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The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

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The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks [Paperback]

E. Lockhart
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 25, 2009 7 - 9890 (What's this?)
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 Landau-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.

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up—Over the course of one summer, Frankie Landau-Banks, a somewhat geeky girl with an unassuming nature, has developed into a 15-year-old with an attention-grabbing figure, a new attitude, and sights set on making changes at her elite boarding school in this novel (Hyperion, 2008) by W. Lockhart. The teenager also has a new boyfriend, a gorgeous senior who belongs to a long-standing secret society on campus—The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, known mostly for silly pranks and a history of male-only membership. With a witty, sharp, and intelligently scheming mind, Frankie manipulates the Loyal Order to do her bidding with pranks meant to make a political statement about the male-dominated and classist nature of the school. Tanya Eby Sirois adequately voices the characters. Frankie's personality is portrayed most effectively; some of the slang and the attitudes of the male characters feel forced. Telephone calls are relayed using special effects that are mostly convincing, and the segments that are told via emails are well conveyed and perfectly paced. Listeners will feel that they are a part of the teen's disreputable and humorous history. An overall fun listen that the author's fans are sure to enjoy.—Stephanie A. Squicciarini, Fairport Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In the summer between her freshman and sophomore years, Frankie Landau-Banks transforms from “a scrawny, awkward child” with frizzy hair to a curvy beauty, “all while sitting quietly in a suburban hammock, reading the short stories of Dorothy Parker and drinking lemonade.” On her return to Alabaster Prep, her elite boarding school, she attracts the attention of gorgeous Matthew, who draws her into his circle of popular seniors. Then Frankie learns that Matthew is a member of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, an all-male Alabaster secret society to which Frankie’s dad had once belonged. Excluded from belonging to or even discussing the Bassets, Frankie engineers her own guerilla membership by assuming a false online identity. Frankie is a fan of P. G. Wodehouse’s books, and Lockhart’s wholly engaging narrative, filled with wordplay, often reads like a clever satire about the capers of the entitled, interwoven with elements of a mystery. But the story’s expertly timed comedy also has deep undercurrents. Lockhart creates a unique, indelible character in Frankie, whose oddities only make her more realistic, and teens will be galvanized by her brazen action and her passionate, immediate questions about gender and power, individuals and institutions, and how to fall in love without losing herself. Grades 7-12. --Gillian Engberg --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Grade Level: 7 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 890 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; Reprint edition (August 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786838191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786838196
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews
41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Incredible Personal History March 25, 2008
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks begins with a written confession addressed to the administrative powers-that-be at the Alabaster Preparatory Academy. In the letter, Frances Rose Landau-Banks claims "full responsibility for the disruptions caused by the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds . . . [t]hat is, [she] wrote the directives telling everyone what to do."

But just who are these Hounds and what did they do? Who is Frances and why would she send her fellow students on these random acts of disruption?

Alabaster was once an all-male prep school. Even after it became co-educational, its secret society remained a boys-only club. The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds was famous - infamous, really - for its pranks, which were more kooky than cruel, more sophomoric than serious.

Frankie was once a quiet girl. Even after she became a curvy sophomore, she remained true to herself, not really aware of her new looks. Then she got her first serious boyfriend, and she was content with their relationship - for a time.

Before she was (in)famous, Frankie was the harmless little sister, the underclassman, the girl who knew but didn't really know. She was the younger sister of outspoken senior Zada. She was the youngest child of divorced parents, getting her name from her father, Alabaster alum Frank Banks and her conservative nature from her mother, Ruth. She enjoyed her freshman year at boarding school. She enjoyed the summer after her freshman year, when she read Dorothy Parker stories on vacation and had a chance encounter that would later prove interesting.

The book follows her through the age of fifteen, then sixteen, as her sophomore year and her curiosity lead her down an interesting path.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too April 24, 2008
Frankie Landau-Banks has gone from geeky to gorgeous over the course of the summer, and she can hardly believe it when Matthew Livingston, the senior she worshipped from afar the year before, seems interested. But being Matthew's girlfriend comes with a lot of things Frankie didn't expect. She feels uncertain navigating the complicated politics of his social circle, and uneasy with the antics of his friends, which often seem to exclude her. Worst of all, she senses that he's not letting her all the way into his life--that, because she is a girl, he will never see her as an equal.

Then Frankie discovers that Matthew is a member of the school's exclusive--and male-only--secret society. At first she only spies on them out of curiosity. But as her desire to prove herself every bit as capable as Matthew's male conspirators grows, she finds herself getting wrapped up in the society's business of sneaking and pranking, without any of the boys suspecting a thing.

With Frankie pulling the strings, anything is possible.

THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU-BANKS is one of those rare books that is equal parts entertaining and thought-provoking. Frankie's exploits are full of humor, suspense, and drama, but she's not afraid to stop every now and then and consider the consequences of her actions. Her insecurities make her as believable as her smarts and her guts make her admirable. Readers will be cheering her on from beginning to end--and wondering how the things she learns along the way might apply to their own school adventures long after they've put the book down.

Reviewed by: Lynn Crow
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Feminism at its best May 4, 2009
This is definitely one of those clever YA books that is a must-read for any teenage girl.

Frankie might not have made all the smartest decisions in this book but she figured out the main thing right: it is important to be your own person (not just a man's arm-candy), to be appreciated for your personal qualities and talents and not only for your pretty face and nice figure.

Writing style is flawless, dialog superb. I had to take away one star because the ending felt a little too open for me, I thought it called for something more. Maybe E. Lockhart is planning a sequel, I am not sure. But if she does, I will definitely read it and give her other books a try.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I read The Boyfriend List (Readers Circle)t awhile back and enjoyed it but somehow didn't make it on to its sequel, The Boy Book: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them (Readers Circle), or any of E. Lockhart's other titles. Then THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU-BANKS came out and there was just so much buzz. And then it was named a finalist for the National Book Award. So I figured I'd better pick it up. Fortunately, Santa brought it to my home this year so I was able to jump right in.

Frankie is a sophomore at Alabaster Prep, super exclusive boarding school for the children of the elite. Ever since she was a kid, Frankie had heard her father and his cronies go on about a mysterious secret society known as the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds. Once she starts at Alabaster it becomes clear that the Order is alive and thriving and open only to males. When she suddenly gains a few curves in the right places and a snazzy new boyfriend to go with them, Frankie becomes aware in a way she hadn't been up to this point in her life. And when the darling boyfriend starts evading her all the time, haring off to locales unspecified with other guys she just knows are in the Order, she decides to follow him. What she discovers from following Matthew (and the subsequent actions she puts into motion) change Frankie (and the Order) permanently. For the better? That's up to the reader. I say yes, but the whole thing is still painful to watch.

I am a bit conflicted over this book. For a variety of reasons.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative and fun!
5 out of fricken 5! I loved this book! It made me laugh a lot at all the stunts that frankie pulls! Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine doing something like what frankie... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Elizabeth lindner- craig
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but thought-provoking at the same time!
This book was an easy YA read, a fun story and something that left me thinking a little bit! I really enjoyed it and would recommend it.
Published 1 month ago by Emily Richards
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
an amazingly talented author
Published 2 months ago by janet Owens
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good writing. But the plot was not all that interesting.
Published 3 months ago by Uttara Ananthakrishnan
4.0 out of 5 stars I really liked this book.
I like what Lockhart has to say about the establishment and about feminism. The book was great though there were a couple spots that read rough. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Andrew
5.0 out of 5 stars She loved it and is busy recommending to friends
My 13 year old daughter read this in a day. She loved it and is busy recommending to friends.
Published 4 months ago by Steven D Rankin
4.0 out of 5 stars Secret Societies, Gender Politics, and Fun!
I fell immediately for this book, from delicious plot to precocious protagonist, and I’d go as far as to say that I think this is a book that all young adults should be reading. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Miss Riki
5.0 out of 5 stars The Disreputable History
I can't believe I waited this long to read The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. It had been on my TBR pile for years, but I always pushed it aside for newer releases,... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Hannah @ Paperback Treasures
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
great book but hated the ending :/
Published 7 months ago by okgirl
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 Well Written Stars
I wish I knew about books like this when I was a teenager, or at least had known a girl like Frankie in High-School. Maybe I did, and maybe I labeled her as nuts! Read more
Published 7 months ago by MichelleMyBelle
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More About the Author

I write novels.
My books: We Were Liars, Fly on the Wall, The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, Dramarama, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, How to Be Bad,The Treasure Map of Boys and Real Live Boyfriends.

Visit me at
Or come read the blog at
Twitter: elockhart
Pinterest: elockhartbooks

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Re: trish
Throughout the book, Trish seemed to know what she wanted. <SPOILER> She was never impressed with Alpha and the other Bassets as she told Frankie. She didn't feel the need to kick open closed doors as Frankie did. I think Trish was simply being herself--a lesson Frankie had to learn... Read More
Jun 29, 2010 by WriterGal |  See all 3 posts
Yeah, I was totally rooting for her and Alpha due to the beginning scene.
Porter seemed like a potential candidate once you get past the whole cheating scheme.
I had a bad feeling about Matthew from the start...
Jul 30, 2008 by Kristin |  See all 4 posts
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