August 26, 2008

For Girls Who Think

From: Porter Welsch [pw034@alabastarprepatory.edu]
To: Frances Landau-Banks [fl202@alabasterprepatory.edu]
Subject: Hey

Frankie, what's up? Hope your term is going well so far. I want to apologize for what happened with Bess last year.
-- Porter

From: Frances Landau-Banks [fl202@alabasterprepatory.edu]
To: Porter Welsch [pw034@alabastarprepatory.edu]
Subject: Hey

You mean, you want to apologize, or you are apologizing? Your grammar is indistinct.


Okay -- let's take a moment to remember The Gilmore Girls.

Remember when that TV show was ...smart, and not all angsty and impossibly twisted and ridiculous? Remember when Rory actually read books and knew things and was self-conscious and brilliant and brave, all on her own?

Do you miss her?

You don't have to. You can find her younger, stronger, better, smarter sister in The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.

No, seriously. I've had this book for months and have read and reread it because it puts me in a Gilmore frame of mind.

Rich parents? Check.
Ridiculous clubby secret society? Check.
Gorgeous and literate and word-savy and relentless and bent on completely subverting the system? Check, check, check, and check.

Frankie just wants to be ...something real. But how can she be, when she is her father's "Bunny Rabbit," which brings to mind the image of something that quivers and sniffles and had long, fuzzy ears? How can she, when her mother doesn't trust her to walk on the Boardwalk by herself, and when her feminist sister, away at college, thinks her concerns with boys and such are a little juvenile?

Her Dad's always gone on and on about the Secret Order of the Basset Hounds, and how they changed his world. Frankie's not sure she should be intrigued -- until her sophomore year when she thinks the boy she's crushed on, Matthew Livingston, is part of the club. They're recruiting for new members... but they're only boys.

If only Matthew would just let her in on the things going on with him -- but he won't. He's so good looking, such a great boyfriend, otherwise, but he's just too secretive...and a bit condescending. He doesn't see Frankie as anyone but a pretty little package he is somehow molding; a cute little mind who will soon be kind of mind he wants in the kind of girl wants her to be around. To him, she's just ... a Bunny Rabbit.

Oh, no! Not again!
And, Frankie decides, not ever again.

This is the novel for all the girls who get sick of just waiting quietly and looking meek, gentle, and other bits of someone else's idea of feminine, while the guys get the indulgent "boys will be boys" chat and have all the fun. Frankie manages to be a lady -- smart, good looking, intelligent and well dressed -- and still pull the best pranks of all time anyway.

Some people aren't fond of this book because it's told in third person omniscient, and we're not as close to Frankie as we are to Ruby and some of the other awesome E. Lockhart characters. But I simply adore Frankie, and wasn't put off by the voice, which seems to hover in an invisible helicopter above the pristine campus of Alabaster Prep, seeing all, and making snappy, acerbic comments. I am crossing my fingers that Lockhart isn't through with this character yet.

Nope, I haven't told you much... any more, and I might ruin the plot. Go. Now. Read.


Buy this book from an independent bookstore near you!


Quotations taken from an uncorrected advanced proof, courtesy of Hyperion.

1 comment:

Jess said...

I just pushed this on a patron the other day - her daughter liked an earlier E. Lockhart, and I was loading her up with other books to take home. This one is definitely my favorite.