The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. LockhartThe Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
Publisher: Hyperion
Number of pages: 342
My copy: hardbound, bought from Fully Booked (on sale!)

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.

This is the story of how she got that way.

* * *

A few years ago, I watched a lot of TV shows religiously. I don’t know what got me into it, or how I discovered some of them, but I end up having my hard drive full of shows week after week. One of those shows I liked very much (and was still very sad that it had been cancelled too early) was Pushing Daisies. I wasn’t really much into the characters and I was just mildly intrigued by the story. I think the main reason why I liked that show so much was because of the narrator. If you’re not familiar with the show, think of the movie Matilda. They both have that same, amused sounding narrator that guides you in the story, guiding you with the character’s emotions instead of just letting the actors and actresses show you what they’re feeling. It’s not a sign of bad acting, of course, but a clever way of making the story leave more impact, I suppose.

It was exactly that narrator voice that I remembered while reading E. Lockhart’s The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. I’ve heard a lot about this book from book blogs, and I was lucky to spot a hardcover copy of this book on the bargain table during one of the Fully Booked sales. This contemporary YA novel tells the story of Frances Rose Landau-Banks, aka Frankie, aka Bunny Rabbit — a 15 year old sophomore in Alabaster Academy. She’s smart, she comes from a rich family and she’s recently grew into her body, earning her a slightly higher physical reputation among the “geeks” that she’s a part of in school.

But Frankie is not just a girl. She’s not just Bunny Rabbit. Frankie doesn’t want to be her boyfriend’s arm candy, even if he is popular and adorable and his kisses could make her weak in the knees. Frankie is determined not to be left out, especially by her boyfriend’s all-male secret society (that is not so secret because her father was a member). Thus starts Frankie’s disreputable history.

Ah, what a fun novel. I liked how smart this book is, with all its grammar geekiness and social terms such as the panopticon and the existence of secret social societies in boarding schools. I loved the entire Alabaster environment, even if it reeked of rich kids whose connections, not necessarily their skills, will make them powerful in the future. I liked how the story progressed, and how everything connected in the end. Because of the style of narration, I felt like I was one step ahead of the story, and I was able to snicker at how some of the characters were so stupid at how Frankie was duping them all.

Frankie and the rest of the characters were fleshed out well, although the way the story was told may hinder the readers from really getting to know the characters. Some people might get turned off with this one, but I liked it. It felt fresh, and despite how the narration kept me at arm’s length with the characters, I still saw them as whole and completely thinking characters. Somehow, the boys in this novel reminded me of the boys in John Green’s Looking for Alaska, sans the massive smoking and more of the geekery. Frankie is such a smart character that I can’t help but wish I was like her when I was younger.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is a very, very smart novel, and yeah, a bit feminist, but I don’t think guys would not enjoy this one. I had so much fun reading it that even if I was busy, I always made time to read a few pages of it each that. That, and I was very sad to reach the end of it — it felt like it was too soon, but I think the ending was just right for the story.

I also found this very interesting post about this book at one of the tumblrs I follow, Reasoning with Vampires. This includes some passages from the book, nothing spoilery, and a very good comparison with another popular lead character out there *cough*Bella Swan*cough*. No offense to anyone. :)

From Reasoning with Vampires (reasoningwithvampires.tumblr.com)

From Reasoning with Vampires (reasoningwithvampires.tumblr.com)

I recommend this book for those who like good contemporary YA novels with smart characters, boarding schools, some grammar geekiness and lots of pranks. :) This is my first Lockhart novel, but it definitely won’t be my last. :)

Rating:

2011 Challenge Status:
Required Reading – July

Other reviews:
The Book Smugglers
Angieville
Persnickety Snark
Presenting Lenore
Forever Young Adult

Required Reading: July

Everyone’s been saying this now, but of course I will say this again: look, it’s July. It’s the third quarter, it’s the second half of the year. Where is time going?

Anyway now, as opposed to my Required Reading for May challenge, June wasn’t so good. I’m not exactly sure what happened, and to think scaling down to two books will help me finish reading all in a month. But nooo, I ended up reading other things, so Noli Me Tangere and The Book Thief remained just…started. Not exactly untouched. I started on them, but somewhere along the way, I stopped.

I did read many good books this month…so it’s not waste month, of course. I guess this goes to show how I feel about books with more than 500 pages. Heh.

So let’s start anew. Hello again, July!

Required Reading: July

I was consulting my Required Reading list for July that I kept in my planner and saw that there was no set theme again. I was lining up my books again and I realized that if I had a fantasy month, then I should have a contemporary month, right?Celebrate realistic YA with The Contemps!

So here we go:

  1. The God Box by Alex Sanchez
  2. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
  3. Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
  4. What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
  5. Dark Blue by Melody Carlson

Oh gasp, look — five books? Well I figured this should be easier now, especially since I love contemporary fiction, and one of the books is a book in verse (I’m starting to like them very much now!). I am going to be on night shift for this month, too, so I’m hoping that that would help me read more whenever I find free time.

Or I could just keep on trying, you know. :)

If you’re interested in participating in this challenge, here’s a rule recap:

  • The books should be read within the specified month
  • These books should be in my TBR and not yet to be acquired
  • These books cannot be used for any other reading challenges I am participating in.

Leave a comment so I can put you on the round up! Happy July everyone! :)

Required Reading: July round up!

In My Mailbox (14): Mother’s Day and a Long Hiatus

Before anything else!

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms out there! :)

Especially to mine:

<3Thank you for getting me all those books when I was a kid even if you’re not too fond of reading, and I know sometimes you think I read too much. :D  Thank you for reading all the things I wrote despite that fact. :) I love you!

* * *

It’s been a long time since I last did an In My Mailbox post. Other than laziness and trying to resist buying books, I went on a book-buying fast during the Lenten season. I could not buy books for myself, but I can buy them as gifts, or receive them as gifts since my birthday falls within Lent. It’s all good, and I ended up using the usual book money for other equally important things, like clothes.

But as soon as Easter morning came, I went to Book Depository and ordered books. :) It felt nice, to celebrate victory in that way. The books aren’t here yet, though, so that will be for another posts.

The books I bought in recent bookstore trips are a different matter. And so after a long hiatus, here’s my 14th In My Mailbox. In My Mailbox is a weekly book meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren, where bloggers post about what books received that week, be it via  mailbox, library or store.

In My Mailbox (14)

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In My Mailbox (11)

I really did not mean to get any books these week (yes, I know I always say that), but Fully Booked Eastwood is on sale…so how can I resist? It’s not like Cyber Monday, but still. Resistance against books is always, always futile.

Oh, and I got some awesome galleys and some books I won arrived this week…and that’s totally free. I can’t help that too, right? ;)

In My Mailbox is a weekly book meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren, where bloggers post about what books received that week, be it via  mailbox, library or store. Here’s this week’s stash!

BOUGHT:

  1. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. I got the UK edition after Chachic, Aaron and I browsed it in Fully Booked Gateway during the last FBB meet up. This hardly looks like a book at all, with its layout and designs inside. Plus it’s pretty cheap for somewhat of a “hardcover”.  Look:
  2. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. Grace and I were browsing through the 80% off table in Fully Booked Eastwood when I saw a very familiar spine. I picked it up and yes! It’s this book! Hard cover, 80% off! :) Of course I had to get it. Talk about steal. :P
  3. Naermyth by Karen Francisco. I was originally planning to get The Giver by Lois Lowry (yes, I haven’t read that yet!), but when I wandered over to the Filipiniana section in Fully Booked and saw this. I read the blurb and my pulse quickened — could it be? Local dystopian fantasy? It seems like it! I started reading this yesterday but my copy had a printing error so I returned it to Fully Booked. Now I have a proper copy and I can continue reading. Watch out for my review soon. :)

WON:

On the Edge and Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews

I got great news almost a month ago that I won Dee’s 100+ Follower Giveaway. I get to pick any book (or books) worth $15 from Book Depository sponsored by The Book Quoter. I was wondering when the package would arrive and I was kind of worried, too, since we moved to an apartment and I don’t know if they would get delivered to me. Friday was a good day, though, when I saw the packages waiting at my dresser. Yay! I now have more Ilona Andrews books to read! Thanks again Dee and Book Quoter. :)

FOR REVIEW:

Lots of awesome books from Netgalley and Simon & Schuster! :)

  • The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa (currently reading The Iron Daughter, review of The Iron King up!)
  • My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent (must finish reading My Soul to Keep)
  • Wither by Lauren DeStefano
  • Choker by Elizabeth Woods
  • Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
  • Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves
  • Haven by Kristi Cook
  • Deadly by Julie Chibbaro

So many books, so little time! :o I have no idea when I’ll be able to read this and my mountain of TBR…but I guess I should be used to that already, right?

What’s in your mailbox this week? :)