Friday, 24 January 2014

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks - E. Lockhart (2008)

3.5 stars

This book was on the same list that recommended Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac so after being very underwhelmed by that book I wasn't expecting much from this one. However I was pleasantly surprised by this book.

Although this book seems like it's just a story about a girl pulling pranks at her boarding school, it is so much more. It is a powerful statement for feminists and it continually points out the double standard in her school and shows her feelings on it. It also shows how important independance and individuality can be to a person who is friends with a "lower class" of students and moves to a "popular class" of them when she starts dating one of them. The pranks and secret society storyline are also really interesting and really funny at times. My favourite character in this book was definitely Frankie, she was incredibly smart, she didn't want to be discriminated against, but she also just wanted her boyfriend to respect her, not only think she was adorable. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes good pranks or who likes coming of age stories.

Frankie Landau-Banks has a remarkable physical transformation in the summer between her freshman and sophmore year, she gets taller, she grows breasts, and she starts using some de-frizz conditioner in her hair. Back at school she is suddenly noticed by Matthew Livingston, one of the most popular senior boys at Alabaster and they soon start dating. After a few months of him often ditching their dates to hang out with Alpha, his best friend, or bringing his friends along with them when they're hanging out, Frankie follows him one night where he goes to a meeting of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, Alabaster's secrret society. Frankie then finds their history book and learns that Alpha is this year's head, so when he leaves for four days over halloween leaving their planned prank in the hands of the rest of the society, Frankie creates a fake email account in his name and masterminds the society to perform a much better prank. Alpha returns and takes the credit anyway so Frankie continues organising such pranks until one day when Alpha gets caught cleaning up some evidence and is going to be expelled so Frankie admits to Matthew that she was the mastermind, and instead of being impressed he calls her psychotic and childish and even when she points out that when he thought it was Alpha he though he was a genius, he still breaks up with her. Frankie continues to go to Alabaster and realizes that they never would have respected her and she's smarter than they'll ever be anyway.

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