Title: Being Friends with Boys
Author: Terra Elan McVoy
Published: May 1, 2012
Summary: 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 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 might want to be more than friends with Char…being friends with all these boys suddenly becomes a lot more complicated.
I’ve always liked reading about girls who are friends with boys, probably because I’ve always been a girly girl with girly friends and that’s it. I’ve never had a good guy friend so I find that bond to be interesting the more natural it is, therefore ‘Being Friends with Boys’ was made to be read by me!
‘Being Friends with Boys’ I’d say, centered around friendship – old friends, current friends, new friends, lost friends. Charlotte will lose and gain friends and, perhaps, something more. McVoy shows a true picture of friendship, how you sometimes lose friends without prior warning and how
you sometimes gain friends through unlikely events.
This was a greatly easy-going, flowing kind of read. The writing was clean and simple.
What you know is that Charlotte will eventually end up with someone, whether it be a new boy entering the scene or one of her current friends, McVoy will make sure you won’t figure it out just like that.
The story loops through a snake-like path and there are a bunch of boys involved. Is it Oliver, Abe, Trip, Fabian, Benji? Have I missed anyone? At some point you’ll believe there’s something going on with every one of them.
I liked that Charlotte wasn’t necessarily a tomboy or such, even though she wasn’t either necessarily interested in girly things. I don’t know why most of the time in YA, when a girl is really good friends with boys she’s usually a bit boyish. That’s totally fine, but I’d also like to read about a girl who can be naturally girlish around guy friends. I guess Charlotte was a little in-between.
Out of the guys, I definitely had a thing for Benji. And Trip. And maybe a bit of conflicted feeling for Oliver. It’s clear McVoy has a history of guy friends since these characters were all natural; no one was overdone or easily placed in a specific category.
For me it was very much about the person in mind, their persona and personality that provided attraction towards them, not appearance. I actually have little idea how the boys really looked like from McVoy’s point-of-view and much more from my own imagination.
I enjoyed how McVoy incorporated music as a big part of the book, since Charlotte and the boys are in a band. Also Charlotte’s relationship to her stepsisters and her stepmom was, from my part unexpected, but very nice to read about.
Although, I would’ve survived without Charlotte’s mom (who left to pursue her dream) - she was just.. I didn’t like her or how absent and nonchalant she seemed. It was sad seeing how much Charlotte cared and that not being returned.
One thing, though, was awfully unclear to me: Charlotte and the boys’ age. I had no idea how old they were, only that they were in high school. Was it just me? I felt like their age may have clashed with how they came across. I wanted to believe they were seniors but constantly got the feeling that they were younger – sophomores, juniors? At times, they just seemed quite young.
Why I'm not giving this a full four stars (or roses) is because of two reasons 1) the romance (or lack thereof.) Even though the book indeed focuses on "being friends with boys" I just, with so many choices for one girl, needed some heartwarming or heartbreaking romance! I'm sure you understand. And 2) the ending, there was so much that still needed to be said. It ended a few pages, if not a chapter, too soon.
Overall, I definitely liked it. I’d describe ‘Being Friends with Boys’ as an easy, relaxed, Sunday read.