The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

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

Challenges: YA Challenge

Published: 2008

# of pages: 352


It's hard for me to review this book. It was a mixture of what I typically think of as shallow young adult reading material and deep, well written young adult reading material. Frankie is a typical 15 year old girl entering her sophomore year at a private boarding school. She's concerned about her appearance, she's interested in boys, and she feels a bit lost without her older sister. What makes Frankie different is that she forces herself to leave her comfort zone and not be the typical 15 year old girl. It almost seems like it isn't quite natural for her to do, which is understandable. Most people want to fit in and Frankie feels the same way, but the part of her that wants to be different ends up winning.

Frankie changed a lot over the summer between her freshman and sophomore year. The changes are mainly physical, but she is also forced to become her own person after her sister goes to college across the country. Frankie discovers that her appearance changes her status at school in ways she never dreamed of. She grabs the attention of her biggest crush, but her quick thinking also plays a part in that. That's one thing about Frankie, she's constantly thinking. Thoughts go through her mind with lightening speed, she analyzes everything and chooses what to say or do in each situation. I greatly admire her character for this trait!

Frankie also discovers that she isn't content to sit in the background and let the seniors she hangs out with walk all over her. If she can't come right out and be a part of their secret society, she decides to take a less obvious approach. She ends up leading an all male secret society while keeping her identity a secret. She's clever, witty, and funny. I was interested to see what she would come up with next and where she was going with her thoughts and plans.

I very much enjoyed this book, in spite of the inevitable modern teenage situations that arise. Thankfully that wasn't overdone, it just made me shake my head at their word choices ("dog," "grodie," "nimrod") and the boy obsession that all the girls have. Frankie's thoughts and her play on words kept me entertained and made me genuinely like her. She's a strong female character (oh yeah, this is a girl power book!) and I thought the feminist ideas presented throughout the novel were appropriate and fit with the theme without being overdone.

I recommend this book to young adults and adults (who enjoy the YA genre) alike. It's appropriate and Frankie's personality and decision making skills are thought provoking.



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1 comment:

Nymeth said...

I've been meaning to read this for so long - one of the reasons being the feminist themes. I have a feeling I'll really enjoy it!

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