Today’s review is on a book that totally surprised me! It’s The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart.
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When I won the giveaway of a signed copy of We Were Liars but it got lost in the mail, I was sent a copy of that book again and this other from the same author. I loved We Were Liars but for some reason it took me forever to read another book from Lockhart. I’m glad I did it tho!
This books follows Frankie Landau-Banks in her private school life. Thing is, when she gets a boyfriend, she finds out he is a member of an all-boys secret society specialised on pranks. Since they’re not that great, Frankie wants to teach them a lesson by orchestrating her own.
The novel is set right from page one. The big events of the plot are revealed and a lot of things that make it come to that point. But that only turns things a lot more interesting since you want to understand how and why, since things aren’t explain right there obviously. The narrator is also set in those first moments. They’re not a character in the story, which I tend to dislike. But this was so fun. I absolutely love the way they talk and the personality the author created for them. The insight they give on the characters is also pretty interesting.
What I liked about this book is that it doesn’t want to waste any of the readers time. Everything you’re told about has absolutely every point and reason to be there. A lot of the topics covered, specially the panopticon and the neglected positive, were very interesting to read about since I had no idea what that was all about.
The author’s writing was very peculiar and engaging. It’s not flourished in any way and it goes pretty much straight to the point all the time. It’s so simple, yet so refreshing. After reading so many books where a box can never be a simple box (I’m looking at you, Sarah J. Maas) (jk, I love you Sarah) it’s so compelling to encounter something that’s equally captivating and singular.
This is a feminist book in every way possible. All the pranks orchestrated by Frankie have an intention and some of them reflect on women’s status in society. In fact, most book does that. Frankie’s sick of being treated like some little girl and some precious flower. And she decides to rebel against that, but in a way that’ll help all female people. The discussions between the main character and the other girls were so interesting! They all had a different opinion on several women related topics and I though those dialogs really reflected our society.
And speaking of characters, they were all pretty awesome. At least the girls. What I noticed were that the male characters were all mostly a variation of the same trope. There’s not that many distinctive characteristics to really set them apart. I don’t think that’s an accident. On the other hand, the girls were all very different. They were a wide range of women, with diverse appearance and opinions. Frankie stole the show, of course. She goes through some amazing arc.
Now that I think of it, I might just change my Goodreads rating. I gave it four stars but this is easily a five star book. It’s the most unique thing I’ve read all year! I absolutely loved it. I will definitely recommend this book to everyone I know. And I will buy anything else the author writes because she is so freaking talented.
Here’s a quote I enjoyed:
“You have some balls.”
Frankie hated that expression, ever since Zada had pointed out to her that it equates courage with the male equipment…
Have you guys read this book? If so, what did you think of it?! Let me know!!
See you guys soon,