Fifteen-year-old Frankie Landau-Banks has grown up a lot over the summer. She's no longer daddy's little girl - and almost immediately after starting the new semester at her highly prestigious school, she bags goofy-but-gorgeous Matthew Livingston as her boyfriend. They get along great but then Frankie discovers that Matthew is a member of a boys-only secret society that specialise in 'hilarious' pranks. Which hardly seems fair... especially when Frankie knows she's smarter than any of its members. And to prove this, she's going to teach them a lesson.
Impersonating lead member Alpha by using a fake email account is surprisingly easy, and soon Frankie is setting the boys up with all sorts of ridiculous schemes and sending them on wild goose chase after wild goose chase. Alpha's not prepared to lose face and admit it's not him sending the emails - but the fun can't last forever, and soon Frankie will have to choose between what she think she wants, and the reputation she deserves.
This is not like Lockhart's other book I've read, it had a completely different feel and tone to it but I loved it just as much. It told of Frankie as she attended her father's old school, trying to navigate relationships and the social, usually old-fashioned, implications of her being a girl. It was very feminist and you really did have to concentrate when Frankie went off on a debate, but it was thought-provoking and very funny.
Like I said, the whole feel of it was all about young feminism, and Frankie was definitely trying to push the boundaries of who is worthwhile, which is difficult at an old-fashioned, used-to-be-boys-only boarding school. As a character, I get the impression that we weren't always supposed to like her, but I really did. Maybe it was her tough attitudes towards the injustice of social conventions and the similarities between our feminist thinking but I completely rooted for her. Frankie is feisty and stubborn, determined to prove herself even though she doesn't really know who against or to what end. She just knows it's not fair to only be seen as "Bunny Rabbit", a cute, pretty girl with no thoughts in her head worth mentioning. As she goes on with secretly taking over the boys' club, she is caught between being who everything expected her to be and who she knows she can be.
Lockhart did a great job in portraying the differences in gender equality and subconscious attitudes towards them. Seeing things through Frankie's eyes, I saw inequality everywhere, from her boyfriend and his friends, to her mother who only wants to protect her. But the point is that Frankie doesn't need protecting because she is smart and incredibly resourceful but all her family and friends see is a young girl in need of coddling.
I would happily recommend this for anyone in need for a thought-provoking, yet surprisingly light-hearted read about a bull-headed girl taking on a secret society. There is a kick-ass heroine, cool guys, great friendships and hidden meanings to solve. All in all, a great read.
Published 6th November 2014 by Hot Key Books. Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.