Saturday, November 1, 2014

Rant/Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-BanksTitle: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Author: E. Lockhart
Publication Date: March 25, 2008
Genre: Contemporary
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 Landau-Banks, at age 16: 
Possibly a criminal mastermind.

This is the story of how she got that way. 

1 Star

The synopsis should have set off sirens in my head.

From the summary alone, what does this seem like? The story of a Mary Sue obsessed with herself. Oh, goody. *eye roll*

In reality, this was a book about a girl who thinks she's better than the entire female population and spends the majority of her high school career trying to prove herself to guys.

Now tell me, how is this in any way "feminist" (which the books sets out to be) if all it does is make girls seem lesser than guys? If you ever wanted to read a book that tries extremely hard to be feminist but ends coming off as propaganda, then here it is in the form of a contemporary novel.

I HATE being preached to.

And this book does exactly that.

Say goodbye to subtlety, because TDHoFLB (what an ugly acronym) employs any and all methods possible to shove its personal agenda across--that is, to portray the "ideal female." Forget girl friends, because Frankie is OBVIOUSLY smarter and more intelligent than them. Liking "girly" stuff? Nope, nope, nope. Frankie wants to be the best, and the best is gaining the approval of teenage guys.

Not only does she crave their validation, but she also paints them as evul beings and the scum of the Earth (how this makes sense, I have no idea). So if all girls are stupid, and all guys are power-hungry, then what is she?

Speshul. Different. A genius. Of course.


She rants on and on and tries to prove time and time again how "independent" she is, but why does she pay so much attention to guys if she don't need no men? In the end she comes off as a bratty teenage girl who is used to getting everything she wants, and when she doesn't all hell breaks loose.

Hey, I'm all for female empowerment and standing up for yourself, but when you get mad over every little minuscule thing that is extremely insignificant in the grand scheme of things, how am I supposed to support you, much less respect you?

What really made me want to rip my hair out was the part where Frankie refuses to join the field hockey team. Fine, good for you, whatever. But the reason she adamantly rejected it was because only girls play the sport. Are you freaking kidding me? There are no words. RAGE.


Who says you can't be cute and deadly? *snickers*
Not only was Frankie insanely sexist, but she was also pretentious and snobby. Really, I shouldn't have expected anything less from a book about a high-profile private school with a bunch of privileged white kids and their white kid problems. Go figure.

There was absolutely nothing positive about this book, aside from the fact that it has a shiny sticker award that proves that it makes kids smarter. #sarcasm Oh, and I learned some new words not-so-subtly interwoven in the writing, straight from an SAT book. Yay for thesauruses!

I highly doubt I'll be reading any of Lockhart's books at any point in the future. This book just angered me so much that I doubt think I'll be able to handle any of her other novels. Moreover, her writing is glaringly pretentious in a way that comes off as I'm-smart-and-clever-and-you're-not-hahaha.  AKA, John Green was most likely inspired by you.

I don't know why everyone and their mom praises this book. I truly don't think this book is the best one to be shoving into teens' hands, nor is it the best portrayal of feminism in YA. In fact, it's probably the worst.


  1. Omg, that GIF!! Bwahaha! I actually read her other book We Were Liars and was totally gobsmacked by its ending, but I can tell I'd be less patient with another white-privilege sob story, especially if its focus is anti-femininity :P
    Great review as always!