This book enlightens and entertains! Young Adult literature geared towards girls nowadays is filled with inane plots, reckless label worship, and shallow characterizations. Any novel that tries to elevate above the trend gets lost in its own self-important message. With The Disreputable History…, E. Lockhart comes at the reader hard with an important message but the story never loses is humor or warmth nor does it every come across as preachy. To quote The New York Times, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is “A homage to girl-power, the novel offers biting social commentary throughout [but] not the kind that deadens a story but the kind that gives it punch….” The novel will give girls “who have experienced a double standard but lacked the precise words to name it.”
The chapter “The Neglected Positive” gives a rather lengthy etymological lesson about Frankie’s language quirks. This chapter jerked me out of the story and nearly brings the smooth readability of the book to a screeching halt. Once you get past those ten pages, it was easy to fall back into the flow of the novel.
The big reveal at the conclusion of the novel had an unexpected emotional punch to the gut that adds to the book’s ability to be unforgotten. When Frankie pleads with her boyfriend to understand why she did what she did, I dare you not to get choked up.