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The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  51,195 ratings  ·  5,452 reviews
Fifteen-year-old Frankie Landau-Banks has grown up a lot over the summer. She's no longer daddy's little girl - and almost immediately after starting the new semester at her highly prestigious school, she bags goofy-but-gorgeous Matthew Livingston as her boyfriend. They get along great but then Frankie discovers that Matthew is a member of a boys-only secret society that s ...more
Paperback, 342 pages
Published November 6th 2014 by Hot Key Books (first published March 25th 2008)
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Amaliah Varazo The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie is also a great one that's really fun with a similar feel, but nothing compares to Frankie.…moreThe Murder of Bindy Mackenzie is also a great one that's really fun with a similar feel, but nothing compares to Frankie.(less)

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Average rating 3.80  · 
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Emily May
May 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily May by: Tatiana
Shelves: young-adult, 2011
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,
Oct 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recent-favorites
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.) ...more
Sep 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
A solid, teen, feminist novel!

I really enjoy e. lockhart's writing and this book didn't let me down! A story about a girl navigating a boarding school where boys have some /special/ privileges over girls, she starts to fight against that system. I liked the main character, enjoyed the boarding school setting, and really appreciated the feminist angle. My only reason for not giving this 5 stars is that I don't think that a) it did anything particularly new with plot or character development, and
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
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
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 usua
Apr 26, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 23, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Update 8/21/2018
What a difference 2 years make. It feels like this book has aged 30 years since I read it last time in 2016. Amazing how much the conversation around feminism and privilege changed in such a short time. Hard to recommend this book now though.

Update 9/16/2016
Considering it's a 8-year old YA novel and how much YA has improved over these 8 years, I think it held up pretty well. Maybe not 5 stars any more, but still worthy of a read.

This is definitely one of those clever a
Kevin Fanning
Apr 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 20, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: definitely not for people who want to become feminists
Shelves: contemporary
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
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
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
Kristina Horner
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Gah, I loved this book so incredibly much, but upon finishing I find myself so RILED UP and ANGRY on Frankie's behalf and I understand her frustrations so fully. The feminist themes in this story were executed with grace and keen wit, and it never felt preachy. I just wanted to reach in the book and hug Frankie and let her know that some day, people on Tumblr would totally understand what she's going through. Her struggles were so real and I just enjoyed it so immensely. Highly recommend. ...more
May 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

Reading The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks just goes to show that loving one book by an author doesn't guarantee you'll love every book by that said author. (I should know this after reading so many books but no, I am a person who never learns ._.) I read We Were Liars almost a year ago and well, let's just say it made my top 10 reads of 2014. (If you want to know why I loved it, I suggest you check out the discussion review/fangirling session C
Dannii Elle
This book has aged so well. I am continually impressed with this author's compelling story-lines and unforgettable characters, and this book is no exception. Frankie's feminist ideologies and consistent challenging of the patriarchy made this book have continual resonance and relevance today. Definitely one of the thematically strongest contemporary stories I have read. ...more
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Clare Cannon
Jun 16, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Aj the Ravenous Reader

Sleek, smart, artistic and yet very subtle, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is a very entertaining, very funny YA boarding school story that takes up pranks and secret societies to a whole new level and in the process rightfully condemning patriarchy and proudly raising the flag of feminists.

I enjoyed the use of word play so much, the neglected positives. I thought they were really funny. I was very much “turbed” with the writing because I was definitely not “perturbed.” Lol.
Jan 08, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  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
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
Apr 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
reading is my hustle
Mar 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
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
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, ya, lady-lit
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
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
This review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!

Feminism is an important topic, especially for those who unknowingly reinforce these gender stereotypes without realising how it impacts societal attitudes. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks features a character who believes she is feminist, but this is not a feminist book.

Frankie Landau-Banks annoyed me to no end. She’s obsessed with her crush, Matthew, and is delighted when he starts taking an interest in her
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Frankie Landau-Banks was such a breath of fresh air. I absolutely loved her character and how she questioned literally everything about how boys and girls are treated in relationships and the real world. I was living for the boarding school secret society shenanigans and how Frankie was holding a middle finger up to the patriarchy but in such a brilliant and untraceable way.

Every girl, teenage or otherwise, needs to get their hands on this book and enjoy witnessing a man's world get turned upsi
Oct 13, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A story about a weak chick whose world revolves around what guys want her to do.
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
Jul 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: forever-love
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
Nov 24, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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E. Lockhart is the author of Again Again, Genuine Fraud, We Were Liars, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and several other books. Whistle: A New Gotham CIty Hero is a graphic novel.

Instagram: elockhartbooks
Twitter: elockhart

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