The f word

Well, we’ve had quite a week, que no?  In case you’re not already aware from the rest of the Internet talking about it, I highly recommend reading in full the Newsweek series “Secrets of the 2008 Campaigns,” which only could have been made better by being a physical book, so that I could have curled up with it instead of hunching over my computer for an hour and a half.

And speaking of change I can believe in (sort of)!  I have a question to pose to all of you, now that we no longer have to devote half our brains to worrying about the Bradley effect.  I recently read The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart, which was, in a phrase, totally awesome.  My staff pick review:

“If you ever had opinions in high school and felt like you couldn’t express them and be cool at the same time, then this book will be like a balm for your soul.  I hesitate to use ‘the f word’ for fear of scaring away readers, but I think this is the first feminist contemporary YA novel I’ve ever read.  Frankie is a smart sophomore girl at a prestigious private school, and she has a popular senior boyfriend.  But she keeps having a nagging feeling that she’s only popular because she manages to keep her opinions to herself and be agreeable, a feeling that is only increased when she finds out her boyfriend is one of the leaders of a male-only secret society that her father once belonged to.  As she starts getting involved with the society without their knowledge and completely outsmarts them, she gets a chance to be creative and feel respected–until people start wondering just what’s going on.  But this isn’t a preachy or serious book!  It’s actually incredibly funny!

If, as Paula Danzinger once said, we spend the rest of our lives recovering from high school, then this book should be an essential part of that recovery for many people who found it hard to balance popularity and personal comfort when they were teens.  Read it for yourself, and then pass it along to your favorite teen.”

I also wrote another review for teens without the f word–I am an ardant feminist, but I know how the word scares people.

But we’re all adults here, so help me answer the quandary contained in my review.  Is it POSSIBLE that TDHOFL-B (sorry, long title) is the first feminist contemporary YA novel?  Bear in mind that I have considered such classics as A Wrinkle in Time and Harriet the Spy and ruled them out on grounds of not being contemporary.  Am I correct, or am I missing something obvious here?


1 comment so far

  1. Sarah Rettger on

    I’m going to have to go look through my LibraryThing now… off the top of my head, what about The Kayla Chronicles?

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