Initial Final Page Thoughts.
Awhh, hell yeah.
Everything about this book is a high point for me. We have girls kicking ass. We have posh public school. We have secret societies. We have the most amazing pranks IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. We have full on belly-laughter. We have full on heartbreak. And, most importantly, we have arrogant boys getting their just desserts. FIST PUMP.
I have only two low points about this book. The first being that I didn’t read this when I was in high school (all girls school… the career man got very confused when I told him I wanted to be a doctor… you could almost see the cogs in his mind try and process the thought while trying to stop him blurting out ‘B-b-but you’re a girl!’) And the second being that I can’t drive around the UK with a wagon full of piles of this book so I can hand copies out to teenage girls everywhere and spread the word of Miss Landau-Banks. Because I’m guessing that would be frowned upon.
Frankie is possibly my favourite YA heroine, ever. Bold words, I know, but also true words. She is funny, resourceful, educated (but not snobby about it!) and she believes in herself. She is the figurehead for all the girls in the world who have been treated differently because they are of the female disposition. She refuses to take things lying down. She accepts responsibility for her actions when everyone else runs and hides (and is damn well proud of them, rightly so). She never sits around and whinges when she is treated unfairly…. Girl gets revenge. She comes up with the most hilarious and envy-inducing pranks that not only make me want to start a secret society but also run around dressing the statues of Manchester with Bravissimo bras. And she likes wordplay. HOW CAN YOU NOT ADORE HER?
I loved the interaction between Frankie and Trish, her best friend, and Zada, her sister. Even though both of these characters are on the peripheral, they are such strong women and really added to the whole message of the book. By knowing Trish and Zada, Frankie is surrounded by strong, knowledgeable females. It is obvious that they (and Lockhart herself) hasn’t just read a few feminist essays and then regurgitated its views into a YA book and hope that it will do.
This book knows what it’s talking about and you can feel the passion that Lockhart feels about feminism in its prose. I think a lot of feminism books and ideals are quite overwhelming and preachy (On all accounts do NOT let a male hold the door open for you because that means you are submissive and weak… come on!) but with The Disreputable History, Lockhart brings the message to an audience where understanding that girls are equal (but better at pranking *cough*) to boys is vital and does so without dumbing anything down, keeping it intelligent and thought-provoking, but also hilariously entertaining. The Ladies conversation? Perfect.
Love Interest. Ugh, men.
I don’t even want to say that Matthew is a love interest, even though he technically is, to Frankie because… please… he doesn’t even deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence. What a poor excuse for a man. He literally made my blood boil and my notebook is filled with sentences like “Ughh, I hate men,” and “Misogynist so and so” and “STOP SAYING SHE IS BEING SENSITIVE FOR HAVING AN OPINION.”
Alpha was a much more interesting character and what I loved about him (apart from that he reminded me of Logan Echolls.. swoon.) was that even though his mind was made up of 50% caveman ‘Me-hunter gatherer, you- stand there look pretty’ thoughts, the other 50% was full of respect and admiration for Frankie and her actions.
Or shall I go for the one that everyone was thinking about and proceeded to abuse the replay button on YouTube.
Yeah, I’ll go for that one.
I wanted to give this book a 5/10 because of the anger that coursed through my veins whenever Matthew and his stupid Superman t-shirt were ever mentioned. But then I remembered… Frankie Landau-Banks doesn’t give angst the time of day. So, in honour of her and her teachings, there is no angst scale.
EVERYONE. People who have ever wondered what really goes on in a secret society. People who love pulling pranks. People who think drinking warm beer on a muddy golf course is laaaame. People who want to read a YA book that has a tough female protagonist who isn’t afraid to stand up for themselves. People who want to stick their middle finger up to the stifling establishment. People who love making up new words and trying to make them work. People who think it’s OK to ask a stranger for a lick of their frozen custard (what is that by the way? It sounds delicious!) People who have ever wanted to kick a boy in the crotch for being a small-minded, ill-educated, complete and utter *CENSORED* *mutters under breath*. Girls who wanted to be forces.