Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Disreputabe History of Frankie Landau-Banks

Title: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Author: E. Lockhart
Genre: YA Fiction
Published: 2008

Recommendation: A very entertaining read of high school drama and adventures.
Rating: 8/10

Summary: Frankie Landau-Banks is a sophomore at prestigious boarding school, Alabaster. This is a story of how she starts out as a somewhat geeky girl and changes herself into a criminal mastermind.

Reactions: After reading a glowing review, I bought a copy of the book. This is a nice edition: dust-cover, thick pages, decently sized font. While the edition is not extraordinary, I am used to YA novels coming in paperback and this is a nice surprise.

The book itself ended up being enjoyable as well. I read the whole novel in one sitting, which meant staying up till 3am to finish reading. Still, I couldn't put the story away since I wanted to know what happened to Frankie and the Loyal Order of Basset Hounds.

Frankie is a very likable protagonist: she is smart, funny, daring, but at the same time just another nice high school girl. The story centers in on her, and in particular, I enjoyed her mental dialogs with herself. They tend to be hilarious and at the same time pretty ingenious. I wish I would think through what I say this well!

The only problem with The Disreputable History is how heavy-handedly the author handles the underlying theme. To sum it up, Lockhart says: Old Boy clubs run the world and don't let women in even if they are "worthy". It's not that I disagree that there is an issue there, but I felt that the book spelled things out a little bit too much and pushed it into the reader's face. The message would carry just as much weight without all the supporting characters pointing out the same issues over and over again.

Overall though, it was a fun & entertaining read with boarding school pranks, romance story, and some great character development. Two thumbs up.

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