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

15 Apr

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-BanksMy rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

This review follows on the heels of that of another YA book.   These are two of the best books I’ve read so far this year– am I just in a YA mindset right now?

I thoroughly enjoyed The Disreputable History, and found it thought provoking as well as entertaining.


Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:
Debate Club.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.

Frankie Laundau-Banks.
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.

I’m a sucker for books about smart, quirky girls, and Frankie certainly qualifies.

On the one hand, this is a fun book about boarding school and pranks. The pranks are creative, and the characters are fun to spend time with. The book satisfies even if only taken at this level.

Luckily, The Disreputable History is even more than that. It is a girl’s exploration of who she wants to be, and what role the people around her play in this. How much say does her boyfriend have in defining her? How about the groups at school? How much does the view her family has of her? What about actions she takes that no one knows about?

Even the pranks themselves are deeper than they appear at first glance.  So is Frankie’s playing with language.

This book was an easy read, but not just pure fluff.  It will appeal to middle schoolers through adults.  I’ll give my daughter first crack at my copy, then my friends get it!  I don’t remember who recommended this to me on Twitter last year, but I’m very, very glad they did.

Check out some other reviews at


Posted by on April 15, 2010 in books, reviews


Tags: , ,

4 responses to “Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

  1. Lenore

    April 16, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    Thanks for linking to my review! I loved this novel. I’m pretty sure it is in my top 10 YA of all time.

  2. Lisa

    April 18, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Sounds like a fun one, perhaps one I could get my h.s. daughter, who doesn’t really like to read, interested in.

  3. Kari

    April 21, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    This was recommended to me last year with the comment, “It’s Harriet the Spy meets Prep.” Well, I’m sold. I really enjoyed it as well. I pretty much enjoy any character that resembles Harriet M. Welsh.


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