I had high hopes for this book- it had such an exciting premise. I ended up enjoying the book, but it didn’t make a lasting impression.

Frankie Landau-Banks is the witty, shy daughter of Frances Banks, or as she and her sister Zada call him, “Senior”. She attends the prep school Alabaster, where she is a prominent member of the Debate team. Frankie is not exactly popular, or even close. She had a boyfriend, Porter Welsch, but broke up with him. That was pretty much her boring freshman year of high school.
Somehow, Frankie finally grows into her angular face over the summer, and people notice her. Especially one boy- Matthew Livingston. He just happens to be extremely handsome (Frankie’s freshman crush) and very clever. He plays with words with her, as his Dad was an editor once. His Dad now owns about five newspapers; therefore Matthew treats Frankie like royalty. He’s a dream-come-true for Frankie. At first.

Soon she realizes that Matthew is hiding a secret from Frankie, and she begins to worry that he only thinks of her as cute. And Frankie wants Matthew to think of her as much much more. She has the brains, but can she run his secret society?
I expected Frankie to have clever feminist remarks like her much cooler sister Zada. The motive behind her thievery? Not impressive. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but as a book with some uber feminist morals, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart lacks. If you’re looking for some females overcoming male rule, look to the Kiki Strike books or read about any famous women’s suffrage supporters. I did not find that Frankie was a strong female lead, because her connection with Matthew was the basis of the problem.

Despite these obvious problems, I did enjoy the book. The end, especially. Finally some action with motives other than Matthew. I would definitely recommend this book to teen girls- the overall morals are good (Frankie looks down on drinking) and it is a fun read.

I have not read any of E. Lockhart’s other books, and most likely won’t. They seem darker/dirtier than this book. I hope that she uses her talents in writing to stray from the genre of chick-lit. Now that would be a book I would love! Her snarky narration is quite amusing.

So, read The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks if you want a quick, easy read, but don’t go looking for a second Kiki Strike.

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