Title: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Author: E Lockhart
Genre: YA contemporary
Length: 345 pages
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Source: borrowed from the library
Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:
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.
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 was excited about this book because people have said good things about it. I got it from my local library in large print (it’s massive print, actually) and…woah, the title is a mouthful, right? Let’s talk about it in terms of Frankie. Actually, if I said that to Frankie she’d probably be like:
Except, replace “Nymphadora” with “Frankie.” Basically, the premise of this novel is that Frankie doesn’t like being the “Fluffy Bunny.” She wants people to think she’s…I don’t know, fierce or something? She infiltrates some stupid boy club and gets them to do pranks. She’s a feminist, which I liked, and calls everyone out on their sexist stuff, but she does it in a really annoying way. I mean, I’m a feminist as well, but I don’t yell and scream at people for saying things they don’t know are wrong.
I also had a problem with Frankie’s boyfriend; namely, it seems like she hates him and loves him at the same time. They had no chemistry whatsoever. He’s constantly dismissive of her, and she’s always internally monologue-ing about how he doesn’t see the real her.
The things I liked were few and far in between. I liked the descriptions of the pranks. I liked the beginning. That’s about it.
I did not like the style of narration: it was third person omniscient and broke one of the biggest “rules” of writing: it told instead of showed, like the whole thing was just narration. What’s more, it was really pretentious narration. Why does it need that?
Literally, it was like the writer saying, “look at me, I use fancy words and I’m clever.” Because the writing is clever, I can’t deny that. But it really annoyed me that the author had to be so obvious about it.
So really, I didn’t like most of the characters. I didn’t like the narration. The ending was a let-down and an anti-climax. The secret boys’ society was stupid (I mean, Frankie could have just started a girls’ club – what’s wrong with that?).
I really wanted to like this but I just couldn’t.
Rating: 2/5 Wonderkitties