The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

6663773Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: March 2008
Favorite Quote:

“And what do you mean when you say ‘take advantage,’ anyway?  Like you’re assuming guys want something girls don’t want? Maybe we want it, too.  Maybe Matthew should worry about me taking advantage of him.”

Summary taken from Goodreads:
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.

I wish I read this is high school, I really do.  It would have been beneficial to read about such a strong, smart, teenager.  Frankie’s a feminist and she’s not afraid to speak her mind (in a sense).  She still hides behind an email address to get the attention of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds.

Don’t get me wrong, Frankie is kick-ass. She takes matters into her own hands.  She finds a way to take charge of a secret society and have them essentially be her puppets pulling off epic pranks.

There was only one thing that bothered me, and it was entirely stupid.  There was random technology differences.  Frankie mentions watching DVDs when she was growing up but then they listen to music off a cd player and this book was published in 2008.  It doesn’t add up.  Okay, the only OTHER thing that bothered me was that they guys that Frankie desperately wants to be friends with claim they don’t remember her when she wasn’t pretty as some sort of power play.  While, yes, it is her decision to want to be friends with them.  But seriously, why bother?  Fundamentally, she is trying to undermine them and get noticed.  So, there’s that.  I guess it’s just complicated.

“Matthew had called her harmless.  Harmless.  And being with him made Frankie feel squashed into a box – a box where she was expected to be sweet and sensitive (but not oversensitive); a box for young and pretty girls who were not as bright or powerful as their boyfriends.  A box for people who were not forces to be reckoned with.
Frankie wanted to be a force.”

I adored this book.  It was such a joy to read.  I love reading about smart & clever women.  There were a lot of times reading this book that I nodded vigorously and wanted to scream, THAT RIGHT THERE.

“It didn’t matter that Bess hadn’t become Porter’s girlfriend after the incident.  It didn’t matter that in her heart Frankie knew she was smart and charming.  What mattered was that feeling of being expendable.”

I always like reading books about boarding schools because I always wanted to go to one.  This one didn’t seem as fun as others.  But that’s because the whole story was pretty much centered on Frankie infiltrating the Basset Hounds.  Which was cool, don’t get me wrong, but just very different than normal boarding school books.

I think Frankie’s vocabulary is brilliant.  It reminds me of Clueless where they do the overwhelmed, underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed thing.  But Frankie’s whole word choice is based on that logic though she has an entire explanation for it.

Frankie said, “You’re on.  When we’re finished, we’ll be absolutely sheveled.”
“You’ll be sheveled,” said Trish.  “I’m a normal person.”

Over all, I really enjoyed it.  The story is great and the writing is fantastic.  I like this much better than We Were Liars, actually.  I know they’re completely different stories but E. Lockhart shines here.  It won awards for a reason.  So do yourself a favor, and pick up this book.  I happened to get it at a thrift store and picked it up because I recognized her name.  I’m so glad I did.


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