any hate between any of them. All the girls are really different but it is because of Char’s recent excitement that they come together in this grand way. I loved seeing them get closer. Then Char starts to feel lonely when Jilly is hard to nail down during her first semester. I could only think of my own little sister and wonder if she ever felt like that about me when I left for college the first time. McVoy is a pro when it comes to writing about the complexities of sister relationships. I always leave the scenes intensely missing my own family and home in general, when I could just wake up to Turkey Day at my house and not have to drive there or skip it all together. The sense of home and family is just so on target.

Charlotte, who is sort of directionless when it comes to her future, is forced to make decisions for herself without her sister and Tripp. And she doesn’t always make the right ones. She struggles a lot and overthinks and feels pretty helpless at times too. The hurt she feels from Tripp’s treatment punched me right in the heart so many times (“You’re the one who knows me. I thought he knew it already, but maybe I need to tell him. Maybe that would make a difference. But maybe too—and this snaps me into action…because I don’t want to think about it—maybe he does know how much he means to me. And maybe he’s doing it anyway.”) How one day it’s normal to talk to someone every day and on another, it’s normal to not.

McVoy takes familiar themes and continues to make them refreshing and new; she never makes the typical moves while still injecting emotion in a way we can relate to – some days we are wallowing and others we are laughing. I never really know the ending of these stories until I reach the final page. I still have to do a little work to get there and as a reader, I appreciate that so much.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
662 reviews2,255 followers
August 9, 2013
Being Friends with Boys is about friendship. It explores friendships with girls, boys, and sisters. It shows that being friends with boys isn't always greener on the other side. All relationships have problems, arguments, fall outs, and boys are not always easy to understand or communicate with. They lie, keep secrets, and shut you out just the same as girls. The other huge plot point of the book is the dynamic of a being in a band. I wish the synopsis had mentioned this being a bigger plot point because I love books about bands and would have definitely picked it up sooner.

Charlotte has been best friends with Oliver since 5th grade. She writes the songs for their band, Sad Jackal, which also includes her friends Trip and Abe. They had a great summer jamming together. Then when school starts Trip wants to leave the band and begins ignoring her. Trip was really hard to read. They planned to stay in touch and had a great Saturday together and planned to see each other every weekend. At first I thought there was definitely more between them and then he just disappeared and began ignoring her.

Fabian and Eli join the band to replace Trip and Charlotte begins to have feelings for Fabian. Rumors also spread that she is dating Oliver. She starts a friendship with Benji and is thinking about dating him. Boys are really beginning to complicate and confuse Charlotte's life. Charlotte's sister just moved away to college this year and her old best friend Lish ignores her for other cooler friends. Lish was such a bad friend as she only wanted to hang out with Charlotte when Charlotte was doing something interesting or cool. With Charlotte's sister away she does begin to have a closer relationship with her two stepsisters.

The band dynamic is such a huge part of this story as well. Charlotte feels like Oliver doesn't appreciate her as much as he should. She writes the songs but he doesn't give her enough credit. She begins to sing for the band and thinks maybe she should join a girl band that appreciates her more. But the bands don't both take it as seriously as Charlotte would prefer. As confused as Charlotte was for so many things I thought she was really smart and honest with herself and others. She also stands up for herself and doesn't let her friends walk all over her. That is very difficult to do in high school.

So much of the book is about Charlotte figuring out who is a good friend, who she should date, that some friends she wish she could like romantically but she can't, some boys turn out to be gay, some she realizes she likes more than a friend and needs to admit it to herself. I honestly wasn't sure which guy she would end up with! At first I thought I was pretty sure but all the boys were really great and I had wanted her with all of them at one point during my read. I will say that I think it ended perfectly although a little short on the big romantic ending I prefer. But a really touching story of friendship!

"I will rise above her, and them, and all of this high school bullshit, and they'll realize what a mistake they made."

"I wasn't aware that was how I felt, either, until it was out. And now that I've said it like that, I'm not exactly sure it is how I feel. But this isn't a piece of paper I can crumple up and throw away. They aren't words I can cross out to start over. Now they're out, and I know they'll hang here, between us, maybe forever."

"That’s your problem, Char. You’re friends with all these boys . . ."
Profile Image for YA Reads Book Reviews.
673 reviews259 followers
April 19, 2012
Originally featured on www.yareads.com, review by Kiona

Charlotte is just one of the guys. She always thought being friends with boys would be much more drama-free than being friends with girls. And she was right, for awhile. She and her best guy pals spent their time practicing, playing video games, and just hanging out. But then her best friend, Trip, leaves their band, which, coincidentally enough, changes Charlotte’s entire world.

For anyone who’s ever wanted to know what it’s like to be one of the guys, this book will enthrall you. Charlotte’s relationships with every one of her guy friends are different and interesting. The only problem is, she has so many guy friends. It’s almost hard to keep track of them all. And it’s also hard to know where this story is going for the first half of the book, which can become frustrating. The problem is knowing which characters to trust. Each character has a surprising and completely unpredictable motive. The characters you end up caring for the most might be the ones to let you down, as happens in real life. But each character is so completely different from another that you’re guaranteed to find someone to root for or fall in love with — especially since these characters are so realistic (most of all, Char).

Basically, I think Being Friends with Boys has a little too much going on. I would like it so much more if some parts were condensed or cut, particularly any of the scenes involving Charlotte’s former best friend or her burgeoning relationship with an all-girl rock band. These scenes — while interesting — don’t really add much by the end of the book and detract from the main plot. Char’s life is just so jam-packed that it’s hard to keep track of what’s happening and really get attached to any one character. Char has so many friends, enemies, and frenemies that you forget who’s who and who you’re supposed to like or hate.

That being said, Char’s life is still just so interesting. I think she lets all the cool things happening at once kind of take over her life and she forgets to prioritize her friendships and relationships, but it’s easy to understand why she might feel overwhelmed. Char’s a relatable character — she makes some stupid decisions and is painfully blind to some of the obvious drama unfolding before her, but again, she’s also very overwhelmed and we all get blind-sided sometimes (especially when hormones and hot band members are involved).

I like that McVoy writes convincingly about a high school band that takes themselves seriously: they put in the practice time, play at actual small-town venues, and experience their fair share of drama. Their world pulls you in so thoroughly that when you finish the book, you’ll want to round up your friends and form a band of your own. Whether or not you decide to mix-and-match the genders of your band members is up to you, but just remember: being friends with boys isn’t as easy as you might think.
Profile Image for Mitchii.
802 reviews258 followers
April 19, 2012

** Got it from Simon & Schuster Galley Grab. Thanks!**

I was already planning to read this one even before I found out it was up for grabs on galley grab (and I snatched two more, which is nice. Despite the lack of the monthly newsletter, I’m glad that Simon and Schuster didn’t completely discontinue the service. But it’ll be great if the newsletter is back. Those titles I bumped into were completely accidental. And I don’t always have the time to check it out, and I don’t like missing out on stuff. So please come back...(T.T) Anyhoo, when I read the summary I really find it cute. So I shelved it on my TBR immediately, but lucky me an eARC of this book was available. But really, who wouldn’t find this interesting; being surrounded by guys and the complications of being friends with them. It promises an interesting story, yes?

The title says it all—being friends with boys. So the main focus of the book is Char’s friendship with the guys. I love how it showed Char’s different dynamics with the boys. It was different with each guy—different for Oliver, Fabian, Benji and Trip. Particularly Trip. But then I remembered the book’s blurb says that there’s a new guy will change her drama-free friendship with them. So I was looking forward to that. But even with Fabian and Benji around, I was happy that she sorted her feelings along the way. It turned out the guy who left Sad Jackal, (their band, cool name isn’t?) Trip has heart all along. I knew there’s something going on. I liked the all-out confession at the end. Speaking of the ending, I think it was cut short. I wish I know what happens after (the confession). I wanted a closure but instead it left me unsated. Nevertheless, I liked the ending. Open-ended as it was. Admittedly, the last few chapters were the ones that truly and finally drew me into the story.

I loved that there’s music in here. And I’m really pleased with it. I loved Charlotte has a thing for writing music. And that she can sing too. I think it added a more serious—a profundity to her already appealing (for me) personality. Unlike Amplified, I am more connected to this book musically. The history of their band, how it started one summer with her, Abe, Trip and Oliver. And how memorable it was. I liked that she used this as an inspiration for writing songs. My favorite part was when she was pulling all her experiences (I mean, every experiences) into words—lyrics. It was realistic portrayal for me. I loved how genuinely connected she was with her band. And I totally agree with Jill too, about fun things that don’t necessarily bring out the best in you.

Overall, I enjoyed it. A little different from what I expected but I can’t deny its charming side. I haven’t tried anything from the author but I might consider some of her works. Final note, a really nice one.
Profile Image for Christina (A Reader of Fictions).
4,220 reviews1,651 followers
February 6, 2017
Terra Elan McVoy’s a local author. I’ve never read any of her books before this one, but I own a couple because I try to buy a book or two when I visit Little Shop of Stories, my favorite local shop, and they generally have signed copies of her books in stock. Plus, several of them sounded like cute contemporaries right up my alley. This purchase was an excellent one. Being Friends with Boys does a great job depicting high school friendship and the complexities of emotions.

Generally, when I’m really impressed with a novel, it’s the ship. You all know this about me. In this case, what I like the most is how realistic it feels. Charlotte has a bunch of different potential love interests. I’m using this term pretty broadly, because only with two was anything ever going to happen, but in terms of what Charlotte considers, there are four. Charlotte spends much of the book confused about what precisely she wants but really enjoying this new attention. I really like that Char has some trouble determining her own feelings when someone has a crush on her too, because omg that’s such a thing and it doesn’t show up in YA much.

On top of Charlotte’s new romantic drama, she has friendship stuff going down. Early on, she and her best friend Trip become estranged. She gets through that by distracting herself with a new role in the band. A formerly two-faced best friend, Lish, comes back and wants to be friends again. Charlotte and her other bestie, Oliver, have issues too. What I like about this is that friendship can be tough and that’s shown so well here, in the form of toxic friendships and healthy ones that need a bit of TLC too.

Char’s interaction with her family’s nice as well, though perhaps a bit abbreviated. I like the way that the family dynamics have changed with her sister off to college; Charlotte begins to bond with her stepsisters and realize that she’d perhaps mis-judged them. Her dad’s a really nice, involved, tolerant parent, and he’s pretty unique in YA fiction.

Being Friends with Boys isn’t the voiciest contemporary, but Char’s engaging. One thing I do really appreciate about her narration is that she often will think things that are totally unfair and rude, but then will correct herself for it. That added authenticity, because I know my kneejerk thoughts are often awful and then I have to reel myself back in.

If you’re looking for a contemporary all about friendships, this backlist title might be right up your alley. The music element is also strong, for those into that.
Profile Image for Joanna.
727 reviews24 followers
February 14, 2016
Again. Boys. Boys. BOYS!

That feeling when you think you've had enough of them but what you really feel is like they are everything to you? :)

1. Boys. Sometimes a girl just needs one. But a lot can be better too.
This book is about being friends with boys. They are pretty complicated sometimes because of how they react or how they view stuff in life. But most of the time they are just like just normal friends who listens and goofs around with. I really liked how Charlotte has a lot of guy friends. I also like the way they all treat each other with care and respect.

2. It's just too little too late...but maybe it's not?
The Trip/Charlotte things is driving me crazy! I really love their relationship. It's obvious that they like each other a lot. What with the long phone conversations/ notebook writing/ song swapping/ song writing and just always there for each other. Also how Char's voice in the book is saying how she's really connecting with Trip. Then he has to be all "I have to go or I don't wanna hang out with you anymore." That SUCKED so bad. I was like, "WTF? is wrong with you Trip? Do you really have to have a new girlfriend? You can't just be super close with someone then just cut someone out like that in a heart beat! You just don't! You should at least tell that person! You don't just ignore them!" So yeah, I was really devastated because I really like them for each other! Then at the end of the book, he's just there. Spilling all his feelings for Char in their notebook. I think it's great that he loves her back, but I can't help feel that it's a bit rushed. Then she sang the song that they made and it's the end. I wish there are more reconciliation bits or something. More romance between the two of them. But nooo, I just have to read it like that. Oh well. I still kinda like it.

3. But if I had you, that could be the only thing I'll ever need.
Fabian, Benji and Oliver are really great friends to Charlotte too.
Fabian with all the sensitive/ supportive thing going on. Benji, with how he's really cool with being friends and how they ended the "dating" thing. He's smart and he such a great listener too. He's the kind of guy that you can count on and makes you feel better all the time even if you're in your lowest point. Then there's Oliver, he's just the typical guy friend that you can't turn away from. He acts cool and confident. These guys are one of the great things that happened to Charlotte. They may have their fights or misunderstanding but in the end they still end up being happy and liking each other.

Profile Image for Isamlq.
1,578 reviews710 followers
April 27, 2012

Oh Thank God… Lately, I’ve been feeling less than enthusiastic over the stuff I’ve been picking. I think I’ve had me fill of girls saving the world/ post apoc/ whatever. Apparently, it takes a bunch of teenagers who don’t know what they want and how to say what they want once they’ve figured things out to get me pumped. Being Friends with Boys is not without its problems, take the girl who’s not aware of what she’s got going for her, take her very complicated non-love life… but I enjoyed it.

It starts at their end. But her recollections of what had gone on prior -all short and brief- high lit how good they were together. I liked her flashing back to them; her memories of them and their “golden summer” all pointed to a group who liked being together and had fun together; had a genuine connection.

Supporting character made for a more interesting read too. There’s Fabian, with his words of wisdom; it’s his and her connection that balanced out what would have been too much boy drama. Of course there’s Benji who is likely my favorite character. He was just always there and so easy to read of- which is not necessarily what I’d have to say for the two originals: Trip and Oliver. I like how it’s a mostly a non romance because there’s very little to that effect most of the book. It’s mostly this girl being friends with boys Then eventually, the same girl figuring things out. There was that eventual romantic revelation to her in that final moment with her holding things then but reducing everything that had happened in a couple of breathes… but it was all right. Most of the time thoe two were absent, but it’s their absence that propelled most of the drama she experienced, as well as most of the discoveries made.

While I’d normally be scrunching my forehead over how oblivious she could get, her recognizing what was is half the fun/frustration of this story. She could be both (seriously,) but at least there was more to her. She’s frustratingly unaware of why things had turned out the way they had, but willing to roll with things. Benji got her I suppose in calling her his “Coastal.” She did go with the flow, but not always with her striking out on her own and trying some new things.

Thank You Simon and Schuster G&G!

Profile Image for Magic Shop .
567 reviews
March 24, 2014

"That's your problem, Char. You're friends with all these boys...."
-Being Friends With Boys

Wow, who knew being friends with boys could be so complicated. Well, it was for Charlotte. I read two other books by this author which I loved and thought were very good. So I was excited when I was reading this. I was glad that I was able to. It was really good. A nice,messy read with a new perspective on friends, first dates, and romance along with facing your fears and finding out what you love. Charlotte was always friends with boys because she had some bad experiences with her back-stabbing ex-best friend. But the. She starts falling for some guys and things change. I liked some of the characters, but other I disliked until a certain point. I loved Trip because he was sweet and I just knew he was perfect of Char. Speaking of Char, I liked her to. She was just a girl wanting to song and not complicate things. I liked Oliver, but at times I didn't like how he treated Char. He didn't appreciate her enough or her talents and was sometimes jealous of her. But he came true. Unlike Lish (ex-best friend) who just liked her because she was getting famous. But the others were good. I liked the ending. It was sweet,mi just had one complaint. I wanted it to go longer and see how the gig went and what would the outcome be for Trip and Char. But it was still sweet and good. So, looking forward to other books by this author and hope to like them. Enjoy!!!!
Profile Image for Kimberly Sabatini.
Author 1 book375 followers
April 30, 2012
I loved this book--seriously adored it. And what makes it so darn good? It's the characters. McVoy has the gentlest touch with the people she creates. It isn't very long before I'm completely sucked into every aspect of their lives. At about page 159, after growling out loud, I felt compelled to fire off a tweet of utter frustration to McVoy--I'd fallen in love with three possibly even four of the boys in this story. And even worse, I had no ideas how this book could possibly end without my own heart being broken. But just like she always does, Terra pulled it off. And just so you know--it ends perfectly. The only negative thing about BEING FRIENDS WITH BOYS, is that I now have a burning desire to be the lead singer in a band--and that is sooooo never going to happen. Bummer.
Profile Image for Isabella.
558 reviews12.7k followers
July 16, 2014
I think this book had a lot of potential, but in my opinion it fell short. I just think that the plot was okay, and the characters where under developed which js something i cannot look past. Also, Charlotte was sooo annoying! She was always complaining about everything and didnt realize that she made all of these situations because of her choices!

I just really couldnt connect with the main character which sucks. But i really did love Trip, i wouldve loved to read more of him and just hnnng

Im giving jt four stars because te plot was enjoyable and i was entertained. If it wouldnt be for the fact that the charqcters werent as relatable then i wouldve given it 5 stars!
5 reviews
June 6, 2017
Charlotte has been friends with boys forever. Every friend she had that was a girl always left her. This book is mainly about Charlotte and her guy friends Abe, Oliver, and Trip who are all in a band together named Sad Jackal. Charlotte and Trip are super close and one he leaves the band Charlotte doesn't have much time with him. Then Charlottes life got to complicated with who she decided to like and be friends with.The primary theme in this book is that your true friends will stick around no mater what happens. I can compare this book to lot of books I've rad its just that classic teen book. I would recommend it to anyone who likes teen books in general.
Profile Image for Vanessa Navarro.
18 reviews
March 28, 2021
First things first, I really enjoyed reading this book! It was a quick and easy read. The storyline of the book was meh.. I didn’t really enjoy the ending though because it’s left off on a cliffhanger kinda... like hello?? what happened after that babe? part 2?? 👀 I also think the book would have made more sense if it were told from the “important” characters perspective because we’re left out of the loop 🤥 There wasn’t too much romance until the end but again, cliffhanger 🥸... Although the book could use a few tweaks to piece everything together and really draw u in, I don’t regret reading the book and I enjoyed it!
Profile Image for Sam H (Will Read for Booze).
125 reviews11 followers
May 1, 2017
So I didn't hate it but I hated it ya know? The MC's way of life is very similar to mine.... all my friends are men. Always have been. And because of that life can get complicated. Again, super relatable. But it was a struggle for me to relive this story, and it not match my own experiences.
Profile Image for My Bookish Delights.
889 reviews36 followers
May 9, 2020
Hm. This was a strange one. I think that 12 year old me would have really liked this book, if it actually had more romance in it. 12 year old me was not messing around with what she liked. 17 year old me would have liked it more since that's when I had my own group of guy friends. Again though, not enough romance. My point is that this feels like it's supposed to be a YA book, but one written for the lower end such as 12-13 year olds. There's no way these characters seem like seniors to me.

I liked the main character Charlotte although I found her an odd mixture of being confident and being a doormat. She was doing things for herself, but then contradicting herself by being kind of a doormat. I liked the family relationships in this, especially with her two step-sisters. The other female relationships were odd though. It had the typical back-stabbing mean girl and the only other female relationships ended abruptly without much substance.

Having been someone who was mainly friends with boys during my late high school to college years, I found a lot of this book to ring true. Boys are easygoing friends who don't hold grudges with little to no drama. They are great for making you forget your problems instead of dwelling. I remember when my boyfriend and I broke up in college (and my heart was freaking broken), I went straight to two of my guy friends' house and I managed to laugh more than once as they tried to help me forget about it for a night. I can't say that would have happened with a girlfriend and it was exactly what I needed. Having said that though, female relationships are also important as there are some things that guys just don't get. I think that was portrayed here with Charlotte's two stepsisters, but I would have liked to see it in a friendship more.

The relationships in this book were pretty basic. Things were just happening and the plot kind of felt all over the place. The same thing was happening with the relationships. They felt all over the place. It was somewhat confusing, but for some reason I just kept on reading until I was done. The "romance" was not satisfying at all and a lot of the book was focused more on Charlotte being in a band. It was not what I was expecting.

I'm torn between a 2 and a 3 because while I finished it, I don't know that I necessarily liked it. I picked this one up because I was looking for some nostalgia, and there was a bit of that, but I don't think it was enough to make me really even like this story.

OWLs Magical Readathon: Ancient Runes: Read a book with a heart on the cover or in the title.

Profile Image for Andi (Andi's ABCs).
1,539 reviews187 followers
April 15, 2012
First I must start by saying I am a huge, huge fan of Terra Elan McVoy. I picked her book Pure up on a whim and fell in love with the story. It wasn’t my usual kind of book or subject matter, but it was so fascinating I couldn’t put it down. Basically, I have been a fan ever since. When I heard she was writing a new book I was ecstatic. And then when I was offered an ARC I was so over the moon. And let me tell you it was exactly what I expect from McVoy. Was it as good as Pure for me, no way, but it still was really enjoyable. And part of that is because I think McVoy hit the ups and downs of having friendships with boys.

Being Friends with Boys is a story about Charlotte, a normal girl that is the manager of a band.  The band includes Abe, Trip and Oliver, Char’s three best friends, and she is completely content with that. After all, she has more guy friends than girl friends because girls never seem to be there for her when she needs them. For example, her mother abandoned her when she was younger, her sister is in college leaving her behind, and her former best friend Lish stopped coming around because Charlotte wasn’t cool enough. Charlotte knows that Oliver, Abe and Trip will always be there. She counts on it. But the problem is, things tend to change and change quickly.  Soon Char has no idea which end is up — she and Trip are suddenly barely speaking, he’s out of the band and replaced with new guys, and most scary of all she is suddenly singing instead of managing. Quickly thereafter, she is forming a crush and Lish is unexpectedly back in her life.  Things are on the upswing and starting to look good. But why can’t she get Trip out of her head and why is he ignoring her?  There is no question that her hands are full and as a result of the many transitions her emotions are all over the place.

Honestly, there was stuff I really liked about this book and stuff that I wasn’t crazy about. Charlotte was one of the parts I really liked. There was something about her that was very relatable.  There was an ease to her when she was around all the boys in her life and I liked that. She seemed comfortable in her own skin and in her element. And as much as I liked her relationship with all the guys, my favorite by far was the one she shared with Trip and Benji.  When Char was around Fabian she was awkward and unsure, around Oliver she was constantly looking out for his feelings and reactions, but when she was around Benji and Trip she never once second guessed herself. Well, that is until she tried to force situations with both of them. Truthfully she was her absolute best when around those two boys and that made me really like her as a character.

On the other side, as much as I enjoyed that Charlotte that was friends with the boys, I loathed the Charlotte that was friends with the girls. The girls that Charlotte was friends with, and I use that term loosely, were the complete opposite of the boys and that bothered me. I guess when you think about it there is obviously going to be two different dynamics with these kinds of friendships, with boys and girls being so different from one another, but these girls were just horrible. They used Charlotte and treated her like dirt and I wasn’t a fan of that. The fact that Charlotte let them when she would have never let Trip or Oliver get away with the same behavior was insulting. She was better then Lish and the girls that were using her for access to the band and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why she would take that from them. The friendship with the boys was much more believable than it was with the girls so that was disappointing.

What wasn’t disappointing was the focus on music in the story. I’m not usually one that goes gaga over music in books, but I have to say there was something about the addition of the band’s music that added to the plot. I don’t know if it was Charlotte coming out from behind the scenes and actually being front and center singing her own lyrics, or the places that Sad Jackal played.  The scene’s set — like the Halloween dance that brought me back to high school dances or the bar where Charlotte and Fabian would go with friends and listen to other bands — set a fun and interesting tone. It added an energy to the book that helped feed the emotions Charlotte was feeling. When she was confused she would write and sing out the confusion. When she was hurt she would dance and sing away the pain. It added depth to Charlotte’s character and gave me the ability to look inside her as opposed to the external view her relationships provided. I appreciated that ability.

All in all I really enjoyed this book. It was a fun, entertaining read. It made me look forward to more books by McVoy. If you haven’t read her, check some of her stuff out. If you have, pick this one up and enjoy. I did.
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January 28, 2013
When I read Terra Elan McVoy’s first novel, “Pure,” two summers ago, I had a hard time relating to the main character and caring about the plot because I am not religious (“Pure” is about what happens when one of four friends bonded by purity rings breaks her pledge). But McVoy’s writing kept me buying her novels. I absolutely loved the two first person narrators who each wrote in unique poetry in “After the Kiss” and reading about the different lives of three sisters in “The Summer of Firsts and Lasts.” So when “Being Friends With Boys” came out, I couldn’t wait to read it.

Charlotte is one of the guys. Having a best friend slowly cease communicating can have that effect on a girl. After what Lish did, Charlotte is done with girls. And she doesn’t need them. She has plenty of friends, even if they are all guys. She likes helping the guys with girl problems. She likes writing the lyrics for the band she’s in with Oliver, Abe, and Trip. But when Trip gets kicked out of the band, things change.

Enter new band members Fabian and Eli. Fabian has a way of making Charlotte feel more like a girl than she ever has before, and Eli convinces Charlotte that it’s time she sung some of those lyrics she writes. Charlotte is used to being the girl who’s never noticed, but she is not going to be able to hide anymore. Maybe she doesn’t want to.

It’s not too often that a book written by a woman with a female narrator has more male characters than female characters, but this is the case in “Being Friends With Boys.” When it comes to her male characters, McVoy does this great thing where she tells us a little bit about them when they are first introduced and then deepens their character throughout the novel. Trip is the guy who gets lost walking around the neighborhood with Charlotte and then decides they should sing their way home. Then he’s the guy who directs his attention to school and martial arts and another girl when he gets kicked out of the band. Oliver is the lead singer, and then he’s the guy who needs to be perfect. Abe and Eli are just guys in the band until they’re encouraging Charlotte to sing. Fabian is the first guy who makes Charlotte feel like a girl, and then he might just be the guy that Charlotte can never have. Benji is the drug addict, and then he’s the guy who’s actually smart and willing to help Charlotte study, perhaps because he wants to make Charlotte feel like a girl, too.

Despite the fact that male characters dominate, female characters still get their say. Taryn and Sylvia, Fabian’s friends who ask Charlotte to sing in their band, provide a lot of energy to the novel. They are the ones who drag Charlotte out on the dance floor the first time she sees a band at a club. Taryn is one of those girls who does what she wants without thinking about others, and I could not help but feel for Sylvia when Taryn did things that hurt her. I felt for Charlotte when she was missing her sister, Jilly, who is away at college, but I was glad that her sister’s absence gave her a chance to get to know her stepsisters better. I loved when Darby helped Charlotte get ready for dates. Learning that Gretchen misses Jilly, too, really touched me and had a nice way of bringing Charlotte and Gretchen closer.

And then, of course, there’s Charlotte. I am not particularly fond of people who are capable of getting good grades and choose not to, but I just loved Charlotte. She’s already in one band when she gets asked to be in another, but she is just so humble about it. She is also shocked when guys start seeing her as a girl, which I found believable instead of annoying because Charlotte is used to being friends with boys. Also, I admired the decisions Charlotte made at the end of the novel. It was refreshing to see such an honest character.

Now that I am writing about it, I am amazed by just how many characters—both male and female—there are in “Being Friends With Boys.” It is even more amazing that McVoy managed to give them each their own personalities, complete with desires and shortcomings.

While reading “Being Friends With Boys,” I realized what it is that keeps bringing me back to McVoy’s novels: they are just so realistic. McVoy succeeds in writing realistic fiction about characters and events that could easily exist outside of her pages, a strength that not all realistic fiction authors have mastered quite as well as McVoy has.
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