[REVIEW] Being Friends with Boys

Series: N/A
Author: Terra Elan McVoy
Genre: young adult, romance, contemporary, chick lit, realistic fiction, music
Published: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Being Friends with Boys
More than friends? 
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 back-stabbing (female) ex-best friends, so for her, being friends with boys is refreshingly drama-free… until it isn't anymore. 
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.

*             *             * 
“Being honest about what you want is part of getting what you want,” he goes on.I narrow my eyes at him. “You’re a tough one, you now that?” He reaches over to tousle my hair. “I just don’t see much the value in time spent deceiving yourself. Not to mention anyone else.”
*             *             *

I read this mainly because I was friends with boys (that is until I shifted majors from engineering to advertising / almost-all-boys-major to almost-all-girls-major). I jumped into this knowing the feeling of living a drama free life around boys and a full blown gossip and drama around girls.

Being Friends with Boys is literally a rollercoaster ride for me. Let me tell you this first, that blurb? That’s a total lie! It makes you feel that this will be high on romance but truth is it’s not. I had that expectation – big romance coming up. I was disappointed when I was focusing on the romance. I feel that this leans more on friendship and pursuing what you truly love in your own way. Yes, there’s romance but not too much.

This started quite rough for me because of my expectation. Aside from that, there were also a few things going on that it’s quite unclear what this book really wants to do at the start. There’s Trip leaving the band, the new band members entering, and more things going on along the way which are the effect of these two things. What I find nice in here is how all these things were resolved at the end. How they all started making sense to me – the constant mention of Lish (Charlotte’s ex-best friend), their mom who left them to pursue her art, and a few more things.

Charlotte is this heroine who barely stands out. Okay, she’s friends with boys and she can sing. But really, from the sea of heroines, she’s probably at the bottom. But maybe that’s what’s good about her. She’s very natural. She has a lot of faults in her.

There are two guys who really stood out from the story – Trip and Oliver, Charlotte’s friends prior from the beginning of the book. Trip is the guy who left the band but he and Charlotte were still very close then. He and Charlotte had a sudden falling out and he’s gone for almost half the book but you can still feel his presence. Oliver, on the other hand, is this arrogant-like guy. He seems like the guy who’d really lead and would always want his way to happen. Male pride, I tell you. But yeah, Oliver is just being a typical guy and that’s what I like best about him.

Aside from that misleading blurb, what I didn’t like in Being Friends with Boys is how Charlotte’s relationships with her friends and family were not clearly shown. I mean instead of showing a picture of their relationship through back stories, McVoy simply described Charlotte’s established relationships through mere words, adjectives.

As a whole, I honestly liked Being Friends with Boys. It was a nice rollercoaster ride. I like Charlotte’s ups and downs. It makes me feel that it’s what naturally happens in life – falling out with friends, trying to make up, awkward situations, liking boys, and other stuff. While things were quite all over the place at the start, I like how everything eventually made more sense right around the middle. And the ending? I’d say it was really beautiful especially the making up of Charlotte and Trip. It was very unforgettable.

*             *             * 

What I Like: (1) Charlotte – makes me feel that she’s s typical and natural, always going with the flow, she’s your not-so-strong heroine, (2) the subtle development on every relationship Charlotte has, (3) the friendship – knowing your true friends, (4) the whole you’re-doing-this-for-yourself-not-for-them idea, (5) the nicely wrapped up ending

What I Didn't Like: (1) the beginning – a bit annoying, a bit all over the place, (2) Charlotte’s established relationships not being well described – how were their relationship like before the book? (flashbacks please?)

story about friendship, romance, and pursuing what your love + your girl-next-door heroine + nicely wrapped up ending = NICE READ

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