Being Friends With Boys
by Terra Elan McVoy
Published by Simon Pulse
Publish Date: May 1, 2012
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. –(summary from Goodreads)
My Thoughts: OH BOY THIS BOOK. Being Friends With Boys is just one example of girls being friends with boys and surviving it. It’s written from the perspective of a group of high school students, which means that I’m absolutely not the target audience, but I still find that it is significant in my life today. Because, well, I am friends with a boy or two.
Charlotte has a LOT of friends that are boys.
They’re in a band.
Charlotte has this interesting little part in this band – made up of her best guy friends – and one day the band decides to mysteriously/kind-of split up. It kind of turns Charlotte’s world upside down. Who should she side with? And why the hell should she have to side anyway? They’re all her friends. Pretty soon Charlotte is a little overwhelmed by some of the feelings she didn’t even realize existed from some of these guys.
When the band splits up, there are sides.
For a second, you’re flailing around and you don’t know what’s going on.
Then you figure it out.
So THAT ONE happens to be the one that has mysteriously left the band, and good riddance for all his weird behavior, in my opinion. He’s acting odd to Charlotte and not giving clear reasons why. Mr. ex-bandmate, haven’t you ever heard of TALKING about how you feel? No! Because you’re a guy. And because you’re a guy, all of us gals tend to give you a pass…but alright, okay. Moving on.
The rest of the bandmates chug along, with Charlotte in tow. Things are going pretty good, and other guy friend is still as charming and wonderful as ever. He really is. He doesn’t act ALL WEIRD and oddball and jealous-y, he just keeps being the FRIEND that he is. Is this even possible? YES. Yes it is. When Charlotte doesn’t understand why Mr. ex-bandmate left or is acting weird, the awesome friend just keeps on being the friend. Because he is awesome. Friend = awesome. Mr ex-bandmate = strange.*
*There are reasons, there are. Of course.
I chose sides. I picked the FRIEND.
I know that there are some out there that don’t believe that. But this story is a believable one that stands by my theory and made me jump for joy. Charlotte is kind of amazing and perhaps also may be my hero – a high school hero to my adult self.
Charlotte had a healthy, great, awesome relationship with the guy friends in her life. True, she was in high school and I am not. She was young and may or may not have known yet what love and real commitment is. But this gal had already it figured out. She had friends that were guys, and she knew how to handle a delicate situation like that. Conversely, the guys in her life – her guy friends – knew the same. She had no time for jealousy or stupidity and I completely respect her for that.
Charlotte has a fun girl with a fun personality. She’s tried doing the BFF with girls-thing and it hasn’t worked out well for her, and I totally understand why. Girls can be so mean, you guys. So when she gravitates to the guys, I get that. She has a lot in common with Oliver, Trip, and the rest of the guys from her band, so it makes a ton of sense that she would spend a lot of time with them. It also makes a lot of sense that eventually she may be interested in a random boy and other boys would become territorial. It also makes sense that there could be feelings for Charlotte within the group of friends. All of this is handled in this story and done in a way that is, well, the way life is. Charlotte manages everyone and everything so well. I LOVED IT.
The best part of this book was the fact that I could see some of myself in Charlotte, and some of my friends in these guy characters. I borrowed this book from the library, but I really need to buy it and re-read it. I did something that I NEVER do and I actually dog-eared some pages. UGH, I know. But I have to go back and write some stuff down so I can revisit those passages later if I ever have the opportunity to discuss this book with someone.
Being Friends With Boys is a fun book to pick up if you love those YA Contemporaries that leave you feeling oh-so-very happy after a great story and also if you like books with music in them. I have never read any of Terra Elan McVoy’s work before but I would most certainly pick up other books by her after reading this one because I enjoyed it immensely. I can’t believe it took a high school fictional character to back me up in a statement I’ve been trying to make forever but it did and Charlotte did and I feel like I want to hold my hands up and scream WHAT!? to the world.
YA Contemporary with Romance
Books with Music
Great characterization, male and female
Being Friends With Boysby Terra Elan McVoy
Can guys and gals really be just friends?