Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I thought this book was great. The story was clever, funny, and surprisingly real. Frankie attends an exclusive prep school, hobnobbing with elite New England society. But, she stands slightly outside the central circle--she has not quite enough money and a different religious background than the rest of her peers. As a freshman, Frankie was in love with Matthew Livingston and he acted like he didn't know her. But, this year he notices her right away. Quickly she realizes that Matthew and his amazing friends belong to a secret all-male society, the same society her dad spoke so highly of when he attended the school. But, Frankie is not a rule follower, and she doesn't understand why she can't be fully included in all of Matthew's life, including his secret club.

Having attended a boarding school myself, I could totally relate with Frankie. When I was in high school, I found very similar social dynamics existed to Frankie--where you can sit at meals, what misdeeds you can get away with, and who calls the shots based on parental prestige and power are all part of boarding school life (and to a large extent probably high school as well). Frankie doesn't see why it has to be that way, and she sets out to buck the system.

This book is not only great fun, but the writing is sharp and witty, with some great play on words. My only gripes are that I didn't totally love the third person narrative and I was left a little concerned about Frankie's mental health at the end of it all. But, the book was refreshingly clean for YA, which I really appreciated. Recommended!

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Anonymous said...

I Have been to oarding school myself... and so I think this review is gr8 and I will pick this book up someday soon :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, that sounds really good.

Tasha said...

Frankie was such a refreshing character. Even though she made mistakes, she meant well, and I loved how smart and sassy her schemes were.

Serena said...

I've always thought of boarding school as something fun that I never got to do.

I guess I never thought about how "political" it could be. Though similar where to sit etc. questions often came up in public school as well.

alisonwonderland said...

good review! i've got this on my to-read list - i hope to get to it soon!