Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
Author: E. Lockhart
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: 2008
Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:
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.
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. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)
A YA Feminist Manifesto
Okay, guys, can we talk about how awesomely feminist The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is? Early on in the book, Frankie claims she heard all this feminist talk from her older sister who’s in college, and she almost kind of brushes it off as pretentious jabber that she is subjected to. But throughout the book, Frankie oozes feminism. I mean, the whole book is about her deciding that women should be a part of this secret society at her boarding school, and she goes about becoming a sort-of member of said society.
Other characters, like Frankie’s roommate, also comment on the inherent sexism within their school, like how Frankie is a sophomore who suddenly became hot over the summer, and all these guys are suddenly interested in her, but they don’t even remember that they met her the year before. Frankie also points out the elitist attitude that is so abundant within the group she becomes a part of: