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The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (edition 2008)

by E. Lockhart

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,1121563,109 (4.01)76
Member:ejmeloche
Title:The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Authors:E. Lockhart
Info:Hyperion Book CH (2008), Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Prinz, National Book Award, boarding school, secret societies, feminism, funny

Work details

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

  1. 20
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    zhejw: I loved both books, but Pessl's is a notch up in language, character development, and plot. Lockhart's is the place for teens to start.
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    SheReads: The strong female characters navigating a boy's world.
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» See also 76 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 158 (next | show all)
"This chronicle is an attempt to mark out the contributing elements in Frankie Landau-Banks’s character. What led her to do what she did: things she would later view with a curious mixture of hubris and regret."

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is an intelligent, witty story of a contemporary teenage girl's determined rebellion against the expectations of those that surround her.

""She will not be simple and sweet. She will not be what people tell her she should be. That Bunny Rabbit is dead.”

This novel has a definite message. Alabaster Prep School is a microcosm of wider society, and within it, Lockhart explores some major issues including social order, the hierarchy of power and gender inequality. Frankie is determined to challenge the status quo by surreptitiously taking charge of The Loyal Order of the Basset Hound - the all male secret society on campus, and giving the pranks she devises a politically motivated agenda. Frankie's motives aren't entirely pure though, and inevitably neither do things go exactly to plan.

I liked Frankie, she's smart and feisty though she also has her flaws, but it's the contradictions in her actions and her thought processes that makes her so interesting, and I think is probably the point of the whole novel. Frankie may be slightly more self aware than many teen girls but she hasn't yet got everything figured out. Like most girls, Frankie struggles with her desire to be true to herself and her wish to fit in. This is particularly an issue in her relationship with the handsome, wealthy and charming Senior, Matthew Livingston. Frankie is delighted by his attention, proud to be chosen by him, even when she realises that he isn't really interested in what she wants or thinks.

"It is better to be alone, she figures, than to be with someone who can't see who you are. It is better to lead than to follow. It is better to speak up than stay silent. It is better to open doors than to shut them on people."

Despite the serious themes, the overall tone of the novel is lighthearted. The narrative is often witty and the story is well paced.

I enjoyed The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, it's a thought provoking novel that, from my perspective, explores some interesting contradictions. I've passed it on to my teen daughter and I'm eager to see what she thinks. ( )
  shelleyraec | Jan 30, 2015 |
First read in 2008
Re-read in 2012 ( )
  devafagan | Jan 2, 2015 |
This is to feminism what Nickelback is to music: not.
( )
  humblewomble | Oct 19, 2014 |
Recommended by my lovely friend Katharine.
  AmphipodGirl | Oct 14, 2014 |
I absolutely loved this book!

Not only are the characters and plot exceptionally well written, but E. Lockhart manages to avoid the expected conclusion for most books in this field. Once you read enough books in a certain genre, your mind cannot help but jump towards any played-out ending that most authors insist on sticking to. My mind did that as I read Disreputable History, but I was pleasantly surprised by Lockhart's ending.

I also like the theories explored by Frankie in this book, the panopticon and the various clubs devoted to creative disruptions. Makes me want to plan some pranks or flash mobs. ( )
  regularguy5mb | Jul 27, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 158 (next | show all)
Frankie faces a generous helping of disappointment, certainly. No princessy happy ending awaits her. But the novel holds out the hope that a girl like Frankie — who has above all an unwillingness to settle —could grow up to change the world. “The Disreputable History” not only delivers the line, but somehow makes you believe it is true.
 
Lockhart creates a unique, indelible character in Frankie, whose oddities only make her more realistic, and teens will be galvanized by her brazen action and her passionate, immediate questions about gender and power, individuals and institutions, and how to fall in love without losing herself.
added by khuggard | editBooklist
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
E. Lockhartprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sirois, Tanya EbyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"I am not asking that you indulge my behavior; merely that you do not dulge it without considering its context." (3)
Dedication
For my college friends Kate, Polly, Cliff, Aaron, and Catherine, who know all about golf course parties and midnight adventures
First words
I, Frankie Landau-Banks, hereby confess that I was the sole mastermind behind the mal-doings of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds.
Quotations
It is better to be alone, she figures, than to be with someone who can't see who you are. It is better to lead than to follow. It is better to speak up than stay silent. It is better to open doors than to shut them on people.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Frankie Landau-Banks attempts to take over a secret, all-male society at her exclusive prep school, and her antics with the group soon draw some unlikely attention and have unexpected consequences that could change her life forever.
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Sophomore Frankie starts dating senior Matthew Livingston, but when he refuses to talk about the all-male secret society that he and his friends belong to, Frankie infiltrates the society in order to enliven their mediocre pranks.

(summary from another edition)

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