365 Days of Women Writers

Women writers only – no boys allowed

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

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I’m really quite behind on my blogging – there has been lots of reading of books by women, but much less in the way of writing about them – I’ve got stacks of things from Christmas break still to write about.

This book is a gem. Rather than being the story of the ugly duckling who grew up over the summer and gets a boyfriend… Well, ok, it starts off as that story, but it’s mainly the story of Frankie refusing to be a doormat.

Frankie comes back to school and immediately starts dating her crush from freshman year. Her boyfriend (a senior, natch) isn’t all that into her (he likes her, but he’s not interested in her friends or her life – he treats her as an accessory to his life.) She’ll never mean as much to him as his friends and she’s jealous of the bond they share. She’s not happy about it, and decides to get even.

And the best way to get even is to have your boyfriend (and his pals in the secret society) do pranks for you by pretending to be your boyfriend’s best friend. (It’s by email! Not a disguise – it makes perfect sense in the book.) Not only does she outwit the boys, her pranks are strong on social commentary and genuinely funny. (She even shames the administration into including actual fresh vegetables in the salad bar.)

At times, the book veers a bit into the preachy mode – where you feel like the author is telling you how you ought to feel rather than how Frankie does feel, but it’s a minor complaint, and I’m not sure that teens don’t need the sledgehammer approach. (I’m sure I did.)

I totally have a crush on Frankie.

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Written by Chance

January 23, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Posted in E. Lockhart, novel

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