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’m going to start by saying that I can relate to this story so much, and that’s partly what aided me in my decision to rate this 5 stars.
But in all honesty, this story took me completely by surprise. Yes, some bits are predictable, but others really made me stop in my tracks. Granted, none of it’s outlandish or entirely unbelievable. It’s just very catchy and held my attention. I had to read this straight through.
It was entirely refreshing to read a story about a truly non-girly protagonist blossoming into something more. Everything Charlotte says and does perfectly embodies her role as “one of the guys,” but also allows room for her to grow. And she does. As a character, Charlotte is dynamic and attention-grabbing. She’s able to evoke emotions from me, for her. If a character can do that, I consider them gold.
One of the best and surprising components of this story is the inclusion of Charlotte’s family. Their relationships, you can tell, are strained but in the process of changing. They don’t revolve around drama. They come together. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say they were real.
As far as the band is concerned, I can’t say there was one member I disliked. McVoy makes sure to give each boy a separate entity, personality, presence. Do they clash? Oh, of course. But is it good that they clash? Most definitely. More than one of them are swoon-worthy, without even trying to be. Another golden component, as far as I’m concerned. When the romance isn’t the main focus and simply grows as the story progresses, without the intent of having it be the entire reason for the protagonist’s existence and survival, it just clicks for me. It works. And in the case of Being Friends with Boys, it works. Very well.
Make sure you bump this one up on your reading list. It’ll take you by surprise, how good it is.