The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

 
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0786838183
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Smart Little Doggie
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5.0
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5.0
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The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart begins with a written confession addressed to the administrative powers-that-be at the Alabaster Preparatory Academy. In the letter, Frances Rose Landau-Banks claims "full responsibility for the disruptions caused by the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds . . . [t]hat is, [she] wrote the directives telling everyone what to do."

But just who are these Hounds and what did they do? Who is Frances and why would she send her fellow students on these random acts of disruption?

Alabaster was once an all-male prep school. Even after it became co-educational, its secret society remained a boys-only club. The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds was famous - infamous, really - for its pranks, which were more kooky than cruel, more sophomoric than serious.

Frankie was once a quiet girl. Even after she became a curvy sophomore, she remained true to herself, not really aware of her new looks. Then she got her first serious boyfriend, and she was content with their relationship - for a time.

Before she was (in)famous, Frankie was the harmless little sister, the underclassman, the girl who knew but didn't really know. She was the younger sister of outspoken senior Zada. She was the youngest child of divorced parents, getting her name from her father, Alabaster alum Frank Banks and her conservative nature from her mother, Ruth. She enjoyed her freshman year at boarding school. She enjoyed the summer after her freshman year, when she read Dorothy Parker stories on vacation and had a chance encounter that would later prove interesting.

The book follows her through the age of fifteen, then sixteen, as her sophomore year and her curiosity lead her down an interesting path. After learning about the Order, she quickly assumes power over the group - without any of the boys knowing it. What happens next is a quiet riot, a series of misadventures involving (though not simultaneously) a statue of a fish, a Superman T-shirt, a lot of dog masks, a burned arm, and a small notebook.

Both snarky and serious, this History is written by the victors: the memorable narrator and the author. Frankie is smart, grounded, and direct, but she also has a quirky side. She has a thing for "impeas," imagined neglected positives, like ept as opposed to inept or gruntled as opposed to disgruntled. Author E. Lockhart (The Boyfriend List, Dramarama) writes with heart and authentic feeling. In this novel, she uses third-person present-tense, yet is able to capture her protagonist's thoughts and actions so well that readers will feel as though they are Frankie's roommates.

This book is, dare I say, a coming-of-age story. It's not about breaking the rules, nor it is about controlling others. It's about daring: daring to be yourself, daring to stand up for yourself, daring to step outside of your comfort zone, daring to change the world. This novel possesses all of the elements necessary for a good bildungsroman, following the protagonist's journey through her formative years. History has an incredible conclusion, and Frankie becomes a remarkable young woman.
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The Loyal Order of the Bassets Strikes Again!
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5.0
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5.0
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Frankie Landau-Banks is not satisfied being the cute high school sophomore who needs protecting by her boyfriend. Shes not satisfied that shes not taken seriously by her family or friends. Shes not satisfied that shes excluded from Alabaster Prep Schools all male Loyal Order of the Bassets, even though her father was a member. Even her boyfriend, Matthew, is a member, but he wont admit or discuss it because its that secret. Hes even co-king, along with Alpha.

Frankie never gets alone time with Matthew because hes always either with all his Bassett friends or on callevery time Alpha calls, Matthew runs off with some feeble excuse, leaving her high and dry. Matthews correcting her grammar rather than listening to what she has to say, is the last straw. Its time for revengeor to prove a point.

And the opportunity arises. The Bassets always pull a Halloween prank at Alabaster. But this years prank is lame by any standard. When Alpha is forced to go to a spa, incommunicado, with his loony mother for four days over Halloween, Frankie seizes control. She sets up a phony e-mail account and under the guise of Alpha, directs the Bassets in an ingenious prank. It works so well, she proceeds to organize several more over the following weekspranks with panache, pranks making a statement, pranks with purpose. It all works well---until Alpha mistakenly gets caught.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is Lockharts best book. It is extremely well written. Theres action, romance, humor. It tells a great story, but it also has a moral. Should a young girl be satisfied with the status quo, just because shes a girl? Can she be taken seriously as a thinker, do-er, planner? Can she change the world? Should she want to change the world? Frankie is a character youll want to know, maybe even want to be. Youll love and also hate Matthew and the other Bassets. Trust me. You wont want to put this book down. This is a must read.

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The Disreputable History review
Overall rating
 
2.7
Plot
 
3.0
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2.0
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3.0
I thought The Disreputable History was a quick, good read, but I don't feel the affection for it everyone else seems to.

Part of my issue is Frankie herself. Now, don't get me wrong. I know what it's like to be a teen feeling conflicted about herself and completely sure you're right (that's not to say you're wrong, but I often look back at myself and just shake my head a bit). So, I can really understand that aspect of her, but I still don't particularly like her.

I was kind of cringing watching Frankie go on and on about feminism while staying with a guy who so apparently thought little of her. Sure, she would acknowledge this -- she wasn't blind to it -- but she didn't do anything until the end. And, while I think Matthew's reaction was overblown, I couldn't really understand why it surprised her so much. He constantly shut her up when she was attempting an intelligent conversation by telling her she was adorable -- and not in the cute looks way.

I didn't like the way counselling was just thrown in at the end and then subsequently brushed aside. I didn't like that the narrator made Frankie seem above or better than counselling. Now, I don't think we should just throw kids at counselors whenever they do something we don't understand, but it shouldn't be treated as a slight to one's person-ness. I mean, Frankie was all about how nobody understood her, but she wouldn't tell anyone how she felt.

As for the other characters?
Porter: There's no excuse for cheating, but from what we see of his character, he's a much better guy than the other two options.
Alpha: Guy with a giant ego who's a little bit of a douche-face. I found it interesting that Matthew and Frankie were the only two characters who really showed true, unabashed admiration for him.
Matthew: Insecure guy who needs other people to be around him and validate his coolness. Also a bit of a douche-face.
Trisha: Pretty much an all-around great friend. Always there for Frankie besides the fact that Frankie is kind of a crap friend throughout the book.

So, it sounds a bit like I hated it, I know. I didn't, though. It was a pretty good read, but the problem is that I have nothing in particular to point out that I really enjoyed.

The Nutshell: The Disreputable History didn't live up to my expectations put on it by the many bloggers singing its praises. I wanted to like it more, but I didn't find Frankie at all relatable, nor any of the other characters. Relatability isn't exactly a requirement for me to like a book, but I should at least feel some way or another about the character (and preferably not a constant state of annoyance). I don't think my time spent with this story was wasted, but I likely would not have picked it up had I known I'd feel pretty indifferent with a hint of annoyance after reading it.

Miss
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Ugh
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2.0
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2.0
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0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by moonymaster

So, This book was pretty good until the end. That is where it died for me. It was interesting how Frankie evolved into who she became. The popular girl and all that. But at the end it basically had gone round circle and just stopped. Except for a few minor lessons for Frankie and a very distressed Matthew wasn't she back where she began. Yeah I guess she was kinda a legend or something but for me it felt very irritating for the book to end the way it did and that is why it just barely deserves 2 stars.

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Power to the girls!
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5.0
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5.0
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0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by cieli

The Disreputable History Of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart is an amazing novel who's main character is a strong willed, sharp tounged  girl who will do anything to prove that she is as good a the guys. When the males at her school have a secret club she decides that it's very sexist of them to assume that only males can pull pranks and actually get away with it. She proves to all teens that read this story that gender does not specify who you are. Just because your a boy doesnt mean you can't like the color pink, just beacause your a girl does not mean that you can't play football. Frankie is a role model for all females by proving that girls are just as good as guys!
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Don't judge a book by it's cover
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4.0
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4.0
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Reader reviewed by WilowRaven

YA Fiction.
I very much enjoyed this book. The protagonist, Frankie
is smart, funny and constantly underestimated by her family, friends
and especially her popular new boyfriend. Frankie is a student at
Alabaster Preparatory Academy and her boyfriend is part of a "Good Old
Boys" club called The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds. Frankie knows
she will never truly belong to this group but she is determined to
discover their secrets and make her own mark in life - by beating the
boys at their own game. Lockhart makes some interesting correlations
between Alabaster and The Panopticon.

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A reputable book
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4.0
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4.0
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0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by mearley

Frankie is a sophomore at an elite New England boarding school.  While dating a senior, she realizes that even though he likes her, his first priority is to be with his friends.  Feeling left out, Frankie follows Matthew one night and eavesdrops on a meeting of a secret society--no girls allowed.  Desperately wanting Matthew to respect her on the same level he respects his "brothers," Frankie starts secretly manipulating the secret society.

Told by a detached yet informed narrator, advanced readers will find this novel a nice change of pace from typical YA books.  I really enjoyed Frankie's manipulation of language and the complexity of her character.  On the other hand, her desperate need for acceptance by the boys began to annoy me.  (But maybe that's what will make readers relate to her.  Many high school girls feel the same way...)

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Okay, I guess.
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4.0
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4.0
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Reader reviewed by GirlwiththeBraids

Alabaster Prep is a widely-known boarding school with rich kids roaming the halls. Alabaster students dont give a second thought to the mysterious all-male society, the Basset Hounds. Some of them dont even know who they are. Then a mildy geeky, curvaceous young woman, Frankie Landau-Banks, wants to take the Basset Hounds farther than just quiet beer parties and lame pumpkin pranks. But she cant become a member because, obviously, she is a girl and her boyfriend would certainly not let her join (though he, himself, is a member). In a world of goofballs and wannabes, Frankie must show the Bassets how its done.

The story itself was original and fun. The writing was phenomenal and put other books to shame. I tried really hard, though, to like Frankie, the main character, but I didnt not achieve my goal. The only character I did like was looked down upon by everyone else in the book. Once I got to the middle, I was a little drawn away from it. There was a lot of feminism.

The quirky pranks were hilarious so I got a kick out of reading it. I also learned a lot of new words that I will try to remember in the future and use in my everyday vocabulary. Though I had a lot of back-and-forth admiration for this book, it is definitely worth checking out at your local library.

(Another left-down, but there are some sexual references within the pages of this book.)
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E. Lockhart is Brilliant
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4.0
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4.0
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Reader reviewed by Vanessa

Summary: Frankie Landau-Banks has always just been Bunny Rabbit. Known as harmless and adorable to the people around her. She attends Alabaster, a boarding school that her dad thinks more of a way of making connections for after you graduate rather than for its magnificent education system. Frankie comes back for her sophomore year a new woman... she is prettier and has grown boobs. Of course, big man on campus Matthew Livingston notices this when he stumbles on her having fallen over her bike. They begin a relationship. But this relationship is not ordinary. Matthew is keeping secrets from her. The loyalty he has with the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds is greater than a 2-month-old relationship. Since Matthew doesn't seem to want to tell Frankie about this secret society, Frankie tries to find out herself. And what she does after that is more than any other Basset has ever done (which have all been males, by the way). Frankie has always been underestimated and in this way she thinks to prove to everybody what she is capable of. However, what happens when things get more complicated?
My Thoughts (may contain spoilers): Great book! I mean, it took me around 60 or 70 pages to really get into it. But then on it was nonstop action. It made me laugh (once) even though it's not supposed to. I really didn't like Matthew much. He was so ugh, acting as though he didn't remember her from freshman year, etc. I wished something happened with Alpha. However, this book kept me on the edge of my seat as I was reading. Frankie is really something and I admire her character. I think I'll start using neglected positives from now on, haha.

Reposted at whatvanessareads.wordpress.com
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Infiltrating the All-Male Secret Society
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4.0
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4.0
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0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Stephanie

The summer before her sophomore year at the esteemed Alabaster Prep boarding school, Frankie Bunny Rabbit Landau-Banks grows into an attractive young woman. With her new physique comes male attention in the form of Matthew Livingston, the handsome and self-assured senior Frankies had her eye on for a while; admittance into his enviable group of friends&and not much else, she soon begins to realize. For everyone only knows her as Matthews Girl, and if she even tries to make a semi-intelligent comment or argument, no one seems to really hear her.

So Frankie decides to take things into her own hands. There is a secret society at school, The Loyal Order of the Basset Hound, that stands for camaraderie, disorder, pranking&and masculinity, for it is an all-male club. Frankies ultra-WASPy father was a proud basset hound, and so, now, are Matthew and his best friend, Alpha (correlation to his pack status totally intentional). But lately the Loyal Order of the Basset Hound has been slipping a bit in terms of the quality of prankstership. I mean, seriously, sticking forks in the grassy quad? How lamer can you get?

When Alpha leaves campus for a few days before Halloween, members of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hound begin to receive emails from the mysterious This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., instructing them of what they have to do in order to carry out delightfully roguish pranks. Soon the whole school is in a stir over the social activism of the Basset Hounds pranks; students laudor just laughat the pranks, while the faculty is worried about these students mode of expression for their dissatisfaction in, say, cafeteria food.

Alpha gallantly accepts credit for being TheAlphaDog, the mastermind of the recent great pranks, but when TheAlphaDogs identity is compromised and they must reveal who they are, who is it really? And what are the consequences for that student for usurping the brotherly bond that is the Loyal Order?

E. Lockhart takes us through a delectable romp of the secret lives of boarding school students in a lively novel that combines feminism, teenage boys, and a hearty dose of pranking.
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Terrific!
Overall rating
 
5.0
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5.0
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0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Rin

Frankie used to be that dorky girl with frizzy hair. Now, she's not.

In fact, she's managed to attract one of the most sought of seniors at their boarding school.

At first, Frankie is content with her life. That is, until she finds out her boyfriend is part of a secret society that girls aren't allowed in.

From there, things get interesting.

Frankie impersonates the group leader online, and effectively takes over the group and directs the group members to fufill certain pranks.

This book is hilarious and snarky and a joy to read. Pick it up asap! It truly is one not to be missed.
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A hillarious secret society adventure.
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5.0
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5.0
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0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Tasha

Frankie Landau-Banks is not your typical teenager. She seems more interested in participating in debates than painting her toes. After an amazing summer where she transformed for a duckling to a swan she is ready to return to Alabaster, the boarding school she calls home for most of the year. Alabaster used to be a male only school, but they allow girls to come as well. Even though girls are allowed at Alabaster now there is still a strong male dominance. Especially concerning a famous secret society, The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, who are infamous for their scandalous pranks. Frankie has only briefly heard of this rumored society from conversation her dad has had, as he was an alum of Alabaster and supposed member of the Order. Shortly after school begins Frankie captures the heart after the gorgeous, much sought after Matthew Livingston. She is soon his girlfriend and invited into his inner circle of friends. While she loves being apart of this group of guys she realizes that they are all apart of the Order and are keeping it a secret from her. With ambition and some super sleuthing skills, Frankie listens in on a couple of meetings and learns that Matthew and is right-hand man Alpha are the current, so-called Kings of the Order. Whenever tries to lure information out of Matthew-and o, does she try- he either acts like he is clueless or just plain ignores her. This infuriates Frankie in more than one way. First of all, she doesnt think her boyfriend should be keeping secrets from her and second of all she doesnt think its fair that the Order only allows male members. Being the type of girl that she is Frankie finds a devious way into the Order and makes sure that her name will go down in history. She devises many pranks and lets her message ring clear, but how is she getting away with it and how long can she make it last? Along her hilarious journey she realizes many things, not only about herself, but about how she should be treated.

When picking up this book I had high expectations, because it was written by the amazing E. Lockhart. Let me tell you, this book did not disappoint. In fact I think this is E. Lockharts best book to date. Frankies character was original and I felt like I instantly connected with her. I too have a lot of views that Frankie has, such as why do guys have different standards than girls and so forth. The way Frankie stood up for herself was great. I wish I could do as good a job as she could! Also the book was fall on the floor funny. I was laughing at all the pranks that got pulled and just the words that came out of Frankies mouth. The setting was also really neat. I could actually picture myself sitting in the cafeteria eating the wilted vegetables, and walking on the grass where it deliberately says No Walking on the Grass! I definitely think that this is a must read for anyone looking for a truly humorous, honest, and all around great book!
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