Monday, February 9, 2009

Review: 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: Matthew Livingston.

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 16:

Possibly a criminal mastermind.

This is the story of how she got that way.

This is my question: Is YA lit just better now than when I was a teen? Or is it just that I can appreciate it more? The answer: A little of both. E. Lockhart rocked my reading world! I love strong female characters, and Frankie is certainly a strong female character. The story follows her as she questions the fairness of an all male club, and takes over as their leader-without any of them knowing it's her. It also shows how everything can fall apart when you are living a lie. Frankie's trouble starts at the very beginning of the book when she is questioning her mother's decision not to allow her to walk into town, even though her younger male cousin had been given permission earlier during their vacation. Her family sees her as "Bunny Rabbit"- one of the cutest animals out there (besides a puppy sized elephant of course.) None of them seem to take her seriously, and she really isn't happy with it. The story follows her to boarding school as she starts a new school year. It shows how her class about secret societies and her own desire to prove she is as good as the boys eventually leads her to create the best stunts that her school's secret society has ever seen. The only problem is no one knows she is the person behind them and no one really understands that they are more than just pranks. The reader can see her frustration build, can watch her relationship develop, and basically see her come to understand that love isn't always enough. We also get to see her life crumble because of her actions. However, Frankie realizes that "it is better to be alone...than to be with someone who can't see who you are." Frankie is invisible at the beginning of the book, and by the end she is invisible again. Her invisibility is the saddest thing of all; however, I don't think it will last. All in all-I love a girl who will grow up to change the world!