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Monday, January 21, 2013

Review: The List

Author: Siobhan Vivian
Release Date: April 1, 2012
Publisher: Push
Pages: 332
Format: ARC
[add on Goodreads]
Summary:  An intense look at the rules of high school attraction -- and the price that's paid for them.

It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn't matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up.

This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, "pretty" and "ugly." And it's also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two.

My Favorite Lines:
“It didn't matter if I was the kind of girl who had sex, or the kind of girl who had her portrait on on a wall in the library, or the kind of girl who who got into the best college, or the kind of girl who didn't tell her parents everything, or the kind of girl who teachers loved. 
I just needed to be okay with all the kinds of girl I was.”
Why I Loved It:  Ah, the joys of being in high school *so glad I escaped those halls* and finding your place among the masses.  I normally think out my reviews when I shower.  I think about what I loved, what I didn't, and so on.  This has been a hard review to come up with, and that shower was a long one.  But before I delve into that, can I say that the lockers at my school were not even close to that pretty.  I love that color.

Anywho, on to my review.  I honestly did like the book.  I thought it was a good, quick read.  Since I spend large portions of time in a middle school, I can see a lot of truth to the dynamics of the book.  *I know middle school is younger, but people, this kind of crazy starts young*  The premise of eight girls, four pretty and four deemed not so pretty, discovering their name on a list posted all over school of the chosen prettiest and ugliest girls in each grade and how much such a list would affect their lives was fascinating to me.  When Ms. Vivian discussed it on a panel, I really got into how the idea came about. It really is an interesting idea.  And throughout the book, she targets some serious issues found among teenage girls such as anorexia, bulimia, peer pressure, sibling rivalry, and of course the joys of *of course it's not a popularity contest*  voting for homecoming queen.  

This is the kind of book that I wouldn't recommend to adults *such as myself* because while it is a fabulous book, it's fabulousness is going to stick more with the teens dealing with the issues in the book in the world around them.  Let's face it, students may not post a list up everywhere in school, but there IS a list at every high school.  If you are on that list, you know.  Everyday in high school revolves around this kind of imaginary list that the school lives by.  It's true.  So the idea of the book was actually pretty awesome, in my opinion.

The book alternates perspectives going through all the girls, revolving until the book is completed.  This means, the reader gets a look into how each girl handles discovering the list, dealing with it, and how it affects their lives.  For the most part, this book is not happy.  I was very sad and a bit angry throughout the book because its very real.  The actions of each character is what paints the story, the emotions, and what makes the story rich.  Such behavior is real, it happens, and kids are cruel.  The book clearly depicts that.

What I didn't love is how Jennifer, the girl that has been most ugly for four years in a row * an all-time record* is suddenly taken in by the popular girls and put in the middle of a campaign for homecoming queen.  It just didn't work for me, and really I just got angry a lot towards the end.  The end also left me with some questions about some of the girls.  I know that some of the stories had a bit of a conclusion, but some seemed to be left out to dry so to speak.

Regardless, I did enjoy the book.  It kept my interest, and it speaks true of what kids can be like in the world of high school.  

Who Should Read It:  Young adults.  Teens.  High school kids.  If you fit the above category, and you like contemporary, this book is for you.


  1. First off your review was amazing. I hope I can write so well someday. I planned on reading this, this year so I was anxious to read what you had to say. I liked how you talked about the issues that teen girls deal with and I agree that the craziness starts in middle school. My school wasn't so much like this but at any high school there are still groups that think they are better. Again awesome review (:

    1. I envy you and your high school. And thanks so much. You made me blush a little!

  2. Fantastic review, Deidra :) You summed up my feelings on this book perfectly! Keep up the great work!!


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