Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart was not what I thought it would be. It is NOTa zany caper book in which the boys are outsmarted by the cute girl and people fall in happily-ever-after (high school) love. 
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks 
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 Laundau-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. (Good Reads)

Frankie sets out to take down the secret order of the Basset Hounds, her boyfriend’s secret-bro-fest. I like that Frankie rallies against the people who only see her as an adorable, young girl,  people who like her best when she needs help or when her boyfriend can set the boundaries and make the rules.  She is sick of being underestimated by friends, boys, even her family. Good to hear. BUT I found it depressing that EVERYONE underestimated her. I wanted more for Frankie. And the ending? I want a guarantee that she will continue to kick butt. 

Originality: 7. High-school pranks are as old as they come, but I really liked Frankie as a character so points for her to waking up hot one day and taking it in stride (yaaa for anti-wimps).
Absurdity: 4. Hello, fraternity boys. They are this ridic sometimes (and they are this BFF-y too.) So I think this really worked for me. I liked how Lockhart included the emails that Frankie wrote/receive. It made her masterminding seem real.
Level of Paranormal Romance: 2. TOXIC relationship. These boys are NOT keepers.
Level of Harry-Potter-ness: 6. I really liked the narrative tone. I have not read anything like this before--it is snarky and self-aware and, at its best, defiant.  

I leave you with my favorite line:
 Her ex boyfriend writes “ Frankie, what’s up? Hope your term is going well so far. I want to apologize for what happened with Bess last year” and she responds “you mean, you want to apologize, or you are apologizing? Your grammar is indistinct.”
 SLAM! Grammar insults!


  1. I LOVE THIS BOOK. One of my all time favorite books. God, I love this book. She will not be simple and sweet. She will not be what people tell her what she should be." "Frankie appreciated both the accolades and the rejections equally, because both meant she'd had an impact. She wasn't a person who needed to be liked so much as she was a person who liked to be notorious.” God I love this book.

  2. I love this book. I think Frankie kicks butt and I love the narration style. I wish there was a second book! Awesome review!
    Book Light Graveyard

  3. I loved this book. I like the way she plays around with words - and some of the pranks were great.


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