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The List | Review

This book gave such a realistic DESCRIPTION of high school!

The List by Siobhan Vivian


Published by Push on April 1st, 2012

Pages: 332

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased from Indigo Books

Buy it here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your local independent bookstore!

Summary from Goodreads:

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.


my review!

This book had the most realistic description of high school, ever.

I feel like Siobhan just looked into the brains of high schoolers and wrote down their experiences. Some of girls in this book made me want to scream at them. Others, I wanted to cry for. Some I was just completely done with.

The List followed eight girls as the ramifications of being put on the list caught up with them. First off, the list is the worst thing to exist in all of mankind. It is a paper posted all throughout school that lists the prettiest and ugliest girl in each grade.

Um, that is awful. This list is composed by a girl so you can expect some bias in the decisions.5692264_orig


This book is in third-person, but it still follows eight girls so I will evaluate them separately.

Abby (prettiest freshman)- Abby was definitely not the worst of all the girls but she still frustrated me. Abby is, of course, excited to have received her new title. She is a pretty nice girl and she struggles in school. She’s the polar opposite of her older sister, Fern. Fern is a genius and not the best looking, to put it nicely. Fern was SO MEAN to Abby! Abby was excited about the list because she never gets any academic recognition like her sister. Abby’s main struggle is with her sister. I think the list benefitted Abby because it finally forced her and Fern to work out their differences.

Danielle (ugliest freshman)- Danielle was probably my favorite of the girls and I felt SO BAD for her at some parts. Danielle is an amazing swimmer, so she has large muscles. She isn’t picked on at all until the STUPID LIST nicknames her ‘Dan the man’. Danielle has a boyfriend, Andrew, and he is just a jerk about it because he avoids her at school, I mean COME ON! She is horribly picked on by Andrew’s friend Chuck and it made me so mad.

I think the list benefited Danielle because it made her realize Andrew was a little wimp and she created new friends on the swim team.

Lauren (prettiest sophomore)- Lauren is in her first year at a real school (she was homeschooled before) and she is just so innocent.

Lauren receives a boatload of fake friends due to the list, and she does not even realize that they are fake friends. The list harmed Lauren’s life because she didn’t realize her new ‘friends’ were using her for her newfound popularity. The list also harms her relationship with her mother.

Candace (ugliest sophomore)- Candace isn’t ugly on the outside but she sure is ugly on the inside. Candace was so conceited! I wanted to slap some sense into that girl. Candace definitely had some real character development. Her ‘friends’ left her for Lauren, and during that time she was forced to face the music: she was mean. The list definitely benefited Candace because she realized how rude she was and changed her ways.

Bridget (prettiest junior)- Bridget was probably the most sad of the bunch. After not liking herself in a bikini, she became anorexic over the summer. After school starts, she begins to eat more healthily. The list changes all that. It puts pressure on her to look the best and pushes her into her old habits. The list harmed Bridget most of all.

Sarah (ugliest junior)- Sarah is basically that brooding girl that hates life and everyone on the planet. I didn’t really like her at all. She says she hates everyone in the school and doesn’t care what they think, but it is revealed that she cares somewhat. She goes to drastic measures to stick it to the school. The list probably benefits Sarah because she finally lets herself open up to her friend Milo after the whole fiasco.

Margo (prettiest senior)- Oh, girl, she annoyed me. Margo was super conceited. She was not as bad as Candace, but almost. Margo’s sister was also prettiest senior the year before. Margo was just enamored with the idea of being Queen Bee in high school. She begins to realize that it doesn’t matter at the end of the book. The list didn’t really have too much of an effect on Margo. She realized that it had to be stopped by the end of the book.

Jennifer (ugliest senior)- Oh, Jennifer. She was ugliest for four years in a row. She wanted so badly to be popular but I would not happen for her. She seemed to be naïve. There was much more to Jennifer than I could have guessed, but NO SPOILERS.

This book had a happy ending for some, bittersweet for others, and sad for the rest. It was very interesting to be in the point of view of so many.

I would recommend this for any girl 14+ because of some of the subjects addressed in this book. The chapters on Sarah also had some profanity. 4.5/5 stars, this book was so revenant for today’s teens. It was hard hitting and thought provoking. I would definitely recommend this read.

Your favorite fangirl,



About Sarah Stevens

I am a teenage girl that reads lots of young adult books. I also watch Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Downton Abbey. I love YA realistic fiction and dystopian books.

One response »

  1. Pingback: September in YA | Fangirl Like You Mean It

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