The List

Siobhan Vivian, Author, Soibhan Vivian, Author
Siobhan Vivian. Scholastic/Push, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-545-16917-2
Reviewed on: 02/27/2012
Release date: 04/01/2012
Paperback - 333 pages - 978-0-545-16918-9
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-545-44323-4
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The eponymous list, which mysteriously appears on the walls of Mount Washington High each year before homecoming, has the power to lift or break the spirits of eight female students: on it are the names of the “prettiest” and the “ugliest” girl in each grade. In this insightful and provocative novel, Vivian (Not That Kind of Girl) explores the effects the list has on the most recently chosen girls. While some results—self-doubt, shame, pressure—are to be expected, some of the girls respond in surprising and unconventional ways. Rebellious sophomore Sarah takes her “ugliness” to a new level by refusing to bathe or change clothes. Senior Jennifer, deemed ugliest four years running, works her way into a circle of popular girls, a group led by “prettiest girl” Margo, who used to be her best friend. Offering a well-differentiated cast of complex characters and a thoughtful focus on femininity, sisterhood, relationships, eating disorders, and what it means to be singled out, Vivian proves that beauty and ugliness aren’t always a matter of appearance. Ages 13–18. Agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary Management. (Apr.)
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