So, I enjoyed this book immensely. It was so, so good. Its critique of society was subtle, but apparent, its heroine was super likable. Man, I love when a book is this enjoyable.
I think my favorite part was how Frankie grew and learned while the novel progressed. I also think it was great how she clearly struggled with wanting to be a part of something and wanting to create her own path and do her own thing.
This book is the story of Frankie Landau-Banks who, at the outset of the novel, confesses to conceiving of a series of pranks/vandalism that took place at her elite boarding school and were carried out by The Loyal Order of the Bassett Hounds, a secret society at said institution. From there, they go back to the beginning and lay out exactly what happened to bring her to this confession. The pranks are fun and the way she goes about getting them accomplished is pretty genius. Or, if not genius, is pretty clever.
I enjoyed this so much, and if you like reading about high school shenanigans and social commentary, I think you’ll like this one, too.
** Spoilers **
So I was all in this novel until the ending. I feel like it left things too wide open and was a bit rushed. The story is told in reverse chronological order as we piece together what happened with Jule and Imogen. Jule is a strong smart girl with the big ambitions and the ability to blend in anywhere. Imogen is a runaway heiress with the need to live life to the fullest. They form a close friendship but like things that burn to bright they tend to fade out too quickly too. When we meet Jule, she is clearly hiding out in Mexico from something or someone from Mexico, we go to London, San Francisco, Puerto Rico, Martha’s Vineyard to New York. As the story unfolds, one can not help but be impressed with how Jule was able to insinuate herself in this world of wealth and privilege with such ease. They don’t even question her story and just assume that she is exactly who she is until late in the game and even then, they never accuse her of being an outright fraud but something a little less genuine. She is able to pull off the greatest con with very little resistance. Jule is able to convince Imogen that she was childhood friends thanks to their connection as orphans. Jule reinvents herself with a superhero background that makes her more heroic then she actually is. Imogen is spoiled and see herself as a free spirit looking to live her life to the fullest. Renting a house in Martha’s Vineyard and sharing it with her boyfriend and friends. She is the kind of person that makes you feel like you are special, until she loses interest and moves on to the next person. She and Jule have an instant connection that borders on obsessive and can only end in one way. It becomes pretty clear what happened between Imogen and Jule that it doesn’t seem all that shocking when it finally happens. To me again it was the ease of how Jule is able to get in her good graces in the first place. When the novel finally circles back to where we began the story that’s where things get confusing. Again real big spoilers after the cut. Continue reading
One of my Black Friday sale buys.