The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks: A Book Review

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The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

The Disreputable History of Frankie Laudau-Banks by E. Lockhart

Summary: 16-year old Frankie has always been called “Bunny Rabbit” by her family. She’s not one to turn heads, and her mom won’t even let her walk five blocks by herself! She attends the highly competitive boarding school, Alabaster Prep, where her father and older sister, Zada, also graduated from, but the only time Frankie is taken seriously is during Debate Club. Now that she had “blossomed” over the summer, Frankie is making herself known to her peers. She and her longtime crush, Matthew Livingston, are dating, and she has a new attitude for her sophomore year. Matthew is not only one of the most popular guys in school, he also belongs to the highly secretive and protected Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, an all-male society, known for their silly pranks. It is so old, even Frankie’s dad was a member! One night, Frankie decides to spy on Matt, to see where he goes with his good friends, Alpha, all the time. She stumbles upon a meeting of the Basset Hounds, but comes to find that she isn’t even allowed to touch a dog statue of her boyfriend’s! Tired of the male dominated culture, Frankie takes charge of the club under a false identity. She dreams up of a handful of devious pranks for the society to compete, and to her delight, they actually do what she asks! But, is that enough to please Frankie?

My Thoughts: This was one of those books that kept popping up on dozens of YA blogs. When I saw it at the library, I figured I would see what all the hype was about, three years after it was published! It was a pleasure to read, and I think it’s a contender for my wish list this year :) E. Lockhart has a distinctive style of writing, and I loved how she wrote like you were there. Sure, that also made me know I was reading a book, but it was more like I was reading the book of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, not just a book that I found tucked in the shelves at my local library. Frankie was one of those heroines that I admire with my whole heart, but I know that would NEVER ever be like them. I just don’t have the guts, strength, or nerve to do it. She manipulated a group teenage boys, which take some   a lot of skill. But, by the end, she wasn’t just doing it to prove to the popular boys that girls can do anything, it was like she had to do it. I think the power took over her. Frankie’s constant arguing and need for power made me want to say “Will you just shut up already!?” Her debating instinct, perhaps? I actually liked Matthew in the beginning, but as the story continued {and Frankie pointed out his flaws} I realized that he didn’t really care for Frankie. He thought of her more as a little cousin or sister. Alpha was interesting, and he had more layers to him than “the boy at the beach.” I loved the e-mail he sent Frankie in the last few chapters. It closed up their little feud. Trish was a great friend, and despite her horse obsession, she was probably the most normal of the bunch :) The rest of the characters did add to the story, but I was always getting the Basset Hound boys mixed up. I did admire Porter {he dated Frankie before cheating on her} for what he did at the end. Porter was a jerk, but he wasn’t all evil. The author did a fairly good job developing the characters, but I think she was so focused on the society to fully develop them. You could see the places where there was rom for improvement. The society’s pranks were hilarious! They were way over-the-top but reading the Author’s Note at the end made me realize that they weren’t entirely unrealistic. It’s a bit scary to think about… The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is defiantly one to remember, and it’s a book I recommend!

Pros: The character dialogue is spot-on, and it added so much more to the story. The plot was one that made you laugh!

Cons: The character development was lost, and some of the writing felt forced.

Heads Up: The boys drank and smoked, but Frankie didn’t. They also did some stupid teenage boy stuff.

Overall: I give it 4 stars {****} and I recommend it for ages 13 and up.

Bella :)

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