Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

Title: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Author: E. Lockhart
Published: March 25th 2008 by Disney-Hyperion
Purchase: Book Depository | Amazon
Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14: Debate Club. 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.

Frankie Laundau-Banks. 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.

I read this book as a result of a youtube book review which described it as one that should be read by all teenagers. My expectations were high and I greatly hoped it would live up to the praise it received from one of my favourite book reviewers. Unfortunately, it did not though it was an enjoyable read and I liked the approach to issues presented in the book. I will say that this book should be read by all teenagers because you will learn a thing or two from it.

Frankie is unlike most YA heroines. She comes from a good family and home, acknowledges that at most times she’s fairly pretty and she’s a strategist. I most enjoy the last aforementioned trait of her character; her analysis of situations and interactions. Frankie is also brave as shown by her standing up for herself and breaking those unwritten rules. However, none of the other characters grew on me, I felt nothing for them.

I did not like this book as I thought I would and it was cumbersome waiting for something to happen. It was only after the discovery of a club that I became wholly invested in this book and what Frankie’s actions were to be. I did not like Matthew and his relationship with Frankie though it was probably necessary to reveal certain issues but the romance irritated me. The reverence to which Frankie held Matthew and his friends also bothered me and at times she could be a little ridiculous.

I loved the way the author approached issues of standards among men and women, the behavioural rules society is expected to follow and how it is reflected among relationships and interactions between people. I liked a particular theory presented in the book, it made me think of my own actions and I was able to have discussions with my friends who dislike reading. I think that is very valuable, even if the characters seemed ‘meh’ at times, I kept thinking of the book weeks after I finished it.

Not only did I love it for the theories as I thought the pranks were fun and awesome, it made me like Frankie even more and I loved the ending. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is a fun light read that leaves much to think about though it didn’t feel like the author was forcefully teaching me, it was subtle and I came away learning a few things.

3.5 Stars

5 thoughts on “Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks”

  1. Alise

    I remember reading this! My reasons for picking it up were a bit more random than yours though! I enjoyed the book nonetheless, though. I completely agree with you when you mention Frankie is so different from other heroines, she’s much more comfortable with herself and her knowledge. Great review, and thanks for stopping by my blog!

  2. Jen @ YA Romantics

    I loved this one — all the pranks and the secret society war my favorite parts. And Frankie was just a great character!

  3. Jen @ YA Romantics

    Okay, that was supposed to say “were my favorite parts.” No war in this one 😉

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