The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart (22 September — 23 September)

Aaah I love this book!

That’s what I wrote as a placeholder for this entry before I started it, but it’s so true. This is one of those books that is thoroughly entertaining but sneakily makes you think about societal status quos and your own personal set of norms and it’s all sociological and anthropological and fun. Well, if you’re into that sort of thing, anyway.

Plot: Frankie Landau-Banks is an average teenager, starting her sophomore year at her not-so-average boarding school in Massachusetts. Things are going really well — she’s taking fun classes, she’s rooming with a good friend, and the boy she’s been crushing on forever (well, teenage forever) totally asked her out! Yay! But she soon realizes that Matthew and his gang aren’t really as into her as she is into them. Also they are part of an all-male secret society that Frankie’s father was in, and Frankie’s not too thrilled about that. She decides to start thwarting some of those aforementioned status quos, and it’s pretty awesome.

The book is full of sociological- and psychological-type talk about feminism and classism and ageism and fitting into the society inherent in a New England boarding school. Frankie’s not exactly a sympathetic character; she plays the same games that Matthew does and isn’t the nicest person. But you can definitely understand why she does what she does, and I at least was totally rooting for her and wishing I had the ovaries (because balls is a masculine construction, as Frankie’s sister points out) to pull off some of the pranks she does.

Oh, and there’s some bonus Wodehouse love, and you can’t beat that.

Rating: 10/10
(Countdown Challenge: 2008)

See also:
The Bluestocking Society
Persnickety Snark
Book Nut
Library Queue

Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.

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