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.
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.
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