Andrea thebusybibliophile's Reviews > The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
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's review
Jul 20, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: audiobook
Read from November 15 to 23, 2011 — I own a copy

This was the story of an intelligent girl who wanted everyone to finally see her as a grown up. Her family still saw her as a little girl and her friends saw her as a geek. She was desperate to be seen as a young woman capable of everything the guys can do.

The plot was just average, I didn’t feel it was especially strong or weak. Basically, Frankie wanted to break out of her mold and become a young lady, and we followed her as she attempted to make that happen. This is a common wish in young girls everywhere, and I can see how this book would appeal to them.

Most of the characters were fine, though some lacked motivation. I never understood why Matthew liked Frankie or kept ditching her to spend time with Alpha. And why did Alpha never admit he was the one Frankie met at the beach? Several questions like those lingered. I liked Frankie’s character okay but her whining got to be a bit much. Your boyfriend is in a top-secret male-only society, and you can’t join? Get over it. Instead of asking her boyfriend about it, or saying “I know about the Bassets, what do you say you let me in?”, she hinted and hemmed and hawed, then got all bent out of shape and set out to get revenge. In the end she just came across as a spoiled little girl to me. She had a strong personality but I didn’t like how she could only be strong from behind the scenes, or in a passive way. She never came right out and spoke up about what she was feeling.

The dialogue was wordy, but not in a bad way. Frankie and her boyfriend (and really, all the kids at the fancy boarding school) were very intelligent, and you could tell in the way they spoke to each other. Very little, if any, slang. Frankie liked to spout out random things, and sometimes that could be annoying. There was one section that I swear lasted 10 minutes and was just Frankie going on and on and on about Neglected Positives, a grammar rule she made up. Luckily, I found the 10 minute lesson on Panopticons interesting. Was this a book or a class in school?

Nothing too sexy or hot here, though it wasn’t for lack of Matthew’s trying. I liked how Frankie stood her ground around him, in that little way. Other than that, there was a little flirting but it was innocent stuff. Again, I was surprised by the lack of teenage tawdriness. Come on, people. You are young and hormonal and living basically without any adult supervision. I feel like you’re really missing out!

The audio was fine. I think it started out a bit rough, almost like Tanya Eby Sirois was looking for the right tone, but I think she settled in just fine.

The cover is cute and matches the story brilliantly. At first glance, it could almost be some sort of Nancy Drew, teenage-mystery-solver type story, but once you read the novel, it matches.

The Sum Up: An entertaining book that won’t stick with you for long.

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