In the fiction novel The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart, the protagonist is a 16-year-old girl named Frankie Landau-Banks. Frankie, now a sophomore at a boarding school called Alabaster Prep, which her father attended years before her, decides that she is tired of being the perfect, innocent little girl she is expected to be. When she discovers that her boyfriend, Matthew, is joint leader of a secret society that her father was once part of, she becomes curious. She spies on a meeting of the “Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds” and discovers that only boys are allowed to join. Frankie is furious that she can’t join the society simply because she is a girl. For this reason, she decides to infiltrate the Order. When the other leader of the society, Alessandro or “Alpha,” goes on a vacation, she decides to see exactly how far the boys will go to obey their leader. Setting up an email address and pretending she is him, Frankie sends the boys emails with plans for pranks, which are the trademark of the society. They all believe it is Alpha sending the emails, which leads them to perform many crazy pranks around campus, sometimes getting in trouble with the administration. Then Frankie remembers her father saying something about a book telling about all the former pranks the society pulled and how it was lost a long time ago. She finds out that both Matthew and Alpha are looking for it and decides to find it herself to prove that girls are just as smart as boys. Alpha comes back from his vacation and suspects that Frankie has been looking for the book, called “The Disreputable History.” All his Order members congratulate him on all the great prank ideas and even though he has no idea what they’re talking about, he takes credit. He secretly tries to find out who is behind all the pranks, but Frankie keeps him guessing at who the impostor is. While he is worrying about this, Frankie finds the History herself. However, it becomes more difficult to keep her identity hidden from Alpha and he eventually finds out it was her playing the leader. She is then shunned by the Order and is forced to write a letter of apology to the school. In the end, Alpha develops a grudging respect for her and Frankie feels she has shown everyone that girls are equal to boys.
Guest Reviewer, Sarah McGee