“Secrets are more powerful when people know you’ve got them.”
– Mr. Sutton
For book 21 of my #50bookpledge, I decided to read E. Lockhart’s The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (yes, that is quite a long title). I actually discovered this book through Reasoning with Vampires. I blogged about RwV before but if you’re not familiar with RwV, it’s a blog that is… “dedicated” to pointing out the flaws in the Twilight series. It’s usually about grammar and sentence structure and the proper use of punctuations, but the owner also points out character flaws and the writing in general. If you like Twilight, you might just want to stay clear of this blog. If you have neutral feelings about Twilight, RwV is still a good site to visit as you’ll learn a bit about grammar.
Anyway, going back, I discovered this book from RwV. One of the frequently asked questions on her blog is “Are there any good series or authors that you’d recommend to teens instead of Meyer?” Dana answered that by recommending The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. And it was her recommendation that sold me. Her answer intrigued me and I wanted to learn more about Frankie Landau-Banks who seemed such a smart and sassy lady (based on the passages that were included in her answer).
Here is the synopsis of the book from GoodReads:
Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:
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.
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.
This is the story of how she got that way.
It can seem saner to give up — but then one goes insane from giving up.
First things first, I’ve got to say that I love the writer’s style. I can’t explain it well but the book was just so quirky and fun that I finished reading the book in half a day. I didn’t want to stop reading. I loved how they made the lessons being tackled in one of Frankie’s subject, the panopticon and secret societies, analogous to the events in the book. Let’s not forget about the concept of neglected positives (you’ll have to read about it to understand what it is). That was just genius. 😀
I totally love Frankie. I love that she’s unique and witty and intelligent. She knows what she wants and does what she can to get it. Yes, her means were underhanded and of a juvenile nature, but you have to admire her cunning. She wanted her boyfriend (and the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds) to acknowledge her worth and that’s a noble pursuit. I don’t think her pranks were a cry for attention; I think it was a way for her to show people that she wasn’t a child or just a pretty face. It was a way for her to prove that she was a force to be reckoned with. I hope that I can be as formidable as Frankie.
I know that the book isn’t meant to be a romance but I really wished that Frankie and Alpha got together in the end. Or at least shown an inkling of that happening in the future. I suppose it might be weird to want them to get together after all that happened in the book but I think that they’d be totally compatible. They have chemistry and I think that they’d understand each other. Although Alpha underestimated Frankie in the start, I think that in the end he somewhat admired what she did. Of course, that could just be me reading too much into things. Oh well, I still liked the ending.
It is better to be alone, she figures, than to be with someone who can’t see who you are. It is better to lead than to follow. It is better to speak up than stay silent. It is better to open doors than to shut them on people.
She will not be simple and sweet. She will not be what people tell her she should be.
Well, that’s all. Until next time dear readers. 🙂