(4/3/2017) Book review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

“As a girl, Frankie knows she is supposed to play by the rules, but the rules were made by Old Boys for boys and therefore are not her rules to begin with.” – The New York Times

So Frankie Landau-Banks decides to take matters into her own hands, outsmarting the secret all-male society at her rich kid boarding school by tricking the members, including her own boyfriend, into believing her increasingly outrageous commands are their leader’s.

Undaunted by her male peers, Frankie contests the old-fashioned idea that it’s the boys who rule the school proving that girls are not to be dismissed, even by her own father, a former member of the all-male society himself.”

I absolutely adored We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, and so was super excited to read The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.  I was a little hesitant before reading it, because the character was only 15, which is much younger than most protagonists in most of the novels I read, even in young adult.

But this didn’t disappoint. The story follows Frankie, a fifteen year old at a boarding school in New England (I think?) as she tries to make her way in the school following in her older sister’s shadow. She starts dating an older boy, a senior, Matthew, but soon feels left out and looked over as he indulges in his friends rather than spending time with her. But it’s not as simple as that, and as she follows him to find out what he keeps abandoning her for, she gets caught up in a brilliant and mysterious scheme to show her boyfriend and his friends that she should not be underestimated.

This was such a good book! And I think such an important one for young girls to read, and older girls and women too!

Frankie isn’t perfect – she could be a better friend, and she lies and deceives a little, but the overall message that she gives out is such a good one. She completely stands up for herself and her actions, even though no one knows they’re her actions, and tries her very hardest to strip away the divide between her and her new friends that exists simply because she’s a girl. She delves into this boys only club culture that began generations ago but still plays a massive part in society and culture today, and calls out sexism from all ages and establishments.

I hugely enjoyed this, and am looking forward to rereading We Were Liars to get a little more E. Lockhart in my life!

Katie

 

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