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.
I added Being Friends With Boys to my to-read list after reading Pure by Terra Elan McVoy. That book focused on female friendships, while this book has more female-male friendships. This book explores family, friendship, and the dynamics of different types of relationships. There are twists concerning the romance in the book, and the main character finds her romance where you may not expect it.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
Charlotte is a great main character. She is a bit of a tomboy, and she finds it easier to be friends with boys than girls. She manages the band that her guy friends are in, and she never would consider seeing them as anything other than a friend. When her friend Trip quits the band, she finds herself falling for his replacement, Fabian. Once Fabian and another new member, Eli, join the band, Charlotte takes on a larger role in the band's success that is not behind the scenes. Her friend Oliver is usually the singer, but he's not singing all the songs with the right emotions. Charlotte becomes a singer in the band.
Charlotte's friends are also great characters. First, there's Oliver. He's the leader of the band, and he's rather cocky and arrogant. I wasn't a big fan of him, but he had some good moments. Charlotte becomes unhappy when she realizes he lets people think he writes the song lyrics instead of telling them that Charlotte writes the lyrics. Trip is a good character, too, but some parts of his story stay a bit of a mystery. It is unclear why exactly he left the band, but it is clear that he likes Charlotte as more than a friend. Benji is the stoner who is smart in history class. Whenever their teacher gives a take-home test, Benji and Charlotte work on it together. The reader can tell that he likes her, but he is only a friend to her. Fabian is the band member that Charlotte likes. She makes a discovery about him that makes it obvious that they will never be together.
Charlotte's family members are also well-developed. I especially enjoyed her relationship with her stepsister, Darby. Charlotte has two stepsisters, and her older sister is away at college. It is obvious that Charlotte really loves and misses her sister, Jilly. She thinks that her stepsisters are shallow, but Darby is actually very nice to her. The two girls become friends as the book progresses.
If you like cute and sweet contemporary YA, read this book.