Publisher: Hot Key Books
Release Date: 6th November 2014
Edition: UK paperback, purchased
Other Titles by this Author: The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, The Treasure Map of Boys, Real Live Boyfriends, Fly on the Wall, Dramarama, We Were Liars
Frankie Landau-Banks attends one of the most privileged schools in the country.
She is popular, cute and funny.
Her main preoccupation is the gorgeous Matthew Livingston.
But that’s not all there is to Frankie.
She’s also smart.
Then Frankie discovers Matthew has been keeping secrets from her.
What will she do to get even? How far will she go?
It’s up to Frankie...
Before the fuss about We Were Liars I had fallen in love with Ruby Oliver so I knew that E Lockhart could write kickass, interesting and brilliant leading ladies. Frankie Landau-Banks is the queen of kickass, interesting and brilliant leading ladies.
From the get go it is established that Frankie’s leading trait is intelligence and the transformation that occurred over her summer between freshman and sophomore year. Though gaining curves, taming the mane and growing into your face is a regular occurrence is a regular YA trope, but a female lead defined by her intelligence? A worryingly rare thing.
Something that came of Frankie intelligence was her self-awareness. I have never seen a relationship depicted in a novel where one of the characters remains thoroughly in love with the other person but also realises how different they have been made. Frankie can see how being with Matthew is affecting her, how he unconsciously tries to mould and change her into what he thinks she is or should be. And she fights it in the most epic way she can thing of – beating him at his own games behind his back.
The pranks that Frankie engineers through The Loyal Order of the Bassett Hounds are more than just disruptive ingenuity, they say something. They challenge the sexist, elitist and religiously exclusive traditions of Alabaster (the name of the school tells you all you need to know...) that have been ignored or pushed aside because they don’t bother the majority of staff and students who are male, white, affluent, Ivy-bound and secure that nothing can touch them. Frankie and her Bassett Hound exploits are a fantastic introduction to feminism, strong and capable heroines and incredible contemporary YA.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is a must-read and I can’t believe it took me so long to get to it, and for it to be published in the UK. I actually prefer it to We Were Liars.