Friday, March 13, 2015

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks- E.Lockhart- Strong, Witty, Feminist

When reading E.Lockhart’s ‘We Were Liars’ I found the novel’s style of writing to be very unique and have a strong influence on the atmosphere of the novel, making it more dramatic and intense. I hoped that there were other books that were written in such a way. So I decided to read another E.Lockhart book and thus I began reading ‘The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks’. Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I was left disappointed with the novel as I was expecting it to be just as intriguing as ‘We Were Liars’. I didn’t feel a deep connection with the characters, whereas I had with the protagonists in the other novel, and I didn’t find myself being drawn into another world. The book still had an interesting plot with some witty characters, but I personally didn’t enjoy reading it as much. However, I found the way in which the book expressed and supported feminism, with the main character being a strong and determined young woman, who desires to be loved and known for who she is, extremely powerful: 'She hoped, she hoped... That he would... Admire her cleverness, her ambition, her vision. That he would admit her as his equal, or even as his superior, and love her for what she was capable of'

'Secrets are more powerful when people know you've got them'

Frankie Laudau-Banks goes to a prestigious and very disciplinary boarding school where all the students come from important families. Frankie enjoys school; she has good friends, is part of the debate team and Matthew Livingston roams the same corridors. This year, Frankie wants to be known and wants to stop being another normal tenth grader. She wants to stand out but doesn’t exactly know where, or how to start. To her advantage, Frankie has grown up into a beautiful and intelligent young woman over the summer and so, attracts Matthew Livingston’s eye. With the school year starting off successfully, Matthew and Frankie’s new friendship develops and they become more than friends. Frankie is soon running in the same circles and crowd as Matthew and is becoming friends with the older, most popular seniors. Their relationship is almost everything Frankie dreamed of, but she can’t help but feel that Matthew’s keeping something from her. Frankie, being a curious and brave girl, is unlike other girlfriends and will stop at nothing to find out what his secret is…

'Frankie wanted to be a force'

One night, after following Matthew to the school’s abandoned theatre, Frankie discovers her boyfriend’s secret. She finds herself spying on an all male, secret meeting being held by a few of the most popular boys in school, including Matthew. After furtively attending a few more meetings, Frankie finds herself being drawn to the strong bond and brotherhood of the members, and immediately wants to be part of such a group. These members form the rebellious and mysterious group known as ’The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds’ (’The Loyal Order’). ’The Loyal Order’ aren't law-abiding and their sole purpose is to rebel against the school’s rules in the most subtle of ways, their identities are unknown to the whole school. Frankie’s curiosity gets the better of her and she soon finds herself sneaking through the school’s underground tunnels, lying to her friends and creating a new identity for herself and scheming, just so she can unravel the history of ‘The Loyal Order’ and be part of something special. 

'And even though Frankie found the meetings to be disorganized and their Halloween ideas dumb, she wanted to be part of it'

As I mentioned before, I thought this book was worth reading and the character of Frankie was extremely different from other female characters in other books, as she learns what she wants from the world independently and is confident with who she is. Some aspects of the book were unusual, yet amusing. E.Lockhart does in fact write this novel with yet another unique style of writing, but I did not enjoy it as much as I did the one in ‘We Were Liars’. I do recommend this book but I think it would be a good read for children around the age of 12. 


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