Monday, May 20, 2013

The List

Book: The List
Author: Siobhan Vivian

Review: Every year, the Monday before homecoming, a list is published naming the prettiest and ugliest girl for the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior class. Told from alternating perspectives, we follow the girls for the week to see how they are impacted. 

Vivian tackles several issues that many young girls face including eating disorders, relationships (both love and friendship), co-dependent parents (or parent in this case) and self image. How do we see ourselves and how do we measure our worth? Is is through our own perception of ourselves or others perception of us? What is the definition of 'beauty' v. 'ugly' and how does it define our choices? 

Vivian did an excellent job crafting different voices for the girls and I was quickly drawn into the trials and tribulations of their high school life. High school was a long time ago for me but I don't recall it being quite so vicious and superficial. While most of the characters were unlikable, I did enjoy Danielle, the 'ugliest' freshman and member of the swim team. She was someone to route for. The eating disorder character (one of the 'prettiest') was also heartbreaking, and I kept wondering where her parents were in the story-there was no mention of them realizing she was losing herself. 

Overall-an enjoyable read and I was pleasantly surprised that it was more in depth than I thought. However I strongly disliked the ending. I appreciate that the stories didn't end tied in a red bow, because that would be unrealistic, but it just ends when one of the characters is crowned homecoming queen. A follow up chapter set in the future or something with a follow up on the girls would have been nice. 

Grade: 3/5 stars

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