Book reviews

BOOK REVIEW: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

 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: No longer the kind of girl to take ‘no’ for an answer.  Especially when ‘no’ means she’s excluded from her boyfriend’s all-male  secret society. Not when her ex-boyfriend shows up in the strangest of  places. Not when she knows she’s smarter than any of them. When she knows Matthew’s lying to her. And when there are so many, many pranks to be done.

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 16: Possibly a criminal mastermind.

This is the story of how she got that way.

Source: Bought – Kmart $9 (yay!)
352 pages

My Rating:

I was really disappointed with this book, actually. I’d been seeing it everywhere and I was hearing brilliant things about We Were Liars and when I saw an E Lockhart book on the shelf for a bargain price of $9, I bought it feeling so excited for a well-reviewed book.

From the very beginning, it was bland. The synopsis sounded interesting. Something different, quirky and fun but it turned out boring, uneventful and lacking depth. The writing style itself was good, the concepts it would bring up were very insightful and the story line and how it was developed just didn’t fit well.

We follow Frankie Landau-Banks, this sassy teenage girl whom puberty worked out well for (I wish that happened to me yet I’m still short and scrawny). She attracts the attention of the popular senior, Matthew and soon a relationship begins between them. Soon, she realises the flaws of Matthew and the secrets he keep. Not deep, dark, mysterious secrets but stupid, exclusive ones that really don’t mean anything. E Lockhart tried to bring Frankie’s character out as witty, intelligent, stubborn and strong. I found her character quite shallow. There was really nothing to her except for her drive to impress her boyfriend’s secret male club by impersonating as the Alpha. I found that there was absolutely nothing to her and Matthew’s relationship except for the mutual acceptance that they’re both quite attractive. Matthew was annoying and the type of boy (NOT man) that like their girlfriends, petty, loyal and weak. His little “basset hound” club reminded me Dead Poet’s Society except that the only point to their club was to feel cool and exclusive. I did, though admire Frankie’s intelligence. She was smart and she was her own person but by trying to be her own person, she ended up like everyone else. She mentions in the book that she loves Matthew. There was absolutely no love between them. Matthew treated her like crap, like some disposable girl that he can dump to hangout with his sexist buddies.

Throughout this whole book, nothing really happened. It’s a normal sized novel but it was just so uneventful. It really is just pranks upon pranks. Even if the pranks were really smart and carried out well, it just felt too monotonous. What I did find myself looking forward to were the chapter titles. I thought those were really good. And the point which I loved was the positive negatives of words. We use a lot of the negative form of words not knowing that there is also the negative. For example, deprive. We use “deprive” frequently without realising that “prive” is also a word. See? The positive negative. I thought that was really clever.

In conclusion, it really wasn’t that great a novel. The story never really picked up or drew me in. All the characters were shallow and lacked everything that makes a substantial character. Nevertheless, I still really want to read We Were Liars. I’m sure that that should be an amazing book. I hope Kmart will stock it so I can pay $9 instead of $15. Please, Kmart!



9 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

  1. Yikes, this one does not sound good. I cannot stand shallow characters. And also, puberty did not work out for me either. So I am hating Frankie on so many levels right now 😉 Why would she want to be in this club? And why would she want to have this jerk as a boyfriend? This sounds like one big fail. I hope you like We Were Liars better (though, I have to admit, it was not my favorite either). Great review!


  2. Ugh yeah I was not a fan of this one AT ALL either. And I hated how anti-femnism this book was, too. <.< I totally didn't get why Frankie kept Matthew as her boyfriend, especially since she disliked him already.

    Fantastic review <33


  3. Don’t you love K-mart!

    I’ve seen this everywhere but it hasn’t really interested me, and yours is the first review I felt like reading. I don’t think this one will be for me. I’m interested in reading We Were Liars though.


  4. Oh wow, it’s a huge shame you didn’t like this novel! I have recently finished We Were Liars and I did love that one in its own way, especially the characters. But the characters here don’t seem to have the best ideals and I don’t like a book where seemingly nothing happens :/ I hope you like We Were Liars more…

    Liked by 1 person

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