…on Being Friends With Boys by Terra Elan McVoy

Posted October 1, 2012 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 21 Comments

Being Friends With Boys
by Terra Elan McVoy
Published by Simon Pulse
Publish Date: May 1, 2012
368 Pages
Source:  Library

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) 

Being Friends With Boys by Terra Elan McVoy

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.

The first thing you need to know is this:
Charlotte has a LOT of friends that are boys.
They’re in a band.
Okay, well you guys – that isn’t me. I do not have a bazillion guy friends. In fact, I wouldn’t call myself a person that has a bazillion friends, period. I have a few friends that are super-awesome and I love them with all that I am. But this chick has a ton. She’s tried to have girl friends, but for various reasons, Charlotte can just relate better to guys. How often can we all find this to be true? EXACTLY.

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.

The second thing you need to know is this:
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 there are all of these guy bandmates – and they are all different and quirky and lovable, they really are. They are great. I liked them all. There is this one, though, that emerges as THAT ONE. One guy has to be different and have ALL THE FEELINGS and stuff and of course that means he acts ALL WEIRD when there are other friends around that are boys. Why?! Why does this happen? 

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.

The third thing you need to know is this: 
I chose sides. I picked the FRIEND. 

I’m sorry, you guys. I am a firm believer that guys and girls can be just friends if they choose to be. 

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.


Being Friends With Boys is a fun, quirky, quick read that left me feeling all sorts of happy on the inside. I devoured it like I was eating the very best peach cobbler ever in the middle of the summertime. This book was written for me and validated a ton of things I feel as an adult, even though it was written with characters that are in high school, because even at this age of my life I have friends that are *gasp* BOYS.

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.

Being Friends With Boys will appeal to fans of:

YA Contemporary with Romance
Books with Music

Great characterization, male and female

Being Friends With Boys by Terra Elan McVoy

is currently available for purchase. 


Can guys and gals really be just friends?


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


21 responses to “…on Being Friends With Boys by Terra Elan McVoy

  1. I THINK YOU CAN BE FRIENDS WITH BOYS TOO! I've had several of them over the years. One good one in high school that NO ONE understood when we said we weren't interested in each other. Although I always had girl friends too. This looks like a fun story. I like that they're in a band together, and it's also realistic that with so many people involved, some of them might start liking each other – making it confusing. I hope to pick it up soon!

    • Yeah, the being friends with boys question is a really interesting one isn't it? Everyone has their own opinion and some are quite fixed on it. I'm pretty firm in the way I feel but I realize that not everyone is.

      This book is just really so much fun. It's a fun, easy, happy book to read between heavy ones. For you, I say there is no mortal danger and no emotional-ness. If you can grab it – perhaps between bigger books or more emotional-heavy ones – please do so. I think you'd love it. I think the fact that I did the dog-ear thing is quite telling in how much I liked it, especially since it isn't my book.

  2. I would LOVE to read this book, because you make it sound supremely awesome. I think it is possible for guys and girls to be friends BUT only to a certain "level" of friendship, especially if you're in a committed relationship!

  3. Oh! I am gonna telll… You dog-eared some pages!!! LOL
    This sounds like a great read I love the way you have described the relationships. I will have to check and see if my library has it.

    • Spoke directly to me in many ways, as you can imagine.

      I do love the coffee on the front, but my coffee never looks quite like that. It doesn't last long enough to make pretty pictures on top.

      You make me laugh, dear friend.


  4. I love your review, and I am definitely going to have to check out this book! I was always 'that girl' whose had guy friends (almost exclusively guy friends — I was very tomboyish and had a hard time relating to other girls). All through school, I'd be the only girl in a group of guys, People would crack jokes about it, but it was where I felt comfortable. In college, I studied computers, so once again, I was usually in a group of guys.

    Guys can gals can definitely be just friends. You set those boundaries and those expectations, and everyone goes along with it. And honestly, after knowing my guy friends as well as I do, I wouldn't have dated them anyway 🙂

    New follower here (I found your blog via Southern Book Blogs). Mine is nickieanderson.blogspot.com

    • Hi Nickie! There's something different about the guy friends than the gal friends, for sure. I found myself the one girl in a group of guys too when I was in high school, so I'm not surprised to find that I can still relate to guys better a lot of times.

      Thanks so much for stopping by! I'm heading over to check out your blog. 🙂

  5. "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."

    *Raises Hand REPEATEDLY* That's ME! I'm that girl who likes those things in books. Actually I LOVE those things in books! Gah! I just love great contemporary reads:)

    Enough said. I'm IN and checking Amazon as we speak:))

    • Oh Heather, I hope you love this one. I think you will. This one has great characters, which you KNOW I love, plus there is music in it, which we both love.

      It's just so fun and I find some big truths in it as well. I think this is a Heather book! 🙂

  6. Yay! I'm so happy to see another satisfied reader for this one. I'm also a firm believer that you can be friends with boys, and I think this is a great book for those of us who prefer hanging with guys a lot of the time. I feel like my experiences were incredibly different from Charlottes, but I still really liked this story. I liked that it was a YA contemp that wasn't an issue book, but wasn't fluffy either–that can be a hard balance to hit. I so wanted to strangle Trip though. You don't want to ruin your friendship by expressing FEELINGS so instead you're just going to ruin it by being a dick? GOOD MOVE.

    • My experiences are different from Charlotte's too, but I do love that gal. She just validated my feelings – which are the feelings that I feel like I've been trying to say for (still) a long time.

      I agree that it isn't issue but it still isn't fluffy – it really is a perfect balance between the two – and somehow still VERY enjoyable with the story. I loved the music aspect. I wanted to strangle Trip. I loved the quirkiness of some of the characters. I think it is one of my favorite contemps so far, genuinely.

      GREAT choice for me. Loved it so much.

  7. Thank you so, so much for the fabulous review. I love how enthusiastic you were able to get about Charlotte and her friends (I love all the boys too), and I appreciate you giving it a chance! I'm grateful to readers and bloggers like you for spreading the word!

  8. Some of my best friends are boys! I really want to read this…but just dealt with a friend who is a boy letting his fiancee break off our friendship…so probably at a later time. 😉 Boys can be SO much easier to be friends with than girls sometimes. Great review, Asheley!

    • Oh yeah. Maybe a little time, but whenever you get to it…it is so good.

      I needed to read this one for myself and it really was just what I needed at the right time. Like Heidi said in a comment earlier, it wasn't an issues book, but it wasn't really fluffy either – it was a perfect marriage between the two. I loved it. One of my favorites this year.

  9. Eek! I absolutely loved this book. (You must read "The Summer of Firsts & Lasts" by Terra as well!)

    That's what I love about YA… the themes are still very fitting when it comes to grown up life and the situation of boys & girls being friends… oh man, the age old dilemma.

    I love how this author can take such a normal storyline and take it her own. Her characters are engaging and friendly and have such a personality. I also loved that Char was in a band. That seemed like a lot of fun, and I liked watching how her role in the band and as a musician morphed over time.

    (I also cried a bit when I read this. I am a sap.)

    • Oh! You cried!!

      I took down a lot of quotes from this one. I just ate it up. It was SO GOOD. I expected to like it, but I didn't expect to devour it and want to hug it and dance around the house with it. I loved Charlotte and her place within the band and her thoughts and her friends, and just everything.

      I just added The Summer of Firsts & Lasts to my TBR. I need to check my library. I loved the description. I read this book as a library copy, but I want to buy my own copy to mark up. I loved it that much.

  10. Terra Elan McVoy does it again with Being Friends with Boys. I've read some of her previous works, and I think Being Friends with Boys is by far my favourite. Recommended to fans of contemporary books with heavy doses of musical and romantic awesomeness.

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