Frankie Landau Banks is a typical teen girl at a competitive boarding school. She gets good grades. She is part of the debate club. She spends weekends with her roommate and her boyfriend. She’s a good kid.
When Matthew Livingston, the school’s most popular boy, takes note of Frankie, she starts climbing her way to the top of the school’s food chain as his girlfriend. Here, she becomes part of Matthew’s exclusive group of friends where she feels welcome and wanted.
But there’s something that Matthew isn’t sharing with her. When Frankie follows him one night, she discovers that he’s part of a secret society, The Bassets, an all-male club that even her father was part of when he was at school.
Frankie can’t admit that she knows about the secret society, but she also hates not being included in their super exclusive club. So she sets out to show the boys that girls are just as capable as boys (if not more), and goes on to make history.
So I kind of loved this book. I didn’t know what it was really about, since the description was kind of vague and I didn’t spend hours reading reviews about it on Goodreads. Going into it completely blind was the best!
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is completely unique. It isn’t about Frankie trying to get her boyfriend to commit to her for all eternity. It isn’t about catty girls at this exclusive boarding school or about boy drama. What it is about is a girl who may or may not be a criminal mastermind, and how she makes a group of senior boys in a secret society do exactly as she says.
What I really appreciated about this book was it’s uniqueness. Like the book, Frankie isn’t your typical YA heroine. She’s clever, sassy, smart, and she knows it! When she stumbles upon her boyfriend’s secret society, she isn’t content to sit by the sides while they have fun and organize a series of crazy pranks over the school year. She knows it’s unfair that she isn’t included just because she’s a girl, and she wants to prove it to them. What she ends up doing is clever and fun and it takes the school by storm.
The romance, isn’t a main part of the story, and you’d think that would bug me, but it didn’t. Matthew and Frankie’s relationship isn’t even an important part of the story; instead, it’s the jumping point from which all events occur. The story isn’t about their relationship, but about Frankie and how she bests Matthew, and his secret society by outwitting everyone.
The writing style took me awhile to get used to, since it’s written in a clinical, very descriptive format. It reads like this “Frankie did this, because it was common knowledge that….” Despite how awkward I found this at first, I later realised how perfect it was for the story, since it was like a psychologist was describing Frankie from afar and the events that took place. I also appreciated the in-depth discussed into Frankie’s psyche, since it helped understand her better.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Contemporary YA, but is looking for something different and sassy.
So for that: 4/5.
Thanks for reading,