My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Initial Thoughts: I’ll wholeheartedly admit I shadow read this between four other books I was supposed to be reading, and ended up finishing this one far sooner than I thought. I think this is my favorite book in the series so far. The ending was just the touch I needed. I think I might have another book crush to consider as well.
“The Treasure Map of Boys” is the third novel in E. Lockheart’s Ruby Oliver series, and if you think that Ruby catches a break in this novel after the events of the last, you would be quite wrong. Ruby’s still contending with the ups and downs of high school, family, and her overall social life. It’s not an easy road considering one of her only friends (Nora) crushes on the one guy (Noel) who’s approached and taken an interest in her since the whole fallout from the first novel. Not to mention she has to contend with ups and downs surrounding her employment, seemingly expressed interest from quite a few other boys (Finn, Hutch, and Gideon) AND a rocky reunion with Jackson (who just so happens to be single again – go figure).
Ruby’s voice is just as humorous in this novel as the previous two, but somehow this novel hit a little closer to home for me considering Ruby has to deal with quite a bit of fallout as the relationships she comes to consider turn out to be not as clear cut as she thought they were, and in drawing the treasure map of boys that Dr. Z gave her as a therapeutic tool, she realizes she’s at more of a loss with certain events than ever before, which bring along some rather jarring panic attacks.
I think this book had a more clear cut resolution arc than the last two novels, and the ending of this one was particularly sweet in my eyes. I loved the cast of characters, their interactions – light as well as tough, and the peppering of humor that’s so close to the heart of this series. I’ll admit I developed more of a reader crush on Noel because he’s such a sweetheart – and its fun to watch his interactions with Ruby in the lighter moments. I’ll admit also that my like of him has to do with the Fruit Roll-up love he has, but I have no shame.
This was a very good story, and I can’t wait to see how things round out in the next book in the Ruby Oliver series. I think this particular one is my favorite for the narrative arc, the navigation of some nice arcs which Ruby experiences her respective highs and lows, and ultimately the turn the narrative takes to have Ruby come to terms with her ongoing relationships.
Overall score: 4.5/5