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The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks [NOOK Book]


A teen girl infiltrates a boys-only secret society at her boarding school in this suspenseful, thought-provoking, and humorous novel.
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The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

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A teen girl infiltrates a boys-only secret society at her boarding school in this suspenseful, thought-provoking, and humorous novel.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Lockhart's (Dramarama) witty novel about boarding school high jinks of a most cerebral order receives winning treatment from Sirois-her slightly nasal voice for the heroine, 16-year-old Frankie, seems in character and is somehow endearing. Frankie starts her sophomore year with elevated social status thanks to having become the main squeeze of Big Man on Campus Matthew Livingston, but confides her conflicted feelings about being "arm candy" to roommate Trish, who responds with sweet but Valley Girl-esque befuddlement befitting someone who stays home making fruit crumbles while the boys go out partying. Sirois goes to a deeper register for heartthrob Matthew, leader of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, an all-male secret society Frankie plots to infiltrate, and affects a surfer-dude patois for Alpha, Matthew's sidekick. Sirois preserves the fun in Lockhart's talky novel, largely fueled by the intelligent repartee among its principals. Ages 12-up. Simultaneous release with the Hyperion hardcover (Reviews, Jan 7).(June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Jennifer Lee
Frankie Landau-Banks, a sophomore at Alabaster, a prestigious boarding school, is tired of being taken for granted by everyone. Dad calls her "bunny rabbit" and her family and friends don‘t really think she‘s capable of much. But she suddenly finds herself the girlfriend of Matthew, one of the hottest seniors on campus. Frankie finds out that Matthew is a member of the school's secret all-male society, the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds. Frankie is determined to find out what the Bassets do and how to become a Basset herself, so she follows Matthew and his Basset friends. In her own way, she is able to infiltrate the all-male society and send its members on many errands, setting up schoolwide pranks. The best part is that no one suspects the adorable Frankie as having a hand in it. A funny book that will leave you cheering for Frankie, you definitely won't want to put this one down before she's through. Reviewer: Jennifer Lee
School Library Journal

Gr 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

Kirkus Reviews
This cerebral and offbeat comedy of manners will appeal to fans of John Green's An Abundance of Katherines (2006). Spunky boarding-school sophomore Frances "Frankie" Landau-Banks is tired of being underestimated by the men in her life, including her upperclassman boyfriend Matthew and his wittier-than-thou friends. Inspired by P.G. Wodehouse's Code of the Woosters, she infiltrates Matthew's secret and exclusive male club-The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds-and, unbeknownst to them, begins orchestrating their elaborate pranks. She hopes the boys will be awed by her ingenuity and finally acknowledge her brains as well as her recently developed body. But Matthew & Co. are less than pleased to discover Frankie's deception, and she learns the hard way that "it's better to be alone . . . than to be with someone who can't see who you are." Lockhart has transcended the chick-lit genre with this adroit, insightful examination of the eternal adolescent push-pull between meekly fitting in and being liked or speaking out and risking disdain. A funny feminist manifesto that will delight the anti-Gossip Girl gang. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423136132
  • Publisher: Disney Book Group
  • Publication date: 9/23/2009
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 58,416
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • File size: 421 KB

Meet the Author

E. Lockhart
E. Lockhart is the author of The Boyfriend List, Fly on the Wall, and The Boy Book. She once portrayed both Peter Quince and a tree in a drama school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, wearing an electric-blue unitard. Her theatrical career ended soon after.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 115 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 116 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Well-Written and Witty

    This book is extremely well-written and witty. I do recommend it; however it does have a slightly clichéd ending. Overall, it's a very cute story of finding yourself and defining yourself during high school - albeit a rich, extremely exclusive high school.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2009

    this book was fan

    My friend and I both read this book. I hated how it ended. But loved the fact that this girl Frankie went from bunny rabbit to a girl wanting to be in a all boy secret organization. The way she makes her self apart. The relation with people she knows that change in the story. It was a book that I wont forget.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 21, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    different from what I was expecting

    I just finished reading this book. After the first 30 pages, I thought about putting it down, but decided to go on reading it anyway. From the back of the book and inside cover, I had been expecting a book that was reminiscent of Meg Cabot--humorous in a silly kind of way. But instead it was pretty serious, and took an angle I wasn't expecting. I'm glad, though, that I continued on with the book, because it was both entertaining and thought-provoking. The story was pretty realistic and the characters were believable. It is no where near becoming one of my favorite books, but it was not a bad read either.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2008

    Don't bother

    Lame book about a girl who just can't mind her own business. If this book is about feminism then it falls short. The main character seemed whiny and bratty to me. She should have spent more time working on her school work and less time trying to fit in. It was truly a boring story.

    3 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    I have read other books by this aurthor, but not one as well writen as this book! I hope she will continue this series and write abother book with this charachter! This book is for age 13 and over.( Her otherbooks are more for 15-16 and over because of their issues). Its alsot like a spy book and you have to stay alert for what will happen next......and take you by surpsrise!..its a book you will want to read over and over again......Like the Galigher Girls Series! READ IT!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A page-turning, thought-provoking read

    Frankie returns to Alabaster Preparatory Academy, a boarding school, for her sophomore year. She's a little curvier than before, and the boys are noticing--although the only boy she cares about is Matthew Livingston, her crush since freshman year. In fact, much of the story
    is set in motion when Frankie, who is riding a bike, sees Matthew in the first few days of school and becomes so distracted that she loses control of the bike and skins her knee. Matthew comes running over to make sure she's okay, and the two begin to flirt. Two important threads are established: 1) Matthew cannot remember meeting Frankie in the previous year, and 2) Matthew obviously enjoys coming to Frankie's aid.

    Matthew's inability to remember Frankie gives her a small feeling of insignificance, and inadvertent as well as fake forgetfulness figure prominently in the novel. When Frankie begins to suspect that Matthew is involved in a secret society called the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, she follows him. As their relationship develops, she expects him to tell her more about the Order. Matthew doesn't. Frankie is frustrated--Matthew won't trust her, and she can't join the Order because she is a girl.

    In addition to dating Matthew, Frankie is swept up into his world, his friends--and she likes it there, something that I believe many girls can identify with. Most of us have either been Frankie or Frankie's friend, watching her become so wrapped up in her boyfriend's life that she begins to forget she has her own. Matthew is sweet and nice--everything a girl could ask for, but he never makes an effort to get to know Frankie's world. And as much as Frankie loves being with Matthew and his friends--other members of the Order and their girlfriends--she dislikes her place in that world. Matthew and his friends discount her as being a sweet sophomore girl. Frankie longs for equal status, recognition, and power. So she decides to do something about it.

    I loved this book. LOVED. IT.

    The cast of characters is strong and well-rounded, no matter how big or small their roles. The pacing was spot-on; every time I sat down to read for "just a little while", I lost track of time and just kept reading. I had to know what happened next! I thoroughly enjoyed the writing, and Frankie's wordplay is half the fun of the book. She plays with grammar and comes up with "neglected positives". For example, possible is the neglected positive of impossible. When applied to other words such as "disturbed" and "indulge", the concept becomes more amusing. (I'll save the full explanation for Frankie). There's also a secret society, a mystery, a relationship, and many pranks!

    The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is also a book that stayed with me--it's been two days since I finished it, and I'm still trying to make sense of Frankie. Thank you, E. Lockhart, for an engrossing, entertaining, and thought provoking book. I highly, highly (with a gold star!) recommend this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2009

    A Strangely-Written, Witty Novel on Assertiveness

    I am currently reading this book in one of my English classes, and when I first began to read it, I wasn't so impressed by the novel. I found the language to be confusing, and the situations to be random and overanalyzed. Though, I give the main character, Frankie credit for trying to gain power for herself and respect from others, especially boys, I felt that she was losing her true self at times to impress and manipulate others. I would ask my peers of whom actually read the book, and I got a lot of mixed feelings from them. Personally, however, I couldn't really find myself developing an interest in it. Maybe it's because I'm only half way through the book, and I may not be giving it a chance for all I know. I'll just have to see what happens.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:


    E. Lockhart is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors and if you have read her books it is not hard to understand why. In The Disreputable History, main character Frankie takes over the secret society of the Bassets at her school without any of the all-male members knowing it was her. The main point of this book for me was about learning to only truly rely on yourself and to believe in oneself and to just strive to be your best. This is a great book and everyone should read it. Truly brilliant.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Summer Booklist

    I just so happened to pick up this book from the library before going away for holiday to the beach this summer. First thing, the cover caught my attention and second this book was very good. I was so caught up in the book, I finished it in a day {very quick read}. I would recommend this book to friends!! This is a must read for summer or anytime for that matter.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2009


    wow that was a great, quick read. i mean i guessed most of the plot but it was a great book. i was taken by surprise on how much i liked it and i def. recommend it to anyone looking for a good book. (even though i didn't like the ending *spoiler* i thought alpha and frankie should have gotten together!!!)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Absolutely hilarious!

    This book is an amazing read. The main character is flawed, but lovable, and the dialogue is really funny. Everyone should read this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    You will be so gruntled by this book.

    I use the word "gruntled" as Frankie would and if you read the book, then you will get a laugh out of my headline as well. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is quite possibly the best book of 2008. End of review. Period. Interesting characters, laugh-out-loud dialogue, perfect plot and pacing. You will eat this book for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Oh and don't forget snack time, too.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    4 out of 5 stars

    Alabaster Prep is a widely-known boarding school with rich kids roaming the halls. Alabaster students don¿t give a second thought to the mysterious all-male society, the Basset Hounds. Some of them don¿t even know who they are. Then a mildy geeky, curvaceous young woman, Frankie Landau-Banks, wants to take the Basset Hounds farther than just quiet beer parties and lame pumpkin pranks. But she can¿t become a member because, obviously, she is a girl and her boyfriend would certainly not let her join (though he, himself, is a member). In a world of goofballs and wannabes, Frankie must show the Bassets how it¿s done.<BR/><BR/>The story itself was original and fun. The writing was phenomenal and put other books to shame. I tried really hard, though, to like Frankie, the main character, but I didn¿t not achieve my goal. The only character I did like was looked down upon by everyone else in the book. Once I got to the middle, I was a little drawn away from it. There was a lot of feminism. <BR/><BR/>The quirky pranks were hilarious so I got a kick out of reading it. I also learned a lot of new words that I will try to remember in the future and use in my everyday vocabulary. Though I had a lot of back-and-forth admiration for this book, it is definitely worth checking out at your local library.<BR/><BR/>(Another left-down, but there are some sexual references within the pages of this book.)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:


    I read THE BOYFRIEND LIST awhile back and enjoyed it but somehow didn't make it on to its sequel, THE BOY BOOK, 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.<BR/><BR/>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.<BR/><BR/>I am a bit conflicted over this book. For a variety of reasons. I felt like it really wanted to be SECRET SOCIETY GIRL meets LOOKING FOR ALASKA. Not the best combination, IMO. This wasn't helped by the fact that I kept picturing Alpha (my favorite character) as The Colonel in my head. I usually quite like third person present narration, but in this case it felt slightly contrived, particularly since Frankie never gelled into a tangible character for me. I laughed several times while reading and I liked Frankie but I didn't love her. I liked her for her dogged attempt to wade through the ever shifting waters of a rather assaultive adolescence and an unsympathetically exclusionary pack of boys who told her they liked her but clearly didn't know her at all, nor did they seem to care to. Despite these obstacles, or perhaps because of them, she managed to carve out a place where she could be herself, free from manipulation. I liked her combative and compelling relationship with Alpha. In fact, I wanted more of that and less mooning over lackluster Matthew. But the book ended just when things were getting interesting. I suspect I would really enjoy a sequel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2008


    I started this book yesterday and plowed through it. The plot was highly inventive and creative and definitely a fun read.<BR/>if you're looking for a quick fun or entertaining read, definitely pick up a copy of this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2014

    E. Lockhart penetrates the mind of a fifteen year old girl, Fran

    E. Lockhart penetrates the mind of a fifteen year old girl, Frankie Landau-Banks, in her novel The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. Lockhart captures Frankie as a young feminist who is indecisive whether to follow her peers or speak her mind. Although in the beginning it seemed to be more of a love story it quickly turned the other way as a story of a young girl who challenges the status quo and gender roles at a wealthy high school. Lockhart’s tale of how a young girl infiltrates a dominant club of boys, The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, revolves around the theme of gender stereotypes and the idea of a panopticon. Although I would have liked to see more of the love story of the novel come alive, I highly recommend this book because of its captivating characters and interesting plot that makes you want to keep reading.
    Lockhart’s choice of characterization was one of the many things I liked throughout the novel. Many teenage girls, like myself, can relate to the role of Frankie as an “ordinary girl-[who] liked clothes and- bought copies of In Touch magazine at the drugstore and remembered silly facts about celebrities” (Lockhart 23). One thing I did not necessarily care for was how towards the end I could not connect with her level of feeling and thought she become somewhat of a psychopath. I felt it was more about her becoming obsessed with a particular situation than her actually finding out who she really is. Another subplot I found a little disappointing throughout the novel was the unclear message of the love story taking place. In the beginning Frankie met a boy named Alpha who came to be the best friend of her newfound boyfriend. At first I thought the story would be based off of how they fall for eachother in the end but instead the plot changed to a personal conflict of Frankie. Overall, the main plot was interesting and I found myself not willing to put the book down until I read to the next chapter. Lockhart did an amazing job rendering the stereotype gender roles and making the story come alive through the minds of teenagers. Any teenage or young adult females will love this easy read as well as another one of Lockhart’s novels, Real Live Boyfriends.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2014


    In my opinion this was a great reed but I'm not sure I would recommend it to older readers (18+). I am a younger reader with a very high reading level and a high level of maturity so this was a perfect read for me! I absolutely loved Frankie's personality because it reminded me of my own. Trying to prove to guys that you can do anything that they can do and we might even be able to do it better. Frankie's personality was so much alike my own that when I was reading this book I felt likw I was reading straight out of my own diary! I think this author does an AMAZING job capturing the mai theme of the story and making sure that the reader can relate to the characters. Having something, anything, anything at all that relates the reader to one of the characters, I think makes the story a lot more interesting and enjoyable! Well all in all I think the author deserves a HUGE round of applause for this AMAZING book!!! I hope to see more from this author in the future and I am really hoping for a sequel to thiz book! Thank you so much for giving me the pleasure of getting to read this book and thanks to everyone who is supporting this author and thabks to everyone who is reading my Review and Rate! :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2013

    Fsst read

    I definitely enjoyed reading this. I wish that it was a little bit longer with details and the ending felt like it fell short. Still a fun read none the less.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2012

    Great Book

    This book was so good! It has an interesting twist on a great story.

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  • Posted September 20, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    This book was not what I was expecting. I'm a huge John Green fa

    This book was not what I was expecting. I'm a huge John Green fan (DFTBA!) and I was looking for books similar to his to read. I was not, however, looking for a near-exact copy of Looking For Alaska. Student goes to boarding school, becomes part of a crowd of people she/he would never have thought to join previously, and this whisks him/her away on a whirlwind of adventures and change and personal growth.
    I didn't find Frankie to be a very relatable character, either (nor very likable, for that matter). She was vaguely whiny, and her habit of using what she called &quot;inpeas&quot; was rather annoying (although, apparently there was a point to that). Her &quot;personal growth&quot; didn't even happen until literally the last two chapters of the book, which left the rest of the book with the much less likable, much more immature version of her.
    Also, Lockhart's own voice as an author figure was entirely too present throughout the book. She would take entire paragraphs (occasionally nearly all of a chapter) away from the story to talk to the reader directly, and often (always) unnecessarily. The things she had to say could have just as easily (and perhaps better) been said through Frankie's narrative. As an avid reader, I find that I most enjoy a book when I can completely immerse myself in the character's world and story, and by adding in her own voice every other chapter, Lockhart takes away from this and pulls the reader out of the story. Also, at the end, she basically states in plain English all of the symbolism/metaphors/etc in her story. Authors should let readers discover the meanings on their own.
    All of that being said, the book was still an interesting read. The plot was fairly well done, and it was funny. If you're looking for a light read that you don't have to pay too much attention to, then I recommend this book.

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