It’s every teenage girl’s dream to come back to school in September having emerged from the chrysalis of summer as a beautiful butterfly. Because naturally, the most popular boy in school will then fall all over himself to go out with you.
But then what?
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart (12 and up) considers this very scenario. Set amid the privileged world of an exclusive Eastern boarding school, Frankie discovers that because of her gender she isn’t allowed inside an elite secret society (much like the Skull and Bones at Yale) run by the popular senior boys and headed up by her very own boyfriend. But what her older, popular boyfriend doesn’t realize is that Frankie is far too clever and resourceful to be left out of the societies’ antics. Unfortunately, in the end, Frankie is left wondering if her triumphs were ever actually triumphs at all.
While the plot is full of mysterious twists and turns, and our heroine is bright and thoughtful, I suspect what girls actually find most intriguing in this novel has more to do with Frankie’s constant musings about boys; old boyfriends, new boyfriends and potential boyfriends.
Perhaps the moral of this story is that even the prettiest, brightest, most promising girls have boy problems too.