Boyology by Sarah O'Leary Burningham

Friday, July 17, 2009

Relationships with boys are tricky-especially for teen girls who are still figuring out who they are themselves. How do teen girls drum up the confidence to talk to a guy when the teenage years are fraught with self-doubt? Is it really possible to just be friends with a boy without any weirdness? What’s a girl to do when she likes a guy more than a friend and isn’t sure he feels the same? And most of all, how can girls deal with all of this and still stay true to themselves? BOYOLOGY: A Teen Girl’s Crash Course in All Things Boy by How to Raise Your Parents author Sarah Burningham, has the answers to these questions and the other dramas that are teen relationships.

The very first thing I noticed about this book was how gorgeous it was - the corners are curved, the pages are finished beautifully, the cover art is engaging and the book is filled with cute, funny illustrations by Keri Smith (to quote Alice of Wonderland fame, 'What is the use of a book, without pictures or conversations?')

Of course, after that, I opened the book. And it just got better from there. Boyology is a non-fiction book for teenage girls, and has a chatty, conversational tone. I love the fact that the author shares her own experiences, good and bad, as well as snippets in the book from the author's husband (I can hear you. You're going 'Aw, cute'). Quotes from teenagers and celebrities are also sprinkled throughout the novel; and these are both wise and hilarious. Boyology is very funny, and there were some many parts of it that I loved - the playlists and the 'boy breeds' section, among many others. As I read it, I was giggling. A lot.

There were a couple of generalisations I didn't like - like the fact that boys like video games, horror movies and sports, and girls don't. I'm sure this isn't what the author intended at all, but at one point, after reading a certain section, I thought: I like playing video games (like Halo and Half-Life - not the girly video games, but the first person shooters), I enjoy watching football, and I love horror movies. Dear God, no wonder my grandmother always calls me Stephen - I must have had my gender reassigned as a baby and I'm really a boy! (After a brief conversation with my parents, and looking through my baby photo album, I discovered my fears were unfounded, and was indeed, really a girl. This was a relief.)

Boyology covers a lot of information, and all the necessary bits, including the more unpleasant things, all with a great deal of tact, without once seeming condescending or judgemental. I think this would make a lovely gift for daughters and nieces in their early teens; my younger sister had a flick through it, and there isn't really anything that would make it inappropriate for pre-teen girls, either (the kissing cartoons made her giggle, as well).

Overall, a funny, informative book, which is really accesible, easy-to-read and engaging! You'd be wise to check it out.

Check out Sarah O'Leary Burningham's website, and buy this book on Amazon.
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