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The List by Siobhan Vivian

The List (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Siobhan Vivian

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I have wanted to read this one for some time because I was interested the the premise of this list that targeted the most beautiful and ugliest girl in each class. I wanted to see how the dynamics played out, how much bullying would come into play and wanted to know who is behind the list and why.

There is a shifting point of view and it is with all eight of the girls, so it took me a bit to remember the individual story line, what they were voted, and what role they play in relation to the others. They all had different story lines and motives, and it was a great look into how women view themselves and how easily they could be persuaded by others/popular opinion.

I wish that it would have had less characters and been able to go deeper, and for me to actually remember who was voted prettiest and ugliest, and what they were feeling about it.

But there was something compulsive about it. I didn't want to stop reading even through my character confusion. I wanted to know who was behind it. I wanted to know how this would bring together or separate the girls, and how they respond to being on their place on the list.

I felt like once the story got going and I was starting to get into the characters' stories and tell them from each other, it was over. And to me, at least, it didn't feel like a very complete ending.

Bottom Line: Great concept, okay characters though it felt like too many. ( )
  brandileigh2003 | Aug 7, 2014 |
An intense look at the rules of high school attraction--and the price that's paid for them It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn't matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up. This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, "pretty" and "ugly." And it's also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two. ( )
  ShellyPYA | Jan 14, 2014 |
The premise of this book is that each year before Homecoming a list is posted with the prettiest and ugliest girl in each grade. The book is told in chapters from the POV of each of the 8 girls.

In general I liked this book. I felt for each of the characters, good and bad. It portrayed all the angst of teenage girls - fitting in, first boyfriends, pressure to look like a girl in a magazine, being an athlete, being an outcast, etc - with all of the heartbreak and elation of real life. I thought the story brought to light a version of bullying that is more prevalent than people think and can be just as harmful as physical or verbal abuse.

I was disappointed that the book didn't go into more depth for each of the girls. It was just long enough to give us a peek at each of them and their various issues but was not long enough to give a satisfying resolution. The ending was somewhat abrupt and left me wondering what happened throughout the rest of the school year.

Overall this was a good read and I would recommend to anyone interested in books dealing with bullying or wanting to relive their high school days. ( )
  CherieReads | Sep 23, 2013 |

Four hundred copies of “the list” have been hung up around Mount Washington High School. A girl in each grade has been deemed the prettiest and the ugliest. The girls making the prettiest list gain instant popularity and everyone watches the reactions of the girls making the ugliest list. No one knows who wrote the list, but somehow the official embosser stolen from the school decades ago keeps getting passed down.

There are eight girls who are now the center of attention. Abby is the prettiest 9th grader, she is ashamed of her older sister who once made the ugliest list. Danielle is voted ugliest 9th grader. She is a swimmer and just had an amazing summer at camp. She is worried about how her boyfriend will take the news. Lauren is a 10th grader who is new to school. She has been homeschooled and never expected to be popular. Candace was prettiest last year, and this year has been voted ugliest. Bridget was voted prettiest, after spending the summer becoming anorexic. Sarah has always been a bit of a rebel, but now that her classmates think she is ugliest, she will show them what ugly is. Sarah has sworn to stop showering, brushing her teeth and changing her clothes. The last two girls are Margo and Jennifer. They used to be best friends and then their friendship fell apart. The list makes them confront why their relationship ended. Also, Jennifer has broken the school record by showing up on the ugliest list for the 4th year in a row.

The story will make readers take a good look how they treat others around them. The book is suspenseful because the reader wants to know who wrote the list. I kept hoping that what the girls went through at school would help them to become stronger women. There are some instances of drinking at high school parties, but no explicit sex. Nothing that I would find objectionable in a high school YA novel. I think this would be a great book to have for a book club or one book, one school during a national anti-bullying week campaign. It would be a great activity to have on a school level. The author wrote a great story that illustrates the desire to fit in and how labels can destroy a person. A great book worth the read! ( )
  kmjanek | Aug 29, 2013 |
Three stars, and I feel like maybe it should get an extra star for exceeding expectations. The premise is typical YA - an anonymous list gets posted around a high school listing the prettiest and ugliest girl in each class. The chapters alternate through the girls, and the author manages to do a decent job, for the most part, of creating eight believable characters and stories (a few were a bit stereotypical but with eight POVs, you probably have to take some shortcuts).

My favorite part, and I think I can be circumspect enough to not have it be a spoiler, is that at the end, not everything is wrapped up neatly. It felt very realistic to me that some of the girls ended up learning something while others didn't, and some issues got resolved and others seemed to be on track to even get worse, but hey, it's the end of the book. I'm always impressed when that kind of ending feels satisfying to a story.

I don't think it really stands out among the best YA of this year (or rather, last year), but it does what it does extremely well. It seems like it should be a fluffy "Mean Girls" type book, but it ended up being better than that. ( )
  delphica | Apr 26, 2013 |
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Every year at Mount Washington High School somebody posts a list of the prettiest and ugliest girls from each grade--this is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, and how they are affected by the list.

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