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

disreputablefinalbig_copyThe Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
345 pgs.
2008
4.75/5

Frankie Landau-Banks is a 15 year old Sophomore at a boarding school that caters to mostly the rich and influential. There have been a few developments since her freshman year, mainly physical developments. Over the summer, Frankie has shot up a few inches and has grown curves in all the right places. When she goes back to school for the start of her Sophomore year, people notice her that never noticed her before. Mainly, Matthew Livingston. Matthew is a senior that she’s had a crush on since last year and despite the fact that she sat with him on occasion last year with her older sister, Zada, he swears he’s never met her before. Matthew’s friend, Alpha, is another interesting character who Frankie met over summer break, but he also swears that he doesn’t know her…though she believes that he’s not being entirely truthful there.

Frankie soon learns of The Loyal Order of the Basset Hound, a secret society that has existed at Alabaster for years. A society that her father was a part of. After starting a relationship with Matthew, a dream she never thought would come true, she grows her own suspicions that he is now a member of the Order. But he won’t let her in on the secret. Frankie feels like she’s still looked upon as just a little innocent girl, not good enough to be one of the guys. So she decides to take things into her own hands after learning more about the secret order from her father. Mainly that the order is said to have a book called The Disreputable History which contains all of the secrets and past pranks of the order.ย 

To prove her worth to Matthew (or is it more to herself?) she goes looking for the book while Matthew still has no idea that she even knows about the order. By and by, she is feeling more alienated from Matthew as she begins to notice that he leaves her for the guys and refuses to tell her what he’s doing, always making excuses. Frankie decides that to be something to Matthew, she has to pull the biggest prank of them all.ย 

It’s obvious that E. Lockhart is a big fan of John Green’s and I mean that in a completely positive way. At no time does she steal his ideas or imitate his writing, but this novel does have that same wonderful feel that John Green’s novels do. It has that depth to it also running underneath the main current of the story. Lockhart’s story is extremely entertaining and engaging, but underneath the entertainment is the story of a girl trying to find her place in the world, to prove that she has a place in the world.ย 

Frankie is a very three dimensional character. She’s smart, witty, well-read, and well-versed. But she’s also insecure and wanting to find that place where she pleases both herself and everyone around her. That balance of independence and acceptance. It’s a novel that examines gender roles as well. Frankie refuses to be “just another girl”. She’s even named after her grandfather. She chooses tshirts and jeans over frilly dresses, but still has a beautiful female quality. She challenges the long sustained society of boys by trying to become a member. But in doing so, will she alienate everyone along the way as she becomes more and more obsessed with her goal?

Frankie is a character that I very much enjoyed getting to know. I couldn’t help but think of Alaska Young from Looking for Alaska, despite the obvious character differences. Both are fantastic female characters in modern young adult literature that put up a facade of being strong and edgy, but underneath are struggling with major issues. A highly recommended read.

Other Views and Opinions:

Maw Books
Books and Other Thoughts
Bold. Blue. Adventure.
Becky’s Book Reviews
Fizzy Thoughts
Bottle of Shine

Let me know if I missed your review and I’ll add it to the links!

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20 Responses

  1. Well, you’ve gone and sealed the deal. I doubt I was going to be able to resist much longer anyway…but you’ve just squashed what little fight I had left. Somehow, I just know I’m going to love this one.

  2. Great review! I’ve had my eye on this book for some time. You have only affirmed its place on the wishlist.

  3. I have wanted to read this book for a while, but still haven’t got around to it! Might have to make it more of a priority. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I want this book so badly.

  5. I loved this book, too! Hadn’t thought of Lockheart as being similar to Green, but I love them both after reading one book from each–looking forward to reading more and seeing how your comparison sits with me. My review of Frankie is here.

  6. I am SO glad you enjoyed this book as much as I did! I loved Frankie, and that she was tough and smart and vulnerable all at the same time. I was reminded of Alaska, too – especially with the pranks! Nice review. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Sounds sooo good! I’ve read a lot of great reviews, so this ones definitely on my list for this year. Thanks!

  8. I loved this book…then I read John Green. I still like the book, but I like Looking for Alaska even more.

  9. Sounds great and it is sitting in my TBR pile….soon I hope to get to it!!!

  10. As soon as you started comparing it to Looking for Alaska, you had me hooked. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Glad you enjoyed it. I thought it was a wonderful read too.

    I think I read somewhere that E. Lockhart and John Green are friends and part of the same writing circle

  12. oooh! this sounds deliciously entangled! i like ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. Enough already! I have a big enough wishlist as it is! Of course it has now just got a little bigger.

  14. […] The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks – E. Lockhart […]

  15. I loved this one! I love Frankie, I love the tension in the plot, I loved the writing. What a great read, and I’m glad you liked it too.

  16. I have yet to read any John Green. Sigh . . . I hate being left out.

  17. Fantastic review! I started reading this book a few weeks ago and was totally into the story … then I lost the book :/ It’s around here somewhere and I know once I stop looking I’ll find it ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. I reviewed this one, too, but I didn’t like it as much as you did. Something about it rubbed me the wrong way. Anyway, my review is here – http://blogginboutbooks.blogspot.com/2009/02/disreputable-history-interesting-but.html

  19. […] The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan, 2004, 32 pgs., 4/5 6. The Red Tree by Shaun Tan, 2003, 32 pgs., 5/5 7. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockheart, 2008, 345 pgs., 4.75/5 8. The Suburban Dragon by Garassamo Macagnone, 1992, 50 pgs., […]

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