Rummanah Aasi
  Once in a while I come across a book that is widely popular and critically acclaimed, but for some reason I just can't get myself to like it as much as other people do. One example of this dilemma is E. Lockhart's The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. I read The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks the first time when it was released. I couldn't get through the first 5 chapters and had to give up. I just wasn't feeling the story. However, I quickly began to notice that I was in the very small minority who didn't like the book. After it was declared a Printz Award Nominee in 2009, I felt that maybe I was a bit too judgmental and then put the book back on my to be read pile. After finishing the book this time, I like it but don't love it as much as other reviewers.

Description: At Alabaster Preparatory Academy, Frankie Landau-Banks is cute, smart, clever, and dating one of the most popular boys in school. Slowly, she finds out that her boyfriend happens to be the co-leader of an all-male secret society on campus called the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds. Initially, Frankie is simply happy to be a girl friend of a popular boy in school, but the more he underestimates her intelligence and secrets he keeps from her, the more restless Frankie becomes. She quickly sets her heart at breaking into the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds. Not only does Frankie outshine the boys at their own game, but she also faces consequences that could change her life forever.

Review: Let me preface this review by saying what I like about this book: I liked the character of Frankie. She is extremely intelligent, clever, funny, and a girl who I admire for not taking "no" as an answer. I also liked the themes of feminism, girls who question and go beyond what they are told by society to do, as well as bringing up issues that tackle gender double standards. I thought the writing, especially the dialogue was witty.
  So after saying all this, why don't I like the book? I felt the book failed to grab my attention. It starts off very slow, with background information on Frankie and her social status at her prep school. Slowly, her boyfriend is introduced and the secret society is mentioned. It's not until the second half of the book, where the story picks up. Besides the slow pace of the book, I didn't really like the plot. Though I liked Frankie's attempt to subvert the male secret society in theory, I felt that it was just too easy. All the males, I thought, were lackluster and frankly (no pun intended) stupid. I didn't think Frankie was challenged enough in the book.
  All said and done, I did like The Disreputable History of Frankie and would recommend it to others, especially to those who like a strong female character and to those who need a break from the abundant amount of paranormal romances out there. E. Lockhart has written a memorable character, which I'm sure many will come to love.

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There are some minor scenes of underage drinking and mild language.


If you like this book try: Dairy Queen by Catherine Murdock
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