Title: The List
Author: Siobhan Vivian
Published: April 1st 2012
Length: 332 pages (Hardcover)
Every year at Mount Washington High School, someone prints 400 copies of a list and puts them all over the school. A list naming the prettiest freshman, sophomore, junior and senior, but also the ugliest. This list decides the fate for these eight, singled-out girls for the rest of their time at the school. Who will be popular? Who will get a boyfriend? Who will be happy?
This story follows eight very different girl through possibly the worst week of their lives…
The List brings up a LOT of issues, like eating disorders, the fear of being an outsider, the fear of putting yourself out there, and most of all the fear of being yourself.
There aren’t a lot of girls who can say they can’t relate to the characters in this novel in a single way, which is something that shows us how messed up some parts of our society truly are.
The eight girls on the list, Abby, Danielle, Lauren, Candace, Bridget, Sarah, Margo and Jennifer, all have their own problems and demons to fight. Not only the so-called “ugly” girls, but also the pretty ones. They all struggle with the expectations society has put on them by telling them that beauty is the thing that matters. That beauty is the thing that will get them friends and happiness.
What’s really horrible is that the things these girls go through in this fictional world, actually is reality to a lot of girls all over the world, every day.
The message of this book is really an important one, but I still feel a bit disappointed. I had read pretty good things about it on goodreads, but it just didn’t reach my expectations.
First of all, I found it a bit too much with eight different PoVs. Sometimes I had to stop a second to figure out who was who and what they were like before I could continue reading. I think I would have gotten more out of the story if it had concentrated more on fewer characters.
I really wish I had enjoyed it more, but at times I just wanted to finish it so I could start another book. I did care about the girls in the story, along with the people around them, but I didn’t feel captured by the plot. Maybe this is just me. Maybe this isn’t quite my type of book. Maybe this just wasn’t the right time for me to pick it up, but I still feel like something was missing.
The List would probably be a great book to read in class, and I do recommend it to all of you out there. It makes you think about life, and about how tiny things can change so much. A wave, or a “good morning”. A smile, or a single look.
“Bridget is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Two sides of herself always arguing. She is tired of the fight, the constant struggle between a muddied version of good and evil, where right feels wrong and wrong feels really good”
“To be the prettiest junior in the whole school. It is confirmation that there’d been something wrong with her before. That she had needed to lose weight.”
“She’s surprised by the weight. Obviously the rhinestones wouldn’t be diamonds, but **** always assumed the tiara would be metal. It isn’t. It is plastic.”