Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E Lockhart

Frankie is a sophomore at an expensive New England boarding school called Alabaster. Her father is an Alabaster alum, and he has many happy memories of his times there; in fact all of his closest friends are from high school. So he sends his daughters off to Alabaster, even if in many other ways he is no longer a part of their lives. Frankie's freshman year at Alabaster is spent in relative obscurity, following her older sister who graduates, leaving Frankie on her own for sophomore year. Frankie has changed over the summer however, and now people (mainly senior boys) who never would have noticed her before begin to see her in a new light.
When Frankie starts going out with Matthew, she thinks she couldn't be happier. But Matthew has a secret - he is a member of the secret society, the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds. Frankie knows about the Loyal Order because her father can't help bragging about his time with them. She desperately wants Matthew to share with her, but he continues to keep it a secret. And Frankie begins to realize that Matthew does not take her seriously, simply finds her adorable. She is back to being Bunny Rabbit, the hated nickname given to her by her family. Frankie is tired of feeling powerless when she knows she is not. If Matthew won't tell her about the Loyal Order, she'll just take matters into her own hands.
I really don't think that I can explain this book well enough to really get through how terrific it is. I absolutely loved it. It is definitely my favorite teen book, and I would recommend it without reservation to just about anyone, especially teen girls. Frankie never accepts the role that society has laid out for her, although she does think about it. She thinks about how lovely it is to be Matthew's girlfriend, and she wishes that she could just be sweet and simple and not complicate things. But she is not sweet, and she is certainly not simple. Frankie is a fantastic character, and I loved her conflicted-ness. But she still stands up for herself, in a way that shows how smart she is. Lockhart does a good job of not making her the hero of the school, however. Most of the students still don't understand the point behind the pranks, whereas Frankie had hoped to open minds and make change. Most students just find the pranks funny or weird or at least an interesting diversion in their day. For Frankie, it proves to her what she is capable of, and forces others to acknowledge that as well.

1 comment:

Vasilly said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the book. I haven't read it yet but I heard some great things about it. Good luck tomorrow on the read-a-thon. Your library pile looks great.