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.
Charlotte is just one of the guys. She always thought being friends with boys would be much more drama-free than being friends with girls. And she was right, for awhile. She and her best guy pals spent their time practicing, playing video games, and just hanging out. But then her best friend, Trip, leaves their band, which, coincidentally enough, changes Charlotte’s entire world.
For anyone who’s ever wanted to know what it’s like to be one of the guys, this book will enthrall you. Charlotte’s relationships with every one of her guy friends are different and interesting. The only problem is, she has so many guy friends. It’s almost hard to keep track of them all. And it’s also hard to know where this story is going for the first half of the book, which can become frustrating. The problem is knowing which characters to trust. Each character has a surprising and completely unpredictable motive. The characters you end up caring for the most might be the ones to let you down, as happens in real life. But each character is so completely different from another that you’re guaranteed to find someone to root for or fall in love with — especially since these characters are so realistic (most of all, Char).
Basically, I think Being Friends with Boys has a little too much going on. I would like it so much more if some parts were condensed or cut, particularly any of the scenes involving Charlotte’s former best friend or her burgeoning relationship with an all-girl rock band. These scenes — while interesting — don’t really add much by the end of the book and detract from the main plot. Char’s life is just so jam-packed that it’s hard to keep track of what’s happening and really get attached to any one character. Char has so many friends, enemies, and frenemies that you forget who’s who and who you’re supposed to like or hate.
That being said, Char’s life is still just so interesting. I think she lets all the cool things happening at once kind of take over her life and she forgets to prioritize her friendships and relationships, but it’s easy to understand why she might feel overwhelmed. Char’s a relatable character — she makes some stupid decisions and is painfully blind to some of the obvious drama unfolding before her, but again, she’s also very overwhelmed and we all get blind-sided sometimes (especially when hormones and hot band members are involved).
I like that McVoy writes convincingly about a high school band that takes themselves seriously: they put in the practice time, play at actual small-town venues, and experience their fair share of drama. Their world pulls you in so thoroughly that when you finish the book, you’ll want to round up your friends and form a band of your own. Whether or not you decide to mix-and-match the genders of your band members is up to you, but just remember: being friends with boys isn’t as easy as you might think.
Publication Date : May 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: ARC provided by author
Rating [rating: 3.5]
Teaser Quote: “This is my favorite part of our phone calls. Talking to Trip is great, but when we stop talking, stop thinking, and just listen, I feel really…connected. To him. And maybe even the rest of the world.“