Publisher: Allen and Unwin Australia
Release Date: January 1st, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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: 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.
Reading The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks just goes to show that loving one book by an author doesn’t guarantee you’ll love every book by that said author. (I should know this after reading so many books but no, I am a person who never learns ._.) I read We Were Liars almost a year ago and well, let’s just say it made my top 10 reads of 2014. (If you want to know why I loved it, I suggest you check out the discussion review/fangirling session Celine and I did.) Unfortunately for this book, there’s no doubt it won’t be landing my top 10 for 2015.
It is better to be alone, she figures, than to be with someone who can’t see who you are. It is better to lead than to follow. It is better to speak up than stay silent. It is better to open doors than to shut them on people.
So apparently, this is a feminist book. And for me, I didn’t see The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks as a feminist novel at all. We are introduced to Frankie as a strong-headed and determined girl who doesn’t like being talked to condescendingly and hates taking ‘no’ for an answer. I wanted to love this girl, for she initially sounded like someone I can strongly identify with, but I soon was proved wrong–Frankie got less likeable more and more throughout the book. Here are the reasons why I was completely ticked off by her.
Frankie gets pretty irked when she discovers that there is a secretive all boys society which is known as the Basset Hounds. Her boyfriend, Matthew Livingstone, is apart of it too and what pisses her of more is that Matthew did not tell her about this society. Soon Frankie decides that she wants in on this all males society which, to me, sounded completely absurd in the first place. I mean really, the things that the boys do in this society is so freakin’ lame. Anyways, Frankie soon starts stalking her boyfriend and decides that the only way she’ll get into the Basset Hounds is to prove to the boys that she’s way better than all of them. Which, didn’t make any sense to me. If Frankie felt that she was better than the boys, why even bother dealing with in the first place?–they’re not worth her time and efforts. And this leads me to my second complaint about Frankie. She was constantly trying to prove herself to Matthew and the other boys. When one of the boys said something to her (mainly Matthew), Frankie would analyse and go through all the possible responses then select the best one to reply with for the Matthew and the boys to respect her more. Essentially, this book was about Frankie who followed the boys around everywhere just so she could get their approval of her. Does that sound like a feminist novel to you?
No, I didn’t think so.
And don’t let me get started on how much the boys in this novel annoyed me. These boys don’t recognise (or admit to recognise) a girl until she starts getting fat in the right places. HOW RIDICULOUS IS THAT?
What I did appreciate about this novel was Frankie’s wit. She’s a really smart girl, who just didn’t put her efforts in the right places. I particularly liked Frankie’s ‘neglected positive’ words and it was really entertaining to read about. Sure, her motives and ideas totally sucked, but there were a few positives about Frankie, and I’m not ready to just forget them despite how much I hated the plot line.
In my opinion, E. Lockhart tried to achieve too much here. This is certainly not a feminist novel and so many characters here put me on edge and how obviously rude they were (namely, the boys–like Matthew Livingstone). I won’t be recommending this book, so if you want to try E. Lockhart, I suggest you turn to a much better novel by her; We Were Liars.
~Thank you Allen and Unwin Australia for sending me this copy~
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