The List by Siobhan Vivian
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.
Contemporary fiction is one of my favorite genres and I have been anticipating The List for quite some time. I have yet to read anything by Siobhan Vivian, and I figured this was a good place to start. The List had a unique premise and caught my attention right away. The idea of a list naming girls in each grade as "ugliest" or "prettiest" was fresh and intriguing. I could not imagine having this actual happen, but it made for an entertaining read that showed just how much a piece of paper can change someone's life.
The List had an extremely unique premise and I was eager to see how Siobhan would handle the subject. How awful it would be to be named the ugliest! And imagine the repercussions of being named prettiest! All of the characters handled the "honor" differently and it was interesting to see what their reaction was and how the rest of the school viewed them afterwards. Since there were eight girls on the list and the book alternated between all of their points-of-view, things got a little confusing at times. I am glad I got to see into the head of each of the girls and see how they took the news, but at times I got lost with who was who.
I really liked the way Siobhan told the story and she dealt with some heavy issues. Even though some girls were named prettiest, this did not mean things were perfect for them from then on. Each girl was dealing with her own personal issues and had to face their friends and family after the list went up. The book took place over a short period of time and, I felt, ended rather abruptly. I wish I could have seen where things were going for each of the girls.
Siobhan Vivian is a great writer and she tied in a variety of plot twists to keep things moving and I was constantly wondering who the writer of the list was and what was going to happen in the end. It had a bit of mystery-edge to it, which I enjoyed, and my heart went out to the girls who had to deal with having their names on the list, because things were never easy for them as a result.
All in all, while The List didn't completely live up to my expectations, I still really enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading more by Siobhan Vivian in the future.
Overall: 3.5 out of 5 stars
April 1, 2012/Push/332 Pages/Young Adult
Other books by this author: Same Difference, Not That Kind of Girl