“Secrets are More Powerful When People Know You’ve Got Them.”

Best book of July time at YA Highway!

I read quite a few great titles this month, so this is a tough call, but the gold goes to THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU-BANKS, by E. Lockhart.

Frankie navigates her way through life at boarding school and secretly infiltrates The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds–an all-male secret society. She’s whip-smart and incredibly flawed, a combination that makes for interesting consequences. There were a lot of fun wordplay and stylistic choices throughout the book, which I thoroughly enjoyed from a writing standpoint, but Frankie herself was what kept me enamored. Well, Frankie and Alpha and the strange power plays between the two.

For some reason, THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY kept reminding me of a far less melancholy JELLICOE ROAD–maybe it was just the boarding school setting?

Anyway, this sat on my shelf for a while before I read it, and once I finished it I couldn’t believe I hadn’t picked it up sooner. It’s won a bunch of awards, and it was a NBA finalist, but I still feel like this book is underrated and doesn’t get nearly as much respect and admiration as it deserves.

Are there any books that you feel are underrated? Read anything great in July?

Share My Wisdom:


  1. Katy Upperman (@katyupperman) says:

    Yay for FRANKIE! Great minds today, Crystal. 🙂 And I totally agree: This book is UNDERRATED! I, too, love a boarding school setting, and FRANKIE’s did not disappoint. The voice, also, was perfection. I can’t wait to read more from E. Lockhart now!

    • Crystal says:

      I pretty much always forget all but the major points in a book after a couple of months. The only thing that sticks with me is when I loved or hated something, otherwise, my brain is too old to remember all that stuff, lol.

  2. Chihuahua Zero says:

    I read this back in middle school. My Comm Arts teacher told us that although it was a “girl power” book, the boys would enjoy it too.

    I loved the book. It’s a great take on the boarding school genre, especially with the larger-than-life nature of the secret society, which served as a channel for Frankie’s antics.

  3. Colin says:

    I believe this book is on my TBR list–if not, it should be! I’ve learned to pay attention to those Award things; I’ve yet to read an award winning book that wasn’t totally deserving of the award(s).

    • Crystal says:

      Awards are definitely a good cue for book buying. I have been let down by a couple here and there, but not ever because they were bad. Mostly because they were over-hyped, you know?

  4. Crystal says:

    Hello! I found you through the comments to the RTW post. This book sounds like a great read and any book that takes place in a boarding school immediately captures my attention. I’ll have to add it to my TBR list.

  5. Rebecca B says:

    You’re the second person to recommend this book to me in a week–I think that’s a sign that I need to read it. Sounds great.

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