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The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  25,391 ratings  ·  3,294 reviews
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
...more
Paperback, 345 pages
Published August 25th 2009 by Disney-Hyperion (first published March 25th 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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zan
Next time I see a 15-year-old girl reading Twilight, I will promptly yoink it from her hands and replace it with this. (As long as she's not already dressed as a vampire.)
karen
mary lou retton two times!!

this is the teen fiction the good girls read. girls without problems like anorexia or cutting or promiscuity or retrograde amnesia. the ones whose mothers don't need to worry about them rotting their brains on vampires and rainbow parties.the ones janis ian envied:

"high school girls with clear skinned smiles who married young and then retired"

i mean, it is published by disney, so i wasn't expecting smut and guts, but it's pretty precious and twee, qualities which usual
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Kevin Fanning
June 2011:
Just re-read this over the weekend. Still so good. I can't even comprehend how you write an ending like this. Absolutely one of my favorite fictional characters.


April 2008:
I'm not even done with it yet, but stop what you're doing and start reading this book.

From an email to Sarah:

I am reading The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. If the 2nd half is 1/3 as good as the first half has been, it'll be one of favorite books of all time. That's math right there. It's SO GOOD. It
...more
Nataliya
You need to look past the surface cuteness to see this story for what it really is.

- It's about power. The allure of it, the desire for it, the sharp understanding of it.
- It's about ambition, unashamed and unabashed.
- It's about forcing your way through the doors that are not meant to open for you.

It's about the formation of a future astute politician.

Meet Frankie Landau-Banks.
“And so, another possibility—the possibility I hold out for—is that Frankie Landau-Banks will open the doors she is tr
...more
Wendy Darling
I've pushed through to 100 pages, but I just can't go on. For all its braininess, this book feels very juvenile to me, except that girls in most middle grade books are rarely this boy-crazy--and few of them have so little else going on their lives.

Here are some things that make it feel very young to me:

--the story seems to be centered around a "caper" in which Frankie tries to infiltrate a secret boys club
--three boys who don't recognize Frankie after her body develops (or pretend not to, anyway
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CeJayCe
I'm more than a third of the way into it and, I've gotta say, I'm disappointed. There's too much build up. So far, all I'm getting is a over-analyzation of every aspect of Frankie's relationship with Matthew. You'd think this far in I'd at least get some kind of clue as to what she's done that was so big.

Now I've gotten to Porter and the cheese fries and, even though she may be making a valid point--Porter shouldn't be more worried about her well-being now just because she's prettier, she sound
...more
Emily May
Aug 07, 2011 Emily May rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Emily May by: Tatiana
Shelves: young-adult, 2011, fave-ya
ooh... secret societies and gender politics...

If you're female and between the ages of about 12 and 25, I cannot think of a single reason why you shouldn't read this book. It's fantastic. Both highly political and incredibly funny - it's the book I wish I'd been given to see me through being a teenager and to prepare me for later life. And no, I never went to an elite prep school with a bunch of stuffy trainee 'old boys' and a 60 year old all-male secret society... but I, like every girl I know,
...more
Minli
5 Things I liked about The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

1. The female protagonist does NOT spend it lamenting her appearance or lack of popularity/finesse. Nobody likes a sue, but some people actually are curvy, good-looking, confident, funny and smart--though of course they all have insecurities from time to time. But woo-hoo for being well-adjusted! Though we get a lot of Frankie's internal dialogue, she did not strike me as whiny. One of the best things I like ab
...more
Sonia Reppe
First of all, I agree with feminism and equal opportunities and all that, and I appreciate that this book had a "girl power" theme, but the main character was not a good representation of an admirable woman. She was intelligent and competative, but was also the worst stereotype of a jealous, conniving, sneaky bitch. I thought she made girls look totally bad. She was jealous that her boyfriend was in a secret all-male social club, and was somehow insulted that she wasn't invited and that he would ...more
Clare Cannon
May 25, 2014 Clare Cannon rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Adults
Shelves: young-adult, adults
Frankie is a 15-year-old knockout who graduated so recently from geeky girlhood that’s she’s still dusting its dirt from her clothes. With her newfound popularity comes a dawning ambition for power. She seeks recognition not just for her looks and smart comments, but for her superior intelligence and ability to do what she wants, even if the way is barred.

She became the girlfriend of idolised Matthew Livingstone by falling off her bike, prompting him to gallantly come to her aid. But she doesn’t
...more
Emily
Frankie Landau-Banks does for the patriarchy what Little Brother does for homeland security. It's a guide for the uninitiated (Michel Foucault with training wheels!), a call to arms, and a manual for taking action against it.

It also has some great pranks in it.

Frankie is a sophomore at Alabaster, one of the nation's best preparatory schools, which is filled mostly with people who are white, protestant, and richer than God. Over the course of the summer she suddenly becomes hot, and catches the
...more
Sara
Jan 08, 2009 Sara rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Blah. Having heard so much good buzz about this book (and this author), I decided to check it out. Unfortunately, I couldn't even finish the book, and it makes me wonder why this book is on anyone's list of the best books of the year. The writing style irritated me, as it was trying overly hard to be cutesy and funny, with lots of paragraphs reading like, "She thought ____. Then ______. And then ____." Lame. Furthermore, I didn't even like any of the characters, and Frankie (the main character) ...more
Keertana
Rating: 4.5 Stars

I did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did, especially since I found the first third of the novel to be excruciatingly boring and hard to get through, not to mention I hated the narration style with a passion. Yet, despite all that, Lockhart's novel truly spoke to me. It's marketed as being a feminist novel and while in some ways it definitely is, in more ways than one I feel as if it is simply a coming-of-age story about a girl who was discovering herself, what s
...more
Summer {is puntastic}
It's a feminist novel, they said. It won a Printz-award, they said.

What I say:

***

The synopsis should have set off sirens in my head.

From the summary alone, what does this seem like? The story of a Mary Sue obsessed with herself. Oh, goody. *eye roll*

In reality, this was a book about a girl who thinks she's better than the entire female population and spends the majority of her high school career trying to prove herself to guys.

Now tell me, how is this in any way "feminist" (which the books set
...more
Elizabeth
Excellent read about a sassy, smart, and fearless young woman who is determined to be more than arm candy and uses her shrewd intellect to outsmart the boys. Part grrrl power, part social commentary, AND equal parts wicked fun.

This is one of those books that I wish schools would use as part of the curriculum instead of Lord of the Flies. Reading about Frankie subverting the power structure of an elite boarding is MUCH more interesting.

Essay question:

What does it mean that once Frankie's crimes
...more
Tatiana
This is definitely one of those clever and sophisticated YA books that is a must-read for any teenage girl and adults as well. It is not limited to some teen romance and angst, but it is a commentary on social and gender dynamics.

Frankie might be overly ambitious and driven, and she might not have made all the smartest decisions, trying to get appreciation from people who by default perceive her to be no more than a pretty pet, but she figured out the main thing right: it is important to be your
...more
Meg
The library loaned me an ARC! Bad library! Reading it anyway.

Now that I'm finished:

I feel like someone poured my head out into a book. And then revised it for the consumption of myself, age 11. You guys I am seriously considering building a time machine for the sole purpose of bringing this book back to myself as a preteen. It would have soothed a lot of nerves, I can tell you that, and then about ten years later it would have served as a memory-beacon. E. Lockhart just totally nails so many imp
...more
rachel
Jul 21, 2014 rachel rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya, 2011
I think I should flag myself here and now from reading any more teen books that are rumored to have "feminist" messages, short of sci-fi/fantasy girl survivalist sorts of books. Because the pressures of real life teen girlhood seem too complex to yield a fully realized heterosexual, cisgendered, and feminist heroine who happens to still be in high school. Horomones are raging too strong. Boys matter too much at that age and, in the interest of honesty, even after it too.

Frankie Landau-Banks is n
...more
Jo
Initial Final Page Thoughts.
Awhh, hell yeah.

High Points.
Everything about this book is a high point for me. We have girls kicking ass. We have posh public school. We have secret societies. We have the most amazing pranks IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. We have full on belly-laughter. We have full on heartbreak. And, most importantly, we have arrogant boys getting their just desserts. FIST PUMP.

Low Point.
I have only two low points about this book. The first being that I didn’t read this when I was in high
...more
Becky
I may get a few boos for this one. But I couldn't quite like it*. Blame it on the tense. Third person past tense (as far as I can reckon). Or blame it on the expostulating tone, purposefully pretentious and off-putting. A blend of intelligence and condescension. It's not like every page was of this style, but there were little asides by the narrator--I suppose it's the narrator--that just intruded in on the story. Created too much distance for my taste. Added in too much reflection.

How does a p
...more
Megan
How is it that this book so popular and well received? Frankie Landau-Banks is a bright, witty girl with issues. Lots and lots of issues which never get resolved let alone addressed. We meet her at the beginning of her sophomore year at the highly prestigious boarding school, Alabaster Preparatory Academy. In a moment that is clearly a blatant Three’s Company rip-off, Frankie is so distracted by the butt of her longtime crush, Matthew Livingston, that she falls from her bicycle. Matthew hears th ...more
Michael
So, so good. And about real, complicated issues.

This has been a year of important teen novels (I count Little Brother among those), stories that pick up the notion of civil disobedience and make it fresh, fun, and relevant for younger readers. This is one of those books. Happily, it's also about many other things: gender roles; power relationships; self-worth v. value assigned by position in society; the ability of smart acts of guerrilla art to provoke thought; how inclusion and exclusion affe
...more
Monica
Dec 02, 2008 Monica rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one.
Shelves: young-adult
You have found yourself in a formerly all-male boarding school. You are not the coolest girl on campus, nor do you even make the effort to put yourself out there and be social. Instead, you find a way to make the entire school bend to your will, causing trouble everywhere you go, pursuing crazy hijinks, creating your own bit of grammar (neglected positives) and being worshipped by the high school proletariat. When it comes down to the wire, do you come out on top, ruling the school for years and ...more
Virginia
A story about a weak chick whose world revolves around what guys want her to do.
Jordan
What? The end of this book seriously confused me. A lot of this book confused me. It’s a fast-paced, fun story - reading it felt like watching tv - but throughout the book I kept catching myself having had completely misread main character Frankie’s intentions. By the end of the book, I had no sense of her at all. She just wants to be respected! Wait, noooo, she did it all for love! So she actually liked that guy? I thought she liked the other guy. Nope, nope, she doesn’t like anyone, because sh ...more
Arlene
I was definitely 'gruntled' when I read this book *you'll have to read the story to understand what that means* :) There are several reasons why I'm giving this book 5 stars (1) I'd definitely read this story over again, (2) I have no hesitation recommending it to others and (3) the storyline is original and very well written. I truly enjoyed this book from beginning to end.

Frankie Landau-Banks, the main character, attends Alabaster Academy, a widely-known boarding school for the kids of influe
...more
Rachael
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Reynje
Intelligent, witty, funny.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is a sharp, thought-provoking book with depth and interesting things to say about feminism under the smooth prose.

While I thoroughly enjoyed Lockhart's tight, clever writing and the ingenuity of Frankie's hi-jinks, I just failed to connect with this book on an emotional level.

I enjoyed the secondary characters more than Frankie herself. Despite being able to relate to her on occasion and admiring her on others, I simply
...more
Carla
I have a confession. I did what bloggers are not supposed to do. I googled the book and read bad reviews of this book. *gasp* I know, sue me. See the thing is, no one has ever recommended this book to me, I've never heard anyone talking about this book or telling me why I needed to read it. Stuff like this makes me curious, because I know people know who E Lockhart is, and I know a lot of people love the Ruby Oliver series. So why the radio silence on this book. Was it that it this book was so h ...more
Angie
I read The Boyfriend List awhile back and enjoyed it but somehow didn't make it on to its sequel, The Boy Book, or any of E. Lockhart's other titles. Then The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks came out and there was just so much buzz. And then it was named a finalist for the National Book Award. So I figured I'd better pick it up. Fortunately, Santa brought it to my home this year so I was able to jump right in.

Frankie is a sophomore at Alabaster Prep, super exclusive boarding school
...more
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E. Lockhart is the author of We Were Liars, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, The Boyfriend List and several other novels.

website: www.emilylockhart.com
Liars site: www.wewereliars.com
blog: www.theboyfriendlist.com
Twitter: elockhart
More about E. Lockhart...
We Were Liars The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver (Ruby Oliver, #1) The Boy Book: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them (Ruby Oliver, #2) The Treasure Map of Boys: Noel, Jackson, Finn, Hutch, Gideon—and me, Ruby Oliver  (Ruby Oliver, #3) Real Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, Plural. If My Life Weren't Complicated, I Wouldn't Be Ruby Oliver (Ruby Oliver, #4)

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“It is better to be alone, she figures, than to be with someone who can't see who you are. It is better to lead than to follow. It is better to speak up than stay silent. It is better to open doors than to shut them on people.

She will not be simple and sweet. She will not be what people tell her to be. That Bunny Rabbit is dead.”
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“She will not be simple and sweet.
She will not be what people tell her she should be.”
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