Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Book Review: The List
Author: Siobhan Vivian
Synopsis (via 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.
Review: Everyone has an opinion about other people. We judge our peers before getting to know them. It sounds wrong, but it's true. That's just the way society is. While I read The List, it made me realize how cruel and unfair stereotypes are.
Girls can be very mean. This is a fact. When I first read about the list being posted around Mount Washington High my thinking was along the lines of: "Who could be so mean to post something around the school saying who was prettiest and who was ugliest? Who cares?" Honestly, some girls do. I, thankfully, am not one of them. I tend to avoid drama as much as I can. This list Siobhan Vivian's characters experience causes a whole bunch of drama which ruins several relationships within a week.
Danielle Demarco and Abby Warner are two completely different freshman girls who both had no idea about the list. The only thing in common with them is they both wind up getting hurt. Candace Kincaid thinks her life is perfect until Lauren Finn shows up and the list is posted. Sarah Singer has an edgier side to her and doesn't care what people think of her where Bridget Honeycutt changed her whole lifestyle to fit in. Finally, Jennifer Briggis and Margo Gable. Childhood friends at one point, but complete opposites since high school. One of the eight girls on the list want revenge. One of the eight girls will stop at nothing to get it.
All of Siobhan Vivian's characters were so realistic that it felt like there really is a high school that posts a prettiest/ugliest list every year. I really liked how she wrote in all eight different girls' point of view and they all had completely different stories to tell. The one thing that all related them to each other was the list. I thought this was a great read and would recommend it to all other teens because of the message it comes with. In the end, that saying, "sticks and stones may break my bones and words will never hurt me" is wrong: Words do hurt.