Review: The List

The List

By: Siobhan Vivian
Released: April 1, 2012

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“That’s how inside jokes usually are. Funny to those inside, annoying as shit to the rest of the world.”

After reading the ending of this book, I feel like I’m on the wrong end of a horrible inside joke. IS THAT REALLY ALL I GET?! Let me just get started on this.

The List is a story about eight girls who get put on this list. The list details the prettiest and ugliest girl in each grade at a high school. Each chapter has an different point of view, so we get a look into each of the personalities of the girls.

We have Abby Warner, the pretty freshman who is a little jealous of her sister’s book smarts. Danielle DeMarco, the athletic, tomboy freshman. Candace Kincaid, the gorgeous, mean girl sophomore. Lauren Finn, the quiet, shy new girl. Sarah Singer, the rebellious junior who thinks everyone is a carbon copy of the other. Bridget Honeycutt, a pretty girl who struggles with perfection. Jennifer Briggis, a senior who has been on the list four years running. And Margo Gable, the second Gable to make the prettiest senior. Eight girls with hardly anything in common other than this list.

We start out the book with each girl finding out she is on the list, and each individual reaction throughout the first couple of chapters. Most of the girls are happy to see their names on the list, others confused, and a few are downright angry. The girls who have been named “prettiest” revel in their newfound popularity, while those who are named “ugliest” try to cope with why and what they can do to fix it. A few just accept it.

As the story progresses, we get a little insight into each of their personalities a little bit more, and we get to know the people around them. We learn about their friends, their families, and what makes them tick. The whole book seems to circle back to homecoming and who will get homecoming queen. The homecoming dance is central to most everyone’s story in some way or another.

I chose to read this book because it was something easy to download on my kindle on a slow day at work. I was intrigued and thought the writing was enjoyable, and the story itself was enjoyable to me. Normally I don’t like books with so many different perspectives, but I did enjoy this one and getting to see how each character related to another and how they interacted, all while getting to know more about each of them. Most of the time in a story, you don’t get to know much about secondary characters if they aren’t directly related to the main story, but in this one we got to learn more about the people in the background.

What I didn’t like about the book was the ending. There was so much left unsaid. It just ended. There was no ending. I felt like the last pages had been ripped out right in front of my as some kind of cruel joke. It can’t REALLY end like that, I thought. But. It did. I’m still angry about it.

This had potential to be a good YA novel, but it was cut short. There was so much more that could have been said and done, and so many stories left unfinished. I found myself thinking but what about this!? What about that!? So many things we will never know. Unless of course there’s a sequel. But at this point, I’m so mad I don’t even want a sequel.

There was good writing, and a good story to tell here, I just felt like overall it was cut short and the ending rushed. This would make for an excellent limited tv series, or movie. I feel cheated though, and that’s really all I have to say.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5
(I ONLY give this a 3 because I really think it had potential, but was cut short by a horrid ending.)


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