During the summer between her freshman and sophomore years at Alabaster, a private boarding school, Frankie Landau-Banks goes from awkward and geeky to a knockout who knows she’s got brains too. She manages to win the attention and affection of Matthew Livingston, the popular senior she had her eye on all last year, who is just now noticing Frankie exists.
But everything isn’t perfect. Frankie is fighting an inner battle between being that adorable girl with the cute senior boyfriend, and the feminist girl who doesn’t want to just be adorable. She’s got a brain too.
Then she finds out her new boyfriend is part of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hound, the old boys club her father was a member of at Alabaster back in his day. The boys-only club. The boys-only club she wants to be a part of, not necessarily because girls are excluded, but because there is a bond of friendship she sees in the club that she wants for herself. Her boyfriend won’t even tell her about the Basset Hounds, so Frankie takes things into her own hands and becomes the mastermind behind it all.
I loved this book. It brought out a little of my inner feminist, while still really showing the way a teenage girl works … wanting to be cute and liked, but also wanting to be heard and admired for things besides being a pretty girl. I loved the way E. Lockhart wrote the story with a little bit of foreshadowing here and there and a lot of creative adventures.
Rating: Mild. Just because it’s a young adult novel and there are a couple of very slight references to sex (but nothing at all descriptive, just brief speculation about who might be having it and some mild, easily overlooked, references to other sexual acts). Language is nonexistent. There are only a few swear words, and they are typed up with asterisks, etc. rather than the word itself.