The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks - E. Lockhart Exactly as stated on the backcover, but different from what I expected. Dumb of me, I know. The story deals with sophomore Frankie Landau-Banks, who attends a posh preparatory boarding-school, and her evolution from a mostly overlooked, harmless geek living in her sister's shadow to the successful undercover leader of the all-male secret society "The Bassets", all the while trying to be acknowledged for her exceptional brains instead of for her cute figure and other characteristics that are obligatory for being Matthew Livingston's girlfriend.
This was clear to me, somehow before reading the book, yes. But - how can I say it - the story turned out to read less than a story and more like a psychological analysis of the involved characters as props for real-life people instead:It's like these moral tales written for young people a hundred years ago (but rolled-up the other way). Pretty-wrapped into a story are hidden theories on how girls behave when trying to keep a boyfriend, who likes to brag and keeps attending boring drinking-parties (You can almost see the check-boxes: Dear reader, in which category do you sort yourself?), on why guys become members in all-male-secret-societies and do useless stuff there anyway, on why girls are always expected to be non-competitive and so on. These musings are not uninteresting, but they are offered under the pretense to tell a story, they have an academic, almost clinical, by-taste, which keeps the reader from getting close to Frankie and they are simply too many. And - even if it is always made clear, that small-time guerrilla Frankie does not fit any category - often enough I glimpsed a raised finger indicating, what a modern, feminist girl is supposed to think, to do, to feel concerning her place in this world. Maybe it is an age thing. But I did not like it. In addition the so-called story ends with Frankie being unsatisfied with herself and being misunderstood by everybody. Ahh, the burden of a genius. Or what?