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An editor and avid reader gives her frank thoughts about everything she reads. More reviews and book blather on fefferbooks.com!

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The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks - E. Lockhart

ARGH! I am really conflicted about this book. Up until the conclusion, I was really enjoying it, but I am struggling with its attempt at a sociological message. I love that Frankie is a smart, strong girl who speaks up for herself and has clearly defined interests. I was like that as a teenager, EXCEPT when it came to boys, and then I turned into a "whatever you want" girl. Looking back, I was miserable, and I wish I could go back now and teach my young self a thing or two. If I could make myself have read this book as a teenager and learned from it to, for gosh sakes, *be myself* around boys, I'd be really happy. And I would gladly pass this along to my daughter with the same hopes, EXCEPT: I Hate (with a capital H) when women take on the position that choosing to do traditionally "feminine" things, particularly having tried the alternative and finding that being "girly" is what one prefers, is somehow an invalid feminist choice. Wrong. Feminism simply means we insist upon the ability to make those choices, the same way men do, and it embraces them all. If a girl prefers to (paraphrasing here) "stay home and make crumbles instead of stand around with stupid boys drinking beer on a cold, dark golf course," well, can you blame her? And yet, an undercurrent of shame and derision for such choices runs throughout the book, equating them with lack of intelligence or, more subtly, courage or integrity. Shame on you, Ms. Lockhart. For shame.