Saturday, 20 December 2014

Book Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-BanksTitle: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Author: E. Lockhart
Series:  Standalone
Pages: 352
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Date of Publication: 6th November, 2014
Source: Publisher for review*
Synopsis from Goodreads: Fifteen-year-old Frankie Landau-Banks has grown up a lot over the summer. She's no longer daddy's little girl - and almost immediately after starting the new semester at her highly prestigious school, she bags goofy-but-gorgeous Matthew Livingston as her boyfriend. They get along great but then Frankie discovers that Matthew is a member of a boys-only secret society that specialise in 'hilarious' pranks. Which hardly seems fair... especially when Frankie knows she's smarter than any of its members. And to prove this, she's going to teach them a lesson.

Impersonating lead member Alpha by using a fake email account is surprisingly easy, and soon Frankie is setting the boys up with all sorts of ridiculous schemes and sending them on wild goose chase after wild goose chase. Alpha's not prepared to lose face and admit it's not him sending the emails - but the fun can't last forever, and soon Frankie will have to choose between what she think she wants, and the reputation she deserves.


My Thoughts:
I'd not heard much about E. Lockhart before she burst into the scene earlier this year with We Were Liars. It seemed to take the internet by storm, me included. There was a live readalong on Twitter which was great and made it so enjoyable for me that despite there not being one for The Disreputable History (that I was aware of anyhow!) I still was super excited to get stuck in and had very high hopes. The Disreputable History is completely different to We Were Liars, yet still absolutely brilliant, if not even better!

I was not expecting anything like what I got from The Disreputable History. I absolutely loved Frankie's voice! She was funny, sarcastic, and just a little bit quirky (as all the best people are)! I really loved how she stood up for herself and for feminism when battling against a patriarchal and exclusive all-boys secret society that saw its member's girlfriends as cute and adorable but not much more than that. In the past I found that feminists can come across almost too strong and thus very intimidating, which I think was a huge problem, especially for me, in getting young women to stand up for their rights and to fight against the stereotypes (I just didn't really understand), however I think that Frankie has the happy medium of being strong and sure in her views without being intimidating. In short the novel is full of girl power and it's great!

The pranks that are such a huge part of the novel are fabulous. I absolutely loved the idea of the Basset Hounds' pranks that they carried out in their super prestigious private school setting. I read a lot of the novel on buses and trains and on several occasions I had to stop myself from laughing out loud, in an effort to stop myself from looking like a lunatic. (I was rather unsuccessful!) Perhaps I'm immature (or really there's no perhaps about it) but the Library Lady was great, and all of the stories of the Guppy pranks were really cool to read about throughout the history of the school and the Basset Hounds.

I think the one thing that perhaps let the novel down a little was Frankie's romantic choices. At first I thought I had it sussed and could guess the whole plot of the novel, but I was very wrong (and rather relieved!) However, I do not like Matthew Livingston one little bit and I didn't get the attraction he held over Frankie. After all the girl power Frankie was promoting their whole relationship just seemed a little hypocritical and contrived. Maybe E. Lockhart is trying to make a point, I dunno, but it just seemed all a little wrong to me.

That said though, I suppose Frankie had to have a way into the Basset Hounds and that was him. Either way it didn't detract too much from the novel and when I did get the chance to sit down and enjoy reading for a while to myself (which in my final year of school is a rare occurrence) I devoured The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and could not stop turning the pages, particularly towards the end. It's empowering and funny and I cannot recommend it enough, and having finished the review now I can definitely say for me it trumped even We Were Liars, so there's really no excuse for you not to add it to your Christmas lists!


*Huge thanks to Hot Key Books for providing me with this in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the novel.

2 comments:

  1. Hurrah! I absolutely love this book and I'm so glad that it's finally been published in the UK. I adore E Lockhart just in general. If you haven't already, I really do recommend her Ruby Lockhart series which begins with The Boyfriend List!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh thanks for the recommendation! I shall check them out :D

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