Frankie Landau-Banks, used to fading into the background at her expensive private boarding school, is more than a little surprised as she starts her sophomore year to finally be receiving attention from her crush, senior and big-man-on-campus Matthew. But despite the exhilaration of being sucked into Matthew's group of friends, sometimes she still feels like an outsider - and never more than when Matthew disappears off to the meetings of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hound, a male-only secret society and Good Old Boy training ground that has existed at the school for decades. Frustrated at being left out and underestimated, Frankie decides to take matters into her own hands, setting off a wild and rebellious prank war that will rock the school to its foundations.

My take: Feminism, yay! I think my favorite thing about this book is the way it will hopefully get girls (and boys too, of course) thinking about their own identities, their place in society, and what they're willing to do to either fit in or stand out in a crowd. I loved the way this book tackled the subtle but still very real ways in which male privilege is encouraged even in a supposedly equal society. I loved the way it dealt with a fun, intelligent girl who wants to be accepted as an equal and as "one of the guys," and her slow realization that in the minds of these guys, her gender will always exclude her from the group - unless she's in the official position of girlfriend, and even then she's relegated to the fringes. I loved the way Frankie took what she was learning about societal rebellion and culture-jamming in her classes and applied it to her own problems at Alabaster. The only thing I didn't overwhelmingly love was the ending, which was a bit of a downer and almost seemed to negate the whole go-against-the-flow message of the rest of the book. Sure, I expected there to be consequences for Frankie's actions, but I think I would have liked a more upbeat ending. The reader is left with no doubt that Frankie will keep fighting and that she's going to end up doing some incredible things with her life, but it still feels like a setback. Anyway, overall, loved it, would recommend it to a lot of teen girls I know.

1 Comment:

  1. Carrie said...
    Good words.

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