Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The List by Siobhan Vivian

The List by Siobhan Vivian
Publisher: Push
Publish Date:  April 1, 2012
Pages: 332
ISBN: 978-0545169172

At Mount Washington High School, each year two girls from each class are put on a list.  One is the prettiest and one is the ugliest.  This story follows all eight girls and narrates their reactions, their classmates reactions and the events caused by the list.

With that sort of storyline, I expected a whole lot more 'meat' than I got.  I felt that I never got to know any of the girls that well, it was all just surface stuff.  I think I wanted it to be more impactful.

As a girl who was called 'ugly' all through high school - the action of the 'ugly' girls didn't ring true to me.  Sure, some will be all up in your face with an attitude, but generally we just really wanted to be ignored and left alone.  It was really just a game of lay low and wait for high school to be over. 

The story did seem to be a vehicle to show that even the 'pretty' girls suffer...mostly from being pretty and popular.  While that may be true in some cases, I feel like the story fell short, even on this.  Maybe the same story but concentrated on one of the girls and her struggles would have made more sense for me.  I think that in dipping into eight lives, I was left not caring about any of the girls at all.  The ones chosen to have more time given to them just annoyed me.  The story of the two girls that received the most ink-time seemed to be more the story of how one was able to get into the 'popular' group, but only if she ditched her friend who wasn't given a pass in and how that affected both girls all through high school.  That's just girls being mean, and it happens far too often.  But it didn't seem like it should have had that much bearing on the entire story.  I know how it matters in the end, but still, it didn't matter that much.


  1. Hm, it's a shame that this didn't work better for you, because it's a great concept with the potential to be really enlightening of multiple perspectives -- like BEAUTY QUEENS by Libba Bray, from what we've heard.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Sounds like this is probably a pass for us.

  2. Maybe I'll try BEAUTY QUEENS then. This one just had so much potential and it didn't get anywhere for me. Maybe it just wasn't my cup of tea. :)