Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Book Review: The List, by Siobhan Vivian

The List is a compelling contemporary that deals with high school teen girls and their self image.

The premise is a bit of a stretch. Every year at the beginning of homecoming week, a list is posted all over the school with eight names on it. Two girls from each class - the "ugliest" and the "prettiest." Apparently this is an annual tradition, one that the administration has done nothing about. As I work in a high school, I find this hard to believe. But I do know that kids are cruel sometimes, and the way the rest of the story played out is plausible.

We are introduced to each of the eight girls in separate chapters, and then we see how they all deal with this fame. You would think that the "pretty" girls wouldn't have problems, but even they have a difficult time dealing with this notoriety.

Vivian did a great job creating unique, identifiable characters. There's the previously home-schooled girl, the athlete who apparently looks like a boy, the presumed homecoming queen, and the girl who embraces her ugliness. The characters and teen interactions really made The List.

There is, of course, the mystery of who made the list. And the new principal is even making attempts to find out. The reader does find out at the end, but I didn't really feel that was key to The List.

Teen girls who love contemporary stories about the struggles of being in high school should definitely seek out The List. It's a quick book, written in an easy style, and I'll put this one on my list for reluctant girl readers too.

Published by Push, April 1, 2012
ARC obtained from the publisher for review
332 pages

Rating: 3.5/5

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  1. I remember seeing this one on some other blog recently but I wasn't sure what it was about. I really liked your review though, and I think the book sounds really good. I agree that I would think that the school would do something about the list after all those years, but it would be interesting how the freshmen on the list deal with all of it. Seeing on how they wouldn't have any past knowledge of The List.

  2. I was intrigued when I first heard about this book. I find it hard to read about how cruel some teenagers can be. Most people have some insecurities in high school and to have them exploited for the world to see is harsh.

    I like that you mentioned that the "pretty" people had problems too. It's always nice to realize that everyone no matter their looks has some things they are not happy with.


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