The List by Siobhan Vivian
Also by this author: Burn for Burn
Published by Push
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Source: Public Library
Add to: 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. - via GoodReads
The List by Siobhan Vivian had so much potential I was pretty stoked to get started. A high school has a yearly list that names the ugliest and prettiest girls in each class. I was pretty disappointed the more that I kept reading, the worse it got.
First of all, each girl has her own perspective in The List. Yep that means eight different points of view to juggle. It kept things interesting and helped me work through the book but I have to wonder if this was the best route. If the book is split evenly (which it’s not) each girl would have 42 pages to cover a week of high activity.
I enjoyed each of the girls. They each added something to the story. Margo and Jennifer easily had the most page time. One of my many problems with The List is that Jennifer (the ugly senior) is portrayed as a bad person not because she’s a bad person. Margo and Jennifer’s past is referenced a lot through the book. At one point Jennifer looks at herself in a childhood photo to remember that she too was once pretty. In a way it was like Jennifer was a bad person because she was ugly and bigger not because she is manipulative and selfish.
Finally the book ends. I was reading an ebook copy but had the physical copy as well. (Shush! I’m working on that. 🙂 ) The List ended so abruptly that I picked up my physical copy to make sure that the ebook version hadn’t accidentally lobbed off a few chapters. It hadn’t. There are so many questions left open. It’s not a matter of you get to imagine what the ending is like. It is a bunch of loose ends of what-the-fuckery that it makes my head spin.
Then can we acknowledge that the moral lesson of the story is completely tossed out the window at the last possible second? View Spoiler »The whole point is that we shouldn’t put people into tiny compartments based soley on looks. Then the one person who can end the whole “tradition” DOESN’T BECAUSE SHE’S TOO BUSY BEING CROWNED HOMECOMING QUEEN!!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW?! « Hide Spoiler
I won’t be picking up another Vivian book any time soon. Not one she’s written on her own. I don’t have the time to waste nor enough Tylenol on hand.