Title: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Author: E. Lockhart
Published: 2008 by Disney – Hyperion
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.
First Sentence:”Though not, in hindsight, so startling as the misdeeds she would perpetrate when she returned to boarding school as a sophomore, what happened to Frankie Landau-Banks the summer after her freshman year was a shock.”
This is the first book I’ve read by E. Lockhart, and I LOVED it!! I love her writing style, her characters, her genius plot, and her sense of humor.
Frankie is starting her sophomore year at her boarding school, and she’s looking and feeling better then ever before. This year she doesn’t have her older sister to rely on for social status, so she has to gain high status. Then she starts dating Matthew, who is a senior (!), and she eventually senses something’s up with him. Since he continuously lies to her about where he’s off to, she follows him. From there she decides to take his club into her own hands since they think girls are inferior and she has so many great ideas for it.
I loved all the characters so much. Her level-headed roommate Trish, Trish’s boyfriend, Zada (Frankie’s older sister), Matthew, Alpha, and, obviously, Frankie were all fantastic no matter how long or short they were present in the story. Frankie’s interactions with her older sister made me wish I had an older sister. Alpha was a really complex character. He was the most interesting to watch. And of course, Frankie herself was pretty awesome. She still had some insecurities with being popular (she knew the fickleness of “fame”), but she was aware of her new good looks. This is awesome because most books have the main girl character disliking her physical attributes, which gets annoying after a while. So it was refreshing to have a female main character with a healthy dose of self-esteem. Also, I loved that Frankie would learn things in her various classes and then apply them to her life. Makes school work seem all the more important, as long as you listen well.
I have to say, the ending left me feeling like more was owed me. It was a good ending in a sense, but in another sense it was kind of sad and open-ended. I feel like there needs to be a sequel. But since this came out in 2008, I’m pretty sure Lockhart meant this to be a stand-alone novel.
I read this while working at my church’s summer camp, so I would definitely say this is a lovely summer read (although sadly we’re at the end of this summer!). It’s just so fun, upbeat, hilarious, and still a “thinker”.
Content Warnings: Kissing, mild language (I think).