Saturday, May 2, 2009

TheDisreputable HIstory of Frankie Landau-Banks

Title: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

Author: E. Lockhart

Pages: 352pp

Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children

MSRP: $16.99 US

Rating: * * */5

I think the book jacket blurb can best explain this, so here it is:

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:

Not a girl to take no for an answer.

Especially when no means she's excluded from her boyfriend's secret society.

Not when her ex shows up in the strangest of places.

Not when she knows she's smarter than all of them.

When she knows Matthew is lying to her.

And not when there are so many, many pranks to be done.

Frankie LandauBanks at age 16:

Possibly a criminal mastermind.

This is the story of how she got that way.

This is one of those books where it's good parts are awesome (like I loved the obscure little bits of info, like the panopticon theme of Alabaster Prep, the boarding school Frankie goes to), but there were also more than it's fair share of... well, stupid or boring parts, basically (like Frankie's sudden obsession with neglected positives. That was just embarrassing to read, frankly).
Another thing is all feminism-I mean really, I 'm all for equal rights of men and women and all, but don't write a novel about it- literally.
I couldn't bring myself to like Frankie, actually, I didn't much like any of the characters. Her boyfriend Matthew was annoying, and falling in love with the leading man ranks high in the Laws of a Great Book. The closest you could come to liking Frankie was admiring her courage and, some may say, slightly psychotic, brilliance. She made the men- including Matthew- follow her instructions just by pretending to be another character. Of course, all the pranks she had them do, particularly the Library Lady, were secretly feminist statements that kind of took away from the entertainment.
Some parts of this book, I was fascinated, but other times I felt it necessary to skip a page. Maybe it's worth a try- it's not like I didn't enjoy it a bit, but just don't spend 16 bucks on a hardback edition like I did months back when this was new.
Okay, off to bed with me... yes, I know it's only about ten, but I am sooo knocked out I just want to go read myself to sleep. Bye, ya'll!


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