Book Review: The Disreputable History Of Frankie Landau-Banks

The Disreputable History Of Frankie Landau-Banks CoverBook: The Disreputable History Of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

Published September 2009|Published by Disney Publishing

E-book|Borrowed from the library|208 pages

Series? No

Genre: YA/Contemporary

Goodreads|Barnes And Noble|Amazon|E. Lockhart’s Website

Goodreads Summary: 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.

So…The Disreputable History Of Frankie Landau-Banks…that’s quite the title!  But I liked it, and I certainly wasn’t expecting to, because I’ve tried to read a couple of her other books and couldn’t get through them.  Upon finishing, I really liked it, but now I just have mixed feelings.

I liked seeing how much Frankie changed but I especially liked seeing all of the trouble she got into.  The pranks and the secret societies and boarding schools are a great combination.  She’s definitely clever, and I really liked that about her.

But…

I get why she infiltrated her boyfriend’s secret society- she wanted to be included and for him to trust her with it and she just wanted people to notice her.  But I think I would have preferred her to start her own secret society instead of infiltrating the one her boyfriend’s in.  I just couldn’t connect with Frankie and she seemed a little self-absorbed at times.  I get she wanted people to notice her- who doesn’t?  But the way she went on and on about it just irritating.

It’s just, the hint of girl power combined with people wanting to notice combined with infiltrating her popular boyfriend’s secret society didn’t really work for me.  I think it’s because they seem to be such different things that I couldn’t completely believe it.  Plus, the pranks, as clever and fun as they were, seemed a bit too adult.  At least in terms of what Frankie wanted people to get out of them.  Like, she’s all upset that her boyfriend didn’t get the political meaning behind them.  At 16, she seemed a little too aware of gender and political issues- her thoughts seemed more adult than 16-year-old girl.

Other characters!  I didn’t care for any of them, and to be honest, they didn’t really stand out.  I didn’t like Matthew and Frankie as a couple, and it really felt they were together just so Frankie could complain about how no one noticed her.

Final Thoughts:

An evil genius at a boarding school with a secret society and pranks is such a good combination!  I think Frankie taking over the Bassett  Hounds was supposed to be empowering, but I didn’t really get that at all…I mean, how is taking over a boys-only secret society supposed to be all girl-power-ish?  Assuming that’s what Lockhart wanted to get across.  Overall, the things I did like far outweighed the things that annoyed me, so The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks gets 3 stars.

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