January 5, 2013
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
by E. Lockhart
My first encounter with E. Lockhart was last year, when I read the first two installments in the Ruby Oliver series, The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver and The Boy Book: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them one after the other. As can be gleaned from my notes, I thoroughly enjoyed reading them and, as a result, promised myself to read more of E. Lockhart's works. So when a copy of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks became available from one of my favorite online seller's Multiply store, I grabbed it right away.
Frankie Landau-Banks is a 15-year-old sophomore at the expensive boarding school, Alabaster Academy, who, over the summer following their freshman year, filled up in all the right places. This is the only thing that was "new" about Frankie, though: she was still Bunny Rabbit to her family, she still belonged to the Debate Club, which formed part of the conglomerate of geek clubs in school, and she still had a smart mouth (if not smarter). Oh wait. She's going to have a new boyfriend at the beginning of the school year - a wonderful, gorgeous boyfriend who happens to belong to a secret society in school - and she's going to have more angst, too. Often irrational teenage angst, if you know what I mean.
But make no mistake: Frankie may appear irrational at times - okay, whiny - but I like her because she actually has a very good head on her shoulders. She complains and retorts about seemingly shallow things, yes, but she compensates by demonstrating that she can strategize, too, when the situation calls for it. She's smart and cunning. As I was reading through the various "plans" that she conceived, I couldn't help but remember Miles from John Green's Looking for Alaska (which I also loved - my favorite John Green thus far). Frankie is no airhead. She only wants to be appreciated as a person and as an equal, and that's what made her endearing to me. Don't we all wish the same thing?
This book was my very last read for 2012, and the fact that I liked it made for a very satisfying conclusion to my reading year. It was a light and easy read, and the first few chapters reminded me a lot of my old high school romance staples, Sweet Dreams novels (which, unfortunately, are now out of print). Unlike the Sweet Dreams books, however, Frankie's sophomore year saga isn't all fluff and candy. So while some people may be a little put off or disappointed by how Frankie's story ended, I found that it was actually my favorite part of the book. I was absolutely gruntled by it. :)
Oh, and I ought to research on that neglected positive thing, too. :D
Book Details: My own, bought pre-loved from Mia of Books For Keeps, hardback