April 16, 2012

Review: The List by Siohban Vivian

4 yummy oatmeal butterscotch chip cookies.

Cover Love:  Yes!  I love this cover. It's got lockers!  And a shocked girl.  And it screams high school  It's wonderful!

Why I Wanted to Read This:
First off, contemporary teen books are like candy to me.  Specifically of the chocolate variety.  I read and read until it is all done!  And the synopsis is wonderful.  Here it is from GoodReads:

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.
I Kept Reading Because:
It was super good and easy to read.  And engrossing.

Romance?:  No.  Not really.

What I Liked (& Didn't):
This was just perfect.  Each of the girls in this book made small steps towards growth and changes, but none of them had this huge change.  And that is so what growing up is:  the pull between who you are, who your friends think you are and who you want to be.

Siobhan Vivian did a great job writing eight distinctive voices in this book.  Each chapter was from a  different point of view of a girl on the list and book was split up between the days  from Monday when the list came out till Saturday at the dance.

I think the storyline I liked the least was Sarah.  She was the rebel of the group, the one who shuns all conventions of "normal."  What sometimes drives me nuts about these types of characters and people is that they say they don't care what anyone thinks of them when everything they do screams for attention. 

But what came out in this book is the truth that everyone care what others think, especially in high school.  And mostly no one thinks about others much because they are too busy thinking about themselves!

Since I look at this from a librarian's point of view I have mixed feelings about putting this in a middle school library because there was some swearing but it was the casual drinking that I had the most problems with.  It would be fine in a high school library.

To Sum Up:  Nice story.  Not a flat out coming of age, but a good look at the pressures put on girls in high school.

Book checked out from my public library.

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