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

I absolutely loved this book. It is a smart, funny, witty novel full of dry humor, wordplay, and characters who refuse to just be. Rather than give you a summary, I think the flap jacket sums this one up nicely:

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.

In The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, Frankie isn’t sure who she is. Is she a geek? A nerd? Her fear is that she is invisible. You know, one of those teens who doesn’t stand out, who just isn’t noticed. She has always been “Bunny Rabbit” at home, babied by her mother and father. At school, she was the little sister of cool and collected Zada. Now that Zada has graduated from their tony boarding school, Frankie finds herself floundering. On top of that, she has suddenly blossomed and become a curvy and dare she say it, hot, young woman. Beginning school, she discovers she is no longer invisible. In fact, Matthew Livingston, the popular senior, takes a sudden interest in her. She falls easily into his pack of friends, and indeed seems to be dating the group as much as she is dating Matthew. However, things change when she discovers her boyfriend is member of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, a historic secret society on campus. A secret society she can never be a part of because she is a girl. A secret society that takes precedence over her in her and Matt’s relationship. She realizes that Matthew might just be more interested in her body than in her mind and ambitions. When she begins to take control of the Loyal Order from the outside, and controlling their every move, she relishes the power she suddenly wields.

Don’t be fooled- this isn’t a silly, fluffy love story. Frankie is a smart heroine, one who has quickly risen to the top of my favorite characters list. The best part of all is that Frankie is proud to be smart. She isn’t one of those girls who hides her intelligence. She refuses to be just the girlfriend while the boys have all the fun.

Definitely a must-read…..I already have a list of my higher readers who would benefit from spending a little time with Frankie.