By Siobhan Vivian
It happens every year before homecoming–the list is posted all over school. Two girls are picked from each grade. One is named the prettiest, one the ugliest. The girls who aren’t picked are quickly forgotten. The girls who are picked become the center of attention. Each one has a different reaction to the experience.
Abby‘s joy at being named to the list is clouded by her sister’s resentment.
Danielle worries about how her boyfriend will take the news.
Lauren is a homeschooled girl blindsided by her instant popularity.
Candace isn’t ugly, not even close, so it must be a mistake.
Bridget knows her summer transformation is nothing to celebrate.
Sarah has always rebelled against traditional standards of beauty, and she decides to take her mutiny to the next level.
And Margo and Jennifer, ex-best friends who haven’t spoken in years, are forced to confront why their relationship ended.
The List deftly takes you into the lives of eight very different girls struggling with issues of identity, self-esteem, and the judgments of their peers. Prettiest or Ugliest, once you’re on the list, you’ll never be the same.
Interesting premise for a book. I was looking for a light read (because the unemployed just wanna have fun~) and ended up with one that explores several serious issues faced by teenage girls. We get to see how being on the list affects the girls individually and each of them addresses a different issue.
Abby: Is beauty the most important asset a girl could possess?
Danielle: Why should beauty (or the lack there of) eclipse other achievements? Are other people’s opinions that important?
Lauren: Beauty = popularity, but for how long?
Candace: Inner and outer beauty are very different creatures. How much can you get away with just by being beautiful?
Bridget: How far are you willing to go to become/remain beautiful?
Sarah: Whether you see the beauty in yourself is important; It is one thing for others to be cruel to you but another to be cruel to yourself.
Margo: Know when to cut out people who make you feel ugly, but do it proper
Jennifer: Is making lemons out of lemonades necessarily a good thing?
I would go so far to say that these issues covered will probably plague girls well into adult hood. Well, I am still struggling with some.
If I had to do an in depth book report (or assign a book report), this would be the one I choose. The writing is easy to read and the above mentioned points are ripe for discussion. I really like how the girls are paired up,their issues seem to mirror each other. My only complain is that not all loose ends were tied up at the end. Perhaps there will be a sequel?