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The List

The List

3.8 125
by Siobhan Vivian, Soibhan Vivian

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The remarkable New York Times bestseller!

It happens every year before homecoming -- the list is posted all over school. Two girls are picked from each grade. One is named the prettiest, one the ugliest. The girls who aren't picked are quickly forgotten. The girls who are become the center of attention, and each reacts differently to the experience.


The remarkable New York Times bestseller!

It happens every year before homecoming -- the list is posted all over school. Two girls are picked from each grade. One is named the prettiest, one the ugliest. The girls who aren't picked are quickly forgotten. The girls who are become the center of attention, and each reacts differently to the experience.

With THE LIST, Siobhan Vivian deftly takes you into the lives of eight very different girls struggling with issues of identity, self-esteem, and the judgments of their peers. Prettiest or ugliest, once you're on the list, you'll never be the same.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The eponymous list, which mysteriously appears on the walls of Mount Washington High each year before homecoming, has the power to lift or break the spirits of eight female students: on it are the names of the “prettiest” and the “ugliest” girl in each grade. In this insightful and provocative novel, Vivian (Not That Kind of Girl) explores the effects the list has on the most recently chosen girls. While some results—self-doubt, shame, pressure—are to be expected, some of the girls respond in surprising and unconventional ways. Rebellious sophomore Sarah takes her “ugliness” to a new level by refusing to bathe or change clothes. Senior Jennifer, deemed ugliest four years running, works her way into a circle of popular girls, a group led by “prettiest girl” Margo, who used to be her best friend. Offering a well-differentiated cast of complex characters and a thoughtful focus on femininity, sisterhood, relationships, eating disorders, and what it means to be singled out, Vivian proves that beauty and ugliness aren’t always a matter of appearance. Ages 13–18. Agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary Management. (Apr.)
VOYA - Paula J. Gallagher
Everyone is on the list for a reason. A compilation of the school's prettiest and ugliest girls by class, the list is an unofficial end-of-September tradition at Mount Washington High School. Vivian's scathing look at popularity takes on a variety of teen issues, each represented by a character in this social commentary on image and self-esteem. An omniscient narrator takes the reader into the minds of the eight girls on the list, each battling her own demons in both a private and public way. Vivian's ambitious structure keeps the reader at an emotional distance from the girls, but this works to her advantage. The prettiest girls fare no better than the ugliest; no one is safe from scrutiny. These insecure girls struggle with interpersonal relationships. Who can you trust when friends, boyfriends, and even family constantly betray you in the smallest ways? Do you bother to try to improve your social standing, or do you rebel against it? And underlying all of this is the mystery of the identity of the sadistically powerful list maker. The reveal does not disappoint. Teen readers will find Vivian's breezy, easily consumable prose more than skin deep. Expect The List to be read, dog eared, passed around, and most importantly, discussed. Reviewer: Paula J. Gallagher
Children's Literature - Veronica Bartles
Every year, right before homecoming, a list with eight names is posted all over school. Two girls are chosen from each class: the prettiest and the ugliest girls at Mount Washington high school. Each year, the girls of Mount Washington High hope that they might be the lucky one chosen as "prettiest" and worry that they might be singled out as "ugliest." No one knows who is behind the list, or how the girls are chosen, but everyone knows that the labels, once applied, will change the lives and status of these eight girls forever. Vivian explores the dangers of applying superficial labels, even those generally considered positive, as she follows this year's eight girls through the homecoming week. As we witness their reactions and follow their interactions with their classmates, we can see that the labels we give each other don't really mean anything at all. Being known as "prettiest" may be more of a curse than a blessing, and the "ugliest" girl might be truly beautiful. Every girl who has ever felt the pressures of trying to fit in will find herself in the pages of this book. Reviewer: Veronica Bartles
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—All hail the List: the annual unveiling of the names of eight girls, one deemed prettiest and one ugliest, from each grade at Mount Washington High School. The last week of every September—for as long as anyone can remember—brings the plastering of the anonymous list all over campus, and with it the scrutiny of the named girls' humiliation and triumph. While the principal wants to get to the bottom of its creation and put an end to the cruel, shallow judgment it represents, the teens themselves react in both expected and unexpected ways. Vivian attempts to introduce her characters and some of the important people in their lives, but that asks for perhaps more differentiation in readers' minds than comes quickly or easily. Eventually, the cast is clarified but rarely emerges from basic sketch to live action. Instead readers are given caricatures: a mean sophomore called "ugly" on the inside gets her comeuppance from an unstudied homeschooled girl named prettiest; freshman swimmer Danielle, called "Dan the Man" for her jockette looks, is shaken by the disloyalty of her embarrassed boyfriend, while a pretty ninth grader faces grounding on Homecoming due to failing grades. The best-looking junior is pressured back into anorexia, no less miserable than ugly Sarah who refuses to bathe or change clothes for nearly a week after she's named; and four-time loser Jennifer, enjoying infamy over anonymity, is counterbalanced by her childhood friend but now unapproachable homecoming queen. Worthwhile social commentary for readers to consider still emerges in this too-bland narrative.—Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GA
Kirkus Reviews
This riveting exploration of physical appearance and the status it confers opens a cultural conversation that's needed to happen for a long time. Every year during homecoming week, a list is posted anonymously at Mount Washington High naming the prettiest and ugliest girls in each class. Abby, who finds it easier to get credit for her looks than hard work, and Danielle, whose swimmer's physique gets her labeled "ugly," are this year's freshman duo. The list confers instant status, transforming formerly homeschooled sophomore Lauren from geeky to hot while consigning her counterpart, pretty-but-mean Candace, to pariah. But what the label mainly confers is anxiety. Prettiest junior Bridget despairs that she'll ever be thin enough to merit her title; Sarah takes refuge in anger, vowing to earn her ugly label big-time. Jennifer, four-time "ugliest" winner, tries to relish the notoriety. Margo's title should make her the slam-dunk choice for homecoming queen, but will it? Whether clued in or clueless to the intricate social complexities, boyfriends reinforce the status quo, while moms carry scars of their own past physical insecurities. The issue is seldom front and center in books for teens, but Vivian refuses to falsify or avoid the uncomfortable realities that looks alone confer status, and their power is greatest when obscured by the pretense that "looks don't matter." (Fiction. 12 & up)
From the Publisher

Praise for THE LIST:

* “Offering a well-differentiated cast of complex characters and a thoughtful focus on femininity, sisterhood, relationships, eating disorders, and what it means to be singled out, Vivian proves that beauty and ugliness aren't always a matter of appearance.” – PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review

“Siobhan Vivian's latest novel tackles the beauty myth head on. Readers will find themselves relating to each character's struggles.” -- BOOKPAGE

“Smart, snappy writing.” – NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

* “This riveting exploration of physical appearance and the status it confers opens a cultural conversation that's needed to happen for a long time. . . Vivian refuses to falsify or avoid the uncomfortable realities.” – KIRKUS REVIEWS, starred review

Children's Literature - Lisette Baez
High School is hard enough without having to anxiously await “the list” posted each year before Homecoming at Mount Washington High. It is unknown how the girls are chosen or who is in charge. Hundreds of copies are made and posted all over the school. The dreaded list is inescapable and can make or break you, for it decides who is the prettiest and who is the ugliest girl of the freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior classes. Life for these eight girls will never be the same; for those not chosen at all, they quickly are an after-thought. The list will change relationships between friends, family and boyfriends. The author takes readers on an exciting journey through the eyes of each girl on the list and evokes great emotion and intrigue for the reader. This powerful novel beautifully intertwines and brings forth the many difficult facets of teen life. See how the characters face the struggles of identity, self-esteem and the constant judgment of peers. This is a true page-turner that honestly explores the complexities of life, especially within the walls of high school. Reviewer: Lisette Baez; Ages 15 up.

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)
750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Siobhan Vivian is the acclaimed author of Not That Kind of Girl, hailed by Kirkus Reviews as a “powerful, involving exploration of teen girls’ identities and relationships,” Same Difference, and A Little Friendly Advice. A Jersey girl by birth and a Brooklyn girl at heart, Siobhan currently lives in Pittsburgh, PA, and on the web at www.siobhanvivian.com.

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The List 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 125 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read the book already.Since there is no sample i am giving you one.This about 8 of 9th-12th grade girls being judged prettiest to ugliest before homecoming.As you keep on reading the book,the events get harsher and harsher.I would recommend girls ages 12-18 (7th-12th grade) should read this.If you are 11 (6th grade) and you really want to read it you must stay focused throughout the book.THATS ALL I AM GOING TO SAY PEACE HOMEDOGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nikkayme More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars The collective PEOPLE always say that high school years are the best ones of your life, but I think we’ve all come to the conclusion that that statement is far from true for most people. For a select few, high school is four years of amazingness, but for most, it’s just a set of years that are good, or okay, or bearable. For others, it’s Hell. Siobhan Vivian’s The List explores a week in the life of eight different high school girls – some popular, some not. Their ages range from 14-17/18 and their social groups come to mean nothing. Absolutely nothing when THE LIST is released and four girls are crowned as being gorgeous and four others are ostracized and deemed the pinnacle of ugly at their high school. Vivian’s take on such a cruel act is told with realistic voices and saddening honesty. It’s in human nature to feel pain, but it should not be human nature to inflict it upon others…but it seems that it is. High school can be beyond cruel and The List highlights how superficial and judgmental it can be. Vivian presents readers with eight girls and eight different perspectives, so, while quite an ambitious undertaking, it does fall short at times. It’s impossible to adequately flesh out eight main characters in 300 pages, so I was okay with some characters sticking out more than others. I even felt a connection to some of them, but I wish there was more to the plot. I also wish the adult characters had more of a role in the entire situation; especially the principal who was involved from the moment the list went up. Instead, she has a couple of scenes with some stern glares and empty threats. Despite all that, The List is still a quick read that shows how hard high school life can be and how objectified women, no girls, can be. The ending is a bit abrupt and leaves so many loose ends, but I still enjoyed the overall story. The ugly girls, the pretty girls, the popular girls, they all have something in common: they’re insecure, they’re self-conscious, and they want to be accepted even when they pretend they don’t. It’s a universal story that all young women can relate to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book but absolutely horrible ending. I loved this book right up until the last paged. It ended abruptly and incomplete. Prepared to be left disappointed, confused, and irritated.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just read it and it was good but he end was alittle confusing it is a good book but to many different people some times i got really confused on who was who cuz theres 8 different piont of views i had to keep going back and look at the picture of the list to see who was talking but other wise it was a great so you should read it even though there is no sample
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please put a sample!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a high school girl I connected to this book so much. It doesn't matter if your the popular cheerleader or the nerdy bookworm, everyone will relate to this book. High school can be a horrible place and this book showed it. I especially liked how eating disorders were precieved in the book. The author really got into the heart and soul of a girl who just wanted to be skinny. Not that she already wasn't.Everyone girl will relate to this book and will find something they love about it. If anything the ending was a bit adrupt and left me a little dissapointed but, I highly recommend this book to any teenage girl out there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing read. The ending seemed like it could be left open for a sequel. If it was I'd most defiantly would buy it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was really good, but then I got to the last page. It was just ended. I felt that the story was incomplete. However, it was left open to a sequel. I really hope there is a sequel, but if there is not one, I will feel like I just wasted my time. This book is also a little confusing. I had to keep going back and looking at the picture of the list. Overall, this book was OK and a good read. I would reccomend this for 12-16 year old girls.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books ever!!!!! I really recomend it to people that like gossip!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put the book down. Several pov's so you were defenitly never bored. A lot of people commented on the ending negativly but I found it perfect, it really showed the deeper meaning of the book. Does have heavy language andsome innapropriate refrences so you'll have to be the judge if you can handle that. But overall fantastic, impossible to put down. Buy this book you won't regret it!!!!!!
tronqui More than 1 year ago
The moment I saw this book at a bookstore I can't stop reading it. A must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good book! Cant put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GENRE: 100% Chick-lit PLOT: the week before homecoming a list naming the prettiest and ugliest girl from each grade is put up around school. PROS: i really liked how the story took place the week before homecoming. I also loved how the story was about 8 different girls each affected in their own way by the dreaded list. Most of the charecters were lovable as well as connectable. Overall it was well written. CONS: honestly the storyline was dull. The whole book was about the girls lives. No one even wanted to find out who made the list until the very end!!! The book also ended very quickly leaving some of the girls characters unresolved. FAV CHARECTER: danielle. I think she was the one affected the most by the list plus i could relate to her the best. LEAST FAV CHARACTER: jennifer. This girl was bad news from the beginning. FAV PART: You get to find out who makes the list. OVERALL RATING: do not buy this book!!!!!! Rather then waste ten dollars go get it out of the library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I guess it's good for a shallow, teeny-bopper book, but it's not for me. My better instincts told me that I wouldn't like it, but I went against them anyway. I got through it really fast, but I found the characters pretty superficial and one-dimensional. Also, I feel that the book was too limited in the time frame and not limited enough in the amount of points of view to get enough development. The thing I probably hated most is that the book's main focus is beauty and ugliness, and there is almost no physical description on any of the characters besides hair color! My favorite part was the quote by Henry David Thoreau before the story even started: "The perception of beauty is a moral test."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Totally thrilling, didn't see that ending coming! <3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All the characters were not every interesting. This book was filled with superficial causes and too many plots going on one book. It was confusing at times. 
TAHSFX More than 1 year ago
I gave this book a 13/16. I thought the setting fit the story because it took place at a high school and it is more likely to happen in high school. The characters acted very good when they saw that they were on the list. The details were good in the book because it actually explained every single detail there was. The ending was kind of good because it didn't tell who Jennifer gave the list to. I would recommend this book to only girls.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first one may see this as a surface level story of popularity but as the book progresses it morphs into a deeper tale of judgement and failure
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good book. I loved it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was expecting this book to be very powerful, but it was very simple & not very intriging. There were only a few exciting parts. The book was good & it wasn't a bad book to read, but it isn't my favorite. I wish there were more dramatic & exciting parts considering what the girls' were going through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wasn't expecting this book to be so good. It was very well written and I couldn't put the book down. I finished reading it in about 3 days it would've been 1 day if I didn't have school work to do. It was very entertaining, slightly thought provoking and the ending was a shocker. I really enjoyed this book it was a great read. Highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh i forgot to put in my other review that........... THERE BETTER BE A SEQUEL(i think its called that) BECAUSE I WAS VERY SAD WHEN THIS BOOK ENDED BECSUSE I WAS HOPING FOR more and sorry for caps..... read it you wont regret it!!! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutly loved this book! I know there is no sample so I'll tell u what its about. So it is told from the point of veiw of 8 girls. The 8 who were on the list. This can be confusing at times if u r younger so i would reccomend it for girls 12 and up. But if u r more of a mature reader it should b fine. The girls r all pretty different and each one deals with the list in their own way. It is a great book so please take a chance and buy it..you wont regret it! The ending is kind of a cliff hanger so can anyone tell me if there is going to be a second book coming out? Thanks! I usually hate it when books have an ending like that if there is not going to be a sequel but dont let that turn u away this book was amazing! One of the best!! Hope this helps!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im chatting with random people. Can I chat with you now?
KristiHulsey More than 1 year ago
http://hulsey2007bookblog.blogspot.com/ So I really liked this book, although its not the best book. But I like the concept of it. Being about a list going out about whose the prettiest and whose the ugliest. And how those people become obsessed about their looks and even though they are pretty they still have problems. It was an interesting topic. Because thats all high school. High school is all about whose popular. Who is going to sit at my lunch table, who looks pretty. Do I look ugly in this? Its focused alot on looks, which is a really bad thing. But its high school its a really hard time in a young kids life. This is a very hard topic to write about. This author wrote about it. Some things I agreed with her about and some I didnt. But I liked the story she told. Its a really good story, that was told really well. One of my favorite things about this story was how even the popular kids had problems, one of them was a skinny girl, wanted to be even skinnier to fit into a dress that wasnt her size. And she actually did that. It was a hard topic to approach. It was sad, but being a girl in highschool. You get made fun of for being fat, or TOO skinny. People judge you and its not right. I love how this author put in different aspects of high school. I do wish this story was ended differently. It was more of an abrupt ending. I had a few more question unanswered. But overall it was a decent read. 3 stars