Thursday, April 12, 2012
Book Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:
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.
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 loved this book! It was clever and fun, and the characters, though few could relate to their wealth and boarding school experiences, were relatable. Most of the story centered around the awkwardness of growing up, young love, and wanting to fit in, allowing the reader to say "this story is about a girl [or boy] like me."
I think Frankie, despite her poor choices in boyfriends, is someone to look up to. She saw everyone following the status quo and she didn't like it, so she did something about it. I can see Frankie breaking all kinds of glass ceilings in her future.
I also loved the descriptions of the panopticon and the neglected positives. I love words and word play so I really enjoyed the neglected positive sections; I'd never heard of the panopticon idea, but it makes complete sense and feels very 1984/Big Brother. But my favorite part is how Frankie takes on the all-male secret society, and with it, she takes on old conventions and perceived gender roles. Frankie rocks!