Title: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Author: E. Lockhart
Rating: 9 / 10
Awards: None (yet!), but it is a National Book Award Finalist
Synopsis (from the inside cover):
"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."
My Review: This was an excellent book! I loved the character of Frankie. She's smart, sassy, incredibly clever; she also tends to make up new words:
"Mmmm," she whispered. "Now I'm gruntled."It was nice to read about a character who enjoys playing with the English language as much as I do, and this wordplay factors heavily into the story. Of course, not everyone appreciates this wit. From the same scene:
"Gruntled. I was disgruntled before."
"It's drizzling, there's nothing to do but study, the vending machine's broken. You know, disgruntled."
"And now, you're..."
She had expected Matthew's face to light at the new word, but he touched her chin lightly and said, "I don't think that word means what you think it means."
"What?" Frankie didn't think it was a word. She thought it was - she thought it was what she'd later call a "neglected positive."
What annoyed her now was not that Matthew was right - but that he wouldn't just enjoy the made-up word. That he needed to be right. And that he'd chucked her - actually chucked her under the chin, like you do to a dog, when informing her that, essentially, her cleverness with gruntled had been completely trumped by his stellar memory for obscure bits of the dictionary.Poor Frankie is really under-appreciated. All she wants is to be taken seriously, not just by her boyfriend and his friends, but by her family as well. The action of the story - the way Frankie infiltrates the boys' secret society, gets them to do her bidding, and deals with the consequences - is amusing, but not as great as Frankie herself. I loved watching her strategize and stand up for herself - I'm torn between wanting to be her best friend (if she'd have me) and wanting to be her.
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If you have reviewed this book as well, leave me a message in the comments and I'll link to your review.