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

Title: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Author: E. Lockhart
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: March 25, 2008

Summary from Goodreads:
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 Laundau-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.


There is so much to like about The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. The first thing that stood out to me was the writing - it's that witty clever kind that keeps you entertained and a little in awe. I don't think I've ever not enjoyed a book with this kind of writing but this was the cream of the crop. The concept of neglected positives - like saying maculate for the opposite of immaculate - and the use of them throughout the story was one of my favorite things ever. Like, I love this so much that I want to start using them but I don't think anyone will get it.

The next thing I loved was the storyline. Frankie gets up to all kinds of no good after she discovers The Loyal Order of the Basset Hound, an all-male secret society at her prep school. She highjacks the 'Alpha' position using a well-timed email and starts ordering around the members to execute numerous harmless pranks. And all of the pranks that she comes up with are hilarious and kind of brilliant, my favorite being the bras on all the pompous self-portraits.  I had a great deal of fun with this.

Meanwhile, Frankie is navigating the trials of High School and teenhood. She finds herself in a precarious position with an older boyfriend and popularity by association - both of which she's afraid to lose. I couldn't settle on how I actually felt about Frankie. Most of the time, I thought she was awesome. She was smart, confident, empowered. She wasn't afraid to take risks and stand up for herself. I totally admire that. But on occasion she would act a little young, overly dependent or overly sensitive (as everyone was accusing her of being) and it would bother me because it felt like an entirely different person. But there were only glimpses of this, so it didn't detract a lot from how much I enjoyed this one.

So all in all, this was a great book and I definitely recommend it to others. The secret society mayhem and amazing writing really make this a standout. A big thanks to Kay at It's a Book Life for the recommendation!

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