It happens every September– the list is posted all over school. Two girls are picked from each year. One is named the prettiest, one the ugliest.
The girls who aren’t picked are quickly forgotten. The girls who are become the centre of attention, and each reacts differently to the experience.
With THE LIST, Siobhan Vivian deftly takes you into the lives of eight very different girls struggling with issues of identity, self-esteem, and the judgements of their peers. Prettiest or ugliest, once you’re on the list, you’ll never be the same.
Release Date; April 7th (UK) Out Now (US)
Thanks to Harlequin (UK) and Netgalley for the read for review copy.
This book is told from eight different girls, two from each grade one of which is the “ugliest” and one who is the “prettiest”. Be prepared for the changing perspectives and view points from each girl as they let what the list has said affect their lives.
Siobhan in this book is aiming to portray different issues each girl could go through at school, from insecurities related to their bodies, to friends, family and boyfriends. In a way this means that the book may appeal to someone who is going through these issues, yet personally I found that one or two characters were so self conceited and in love with themselves that they drove me mad. This means that if I had the opportunity to skip who I was reading about, I may have done this to read about the people that I wanted to read about at risk of losing elements of the story as a whole.
It’s the fact that there is eight main characters and a host of side characters all whom have inter-connecting relationships that made this book a read that went on and on, don’t get me wrong some elements are well handled such as the anorexia. It was dealt with in a sensitive but blunt way, adding in the little voices that tell you that this is needed to look pretty or normal. This was well dealt with very well but it is a shame that it could not have gone into more depth about how it affects her and her family. She also manages to express the difficulties of a girl with an over protective mother, who upon entering school for the first time has friends and the resulting fall out although again, it just seemed lacking in the grand scheme of things.
I guess that’s the crux of my problem for this book, there just wasn’t enough time to talk about these issues in the depth that they deserved. This would have been much better portrayed as a series of books with each book focusing on one year group and a development of the characters and their issues would have allowed for a more in-depth and gripping read. Oh, and that ending had me spitting.
However as it stands this book does read well, Siobhan’s writing is very engaging and expressive. It is enjoyable trying to work out who made The List and the hope of getting to see the fall out keeps you hooked. Each girl is designed to be relate-able in some aspect and this is what will keep you reading onwards.
Overall a 3/5 for the book!