January 21, 2014

Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie-Landau Banks

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
Young Adult
Published 2009 by Hyperion
Paperback of 345 pages
Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:
Debate Club.
Her father's "bunny rabbit." 
A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15:
A knockout figure. 
A sharp tongue.
A chip on her shoulder.
And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston.

Frankie Landau-Banks. 
No longer the kind of girl to take "no" for an answer. 
Especially when "no" means she's excluded from her boyfriend's all-male secret society.
Not when her ex-boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places.
Not when she knows she's smarter than any of them.
When she knows Matthew's lying to her. 
And when there are so many, many pranks to be done. 

Frankie Landau-Banks, at age 16:
Possibly a criminal mastermind. 

This is the story of how she got that way.

I bought this in paperback when I was a sophomore in high school, and started reading but never finished. I decided I wanted to retry reading it this year, which I did, and I'm glad. It's an interesting story and Frankie is easy to like.

I didn't have amazing expectations for this book at first, and the first time I tried it, I put it down before I got to any action. The book does well at drawing you in at the beginning, hinting at things that happen throughout the story, without giving away the end or anything. But it takes some time before the plot picks up.

Frankie is a well-rounded character, who's complex and interesting. She's also easy to relate to, being a girl who grew up over night. I can't say the same about the other characters being as interesting though, which I mostly don't mind but it's worth mentioning.

Compared to other things I've read by E. Lockhart, it's not my favorite. E. Lockhart is very good at making an interesting plot, free of holes, and The Boyfriend List is a great example of that. From what I've read of hers, there is a pattern: a girl goes to a fancy school and her adventures there change her. I'm not complaining, I find that sort of backdrop for a book intriguing because I've only ever gone to public schools. 

I was never really moved, emotionally or otherwise throughout reading this book. Sometimes I did pull my eyes off the book to stop and consider something, but the book generally lacks in the makes-you-think category. A lot of themes felt unresolved to me, like a point was trying to be made but there wasn't anything conclusive as to what the point even was. 

I enjoyed reading about her adventures, I liked sneaking around on campus with Frankie, and solving problems with her. It was a fun read in the way that it borderlines mystery. There are a few intense moments I really liked.

I give this book a three and a half rating, because three stars means to me a book was average, and four stars means I'd re-read it. The book was above average, but I doubt I'll be finding myself re-reading it. I'd recommend this book for middle graders, probably.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments, questions, concerns?