Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie-Landau Banks

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The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

by E. Lockhart

Rating: 5/5 stars

     Upon entering Sophomore year at a competitive boarding school, Frankie is not the same girl as the previous year.  After pending a summer in the sun and growing into some of her more awkward features, she is the girl that everyone is beginning to notice.  After the year kicks off with her dating a popular senior, Frankie thinks she has high school figured out.  However, she soon realizes that she doesn’t love the way she is treated as a trophy without independent thoughts or that she is excluded from the school’s secret society just because of her gender.

     It doesn’t take Frankie long to come up with a plan to show everyone that she is just as capable as one of the boys.  Leading to an infamy filled school career, Frankie is willing to sacrifice everything to place herself on equal footing with the Boys’ Club at her school.

Review: I love this book that’s filled with all sorts of Girl Power goodness!! I most appreciated how Lockhart chose to take on the more subtle occurrences of sexism and misogyny that girls face.  The frustration that Frankie feels when her words are disregarded simply because they are coming from her, or that they need to be validated by a male in the group in order to be considered valid is written so clearly that the reader becomes equally frustrated.  Even with something as innocent as a male friend “looking out for her” and warning her off certain guys because people think she looks better than last year, Lockhart drives home the point that there is something inherently wrong with that being necessary.

While this book does primarily highlight Frankie’s discontent, I also appreciated the inclusion of other female perspectives on these issues.  It shows that sexism is not a clear girls against boys problem.  There are some girls in this book who are fine with the established norm regardless of the inequality, and their feelings are just as justified as Frankie’s.

I think this is a contemporary book that should be on every school library shelf, and wish it was one I had read when I was in high school.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

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Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

by Becky Albertalli

Rating: 5/5 Stars

     Simon Spier is a 16 year old boy living in Georgia, who has spent the last school year communicating online with someone from his school whom he has never met.  Simon and Blue stumbled across one another on the internet and began confiding in each other after discovering that they are both gay and have yet to come out to their family and friends.  While they give each other the emotional support needed to take this step and Simon begins to realize that he is falling in love with Blue, Simon makes the mistake of not logging out of his e-mail on a school computer.  This classmate has discovered and printed all of Blue and Simon’s correspondence and uses it as blackmail against Simon.  Now, regardless of Simon’s comfortability with coming out, he is now on a timetable to tell everyone.

Review: I loved so many aspects of this story.  I think it is a unique premise, that is also very realistic.  Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda is hilarious and heartwarming at the same time.  Simon and Blue’s e-mails are funny and the reader can easily see why they get along so well.  Albertalli did a great job of writing interesting side characters.  All of Simon’s friends were unique and distinguishable, but again, very realistic.  I never felt like I was reading a character from a story  who was acting a certain way in order to portray the author’s message.  I can definitely understand why this novel is a Morris Award winner, and can’t wait to see what Albertalli cooks up next.  According to rumors, it is going to be a companion novel to Simon. 🙂

Holiday Song Book Tag

While I was listening to Christmas songs on the radio last week, I realized that this would be a super cute book tag to do during the holiday season!  So here are some of the songs I’ve heard and book tags I’ve thought of to go along with them!


Baby, It’s Cold Outside: A book with characters who have enjoyable and fun banter

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Sam and Jordan in Catching Jordan and Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally.  I loved how Jordan and Sam interact in Kenneally’s first book in this series so much.  Even though they harass each other constantly and both of them give as good as they get, you can tell that they have both cared deeply about each other for a long time.  I was especially happy to see that they hadn’t lost the part of their relationship as side characters in Jesse’s Girl.

Christmas Canon by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra: a book with lots of characters and a complex plot that come together to make something marvelous 🙂

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Falling Kingdoms a book that intimidated me a bit at first because of all the characters and political plotting.  Once I got going though it all fit together beautifully, and I can’t wait to see what happens in future books.

Silent Night: a book that fills you with nostalgia

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I read Wild when I was spending a lot of my college breaks and weekends, hiking and camping with friends.  When I think of Strayed’s novel, it brings me back to that time when we were altogether.

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairiesa book you loved that takes place in a country other than your own

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To this day Anne of Green Gables makes me want to vacation in Nova Scotia and see all the wonderful scenes described in this book for myself.

White Winter Hymnal: a book that you weren’t looking for but just picked up and loved

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The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender was a book I happened to see at my library and checked out because I liked the cover.  It is still one of my favorite books of all time.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town:  a book you would give to everyone to read if you were playing Santa for the day

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Never Have I Ever is a really cute book that talks about the author’s life without ever having dated someone.  It is really cute and discusses some of the quirks of modern dating in a way that make the reader laugh of but also pause at some of the more bizarre rituals.

So there is the book tag! I challenge anyone to take some or all of these and complete their own! Leave a comment if you do, I would love to see some of your choices 🙂