The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks - E. Lockhart A unique read with a really likeable heroine, Frankie Landau-Banks.

Frankie attends the prestigious Alabaster Prep Boarding School, where she finds herself part of the popular crowd after summer brings her new curves that catch the attention of her long-time crush, Matthew Livingston. Not only does Matthew become Frankie's boyfriend, but his entire crew of tight-knit buddies come as part of the package. Frankie loves her new friends, but she can't help but feel that she will always remain an outsider because she is "only" a girlfriend. She'll only be valued for her pretty face and her appeal as arm candy, never respected for her thoughts or any contributions she might make to the fun they all have.

When Frankie manages to gain an inside look at the secret Royal Order of the Basset Hounds, the generations-old social club that Matthew and his friends belong to, she finally finds a way to really be a part of the gang. For a while, she sits at the top of the heap. But when secrets start to come out, Frankie realizes that she has to be true to herself, no matter what the cost.

I found Frankie to be a delightful character who serves as an excellent role model for teen girls because of her intelligence, resourcefulness, and determination to be more than a "pretty thing" with a "little mind". Too, the story and plot were quite unique and a refreshing departure from so many of the typical boys-meets-girl-angst-ensues that fill YA books these days. I also loved Lockhart's writing style and voice, very literary with an old-school feel that really lent itself to creating the atmosphere of the book.

That said, I found myself wishing we got to know Matthew and Alpha and the other male characters a bit better. We were only told how wonderful they all were, never really shown why it was that Frankie loved so much being a part of their group. In the end, I also found Matthew's behaviour to be reprehensible and so his entire character was destroyed for me.

In the end, this was a great book. I'd expected a lot due to the many positive reviews I'd read about it, so I think perhaps I felt a slight let-down. But I do recommend it to anyone who likes strong, smart heroines