Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, part 2

Okay, here it is.

In January I read E. Lockhart’s Dramarama. I am such a huge fan of her Ruby Oliver books that I was thrilled to read it. While it wasn’t as endearing to me as the Ruby books (and I’m not a huge musical theater person either) I was taken back when I felt... let down... by the ending. I mulled over whether I liked it or really liked it. The ending was a little dark, but it had a very clear silver lining. After some contemplation I realized that I did like it. I liked that ending. It was honest, gosh darn it. Sometimes the best intentions don’t pan out and you end up with Plan K. Queue Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”.

So when The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks had a similar denouement, I was more prepared. I knew there would be unanswered questions. I had to remind myself that just because the writing ended doesn't mean the story has, too. I think this would be an excellent book for a teen book club discussion. You could say that I’m gruntled. (Ah, it’s in the book!)

What could be passed off as an escapade book about 15-year-old Frankie and a secret society at her prep school is really a manifesto on feminism and activism. I do like my feminist manifestos. To quote Frankie during a heated cafeteria discussion:
“I’m saying, once you start saying women are all about sisterhood and community,
then you start underestimating people who might easily, I don’t know, take over
the world.”
I want to call it chick-lit, but it’s chick-lit with an agenda. This book should be turned into a film. We need a strong transfusion of teen girls on film who are confident in themselves and define themselves outside of boys ASAP. (Okay, so there’s the issue of her obsession with Matthew. She’s aware of that. Frankie is one smart cookie but love ain’t easy folks. Love ain’t easy.) So this isn’t much of a review, is it? Maybe someone can add to it in comments. The Fans of Cecil Castellucci, Maureen Johnson, and Rachel Cohn are good picks for this book. It debuts in stores March 2008.


Patti said...

You know, I've never read anything by her. I should read this one first I think. I don't know why, other than its brand new and I like that :)

joanna said...

I have 2 copies of the ARC if you want one. :)