- Reading level: 10 - 16 years
- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Mira Ink (31 January 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1848454139
- ISBN-13: 978-1848454132
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,40,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The List Paperback – 31 Jan 2017
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• ‘Vivian explodes the beauty myth in a page-turning whodunit that reveals the wars waged every day between girls and their images in mirrors.’ ―E. Lockhart, author of WE WERE LIARS.
• ‘Siobhan Vivian is funny and sharp, and she nails the little details and big truths that matter.’ ―Maureen Johnson, Queen of Teen 2012.
• Offering a well-differentiated cast of complex characters and a thoughtful focus on femininity, sisterhood, relationships, eating disorders, and what it means to be singled out, Vivian proves that beauty and ugliness aren't always a matter of appearance.” – PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review
• ‘Smart, snappy writing.’ – NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
About the Author
Siobhan Vivian was born in New York City on January 12, 1979 in Rutherford, New Jersey. Siobhan attended the University of the Arts, where she graduated with a degree in Writing for Film and Television. She received her MFA in Creative Writing: Children’s Literature from the New School University.
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----Simone de Beauvoir
Siobhan Vivian, the New York Times bestselling author, has penned an incredibly enlightening and an entrancing contemporary young adult fiction, The List in which the author has woven a story about eight high school teenage girls from various grades who are picked up for a list that labels four of the girls as the ugliest in their high school and rest four as the prettiest, but little did they knew that before the homecoming dance, this list would actually ruin their lives and their relationships, no matter how good or bad they are labelled as.
This riveting exploration of physical appearance and the status it confers opens a cultural conversation that’s needed to happen for a long time.
Every year during homecoming week, a list is posted anonymously at Mount Washington High naming the prettiest and ugliest girls in each class. Abby, who finds it easier to get credit for her looks than hard work, and Danielle, whose swimmer’s physique gets her labeled “ugly,” are this year’s freshman duo. The list confers instant status, transforming formerly home-schooled sophomore Lauren from geeky to hot while consigning her counterpart, pretty-but-mean Candace, to pariah. But what the label mainly confers is anxiety. Prettiest junior Bridget despairs that she’ll ever be thin enough to merit her title; Sarah takes refuge in anger, vowing to earn her ugly label big-time. Jennifer, four-time “ugliest” winner, tries to relish the notoriety. Margo’s title should make her the slam-dunk choice for homecoming queen, but will it? Whether clued in or clueless to the intricate social complexities, boyfriends reinforce the status quo, while moms carry scars of their own past physical insecurities.
The issue is seldom front and center in books for teens, but Vivian refuses to falsify or avoid the uncomfortable realities that looks alone confer status, and their power is greatest when obscured by the pretense that “looks don’t matter.”
Mount Washington High school turns into a nightmare for some girls and into a boon from an evil curse for a handful of girls, every year in the month of September, right before the Homecoming day when a Homecoming King and Queen is elected. Every year from the freshmen to sophomore to junior to senior grades, two girls are picked or rather say, labelled as "ugly" or "pretty" in The List that decides the fate of the eight teenage girls on whether they would win the title or not. Little did girls like, Abby, Danielle, Lauren, Candace, Bridget, Sarah, Jennifer and Margo knew that they would make the list that year and that would completely change their personal as well as social lives and circles, for the better or for the worse, but whatever the outcome is, this list is going to destroy their relationships and friendships. But can the girls overcome this challenge or will they ever find out who is behind this social stigma?
This is the first time that I read any books by this author and before picking up a copy of this book, I wasn't expecting much from this particular book. And boy, oh boy, it surprised me a lot, not because of the author's writing style or prose, but only because of the story line that the author has flawlessly created and that gripped me through out the entire story line. The sharp edge of brutal honesty reflects from each and every pages and that astounded me on how much real the story line felt and how vividly the author captured about a fragile and young world where body shaming can ruin some one's future.
The author's writing style is okay, not that perfect or coherent, because there are eight main characters and sometimes it feels tedious to read about the drama happening in their lives. The narrative is dull yet it has that power to stimulate the young minds, and sways smoothly with the pace of the book. The one problem is that the dialogues lack the depth of emotions, although from the grounds of social morality, the whole story is going to incite anger many young teenagers and their parents and eventually finding resolutions and closure in the climax.
The characters are well developed, but since there are so many characters, somewhere in the story line, their personal stories get overlapped eventually that will leave the readers a bit confused. The main eight characters reflect authenticity and realism thorough their demeanor. Their fight and struggle to overcome from the label, be it good or bad is real to the very core and is bound to strike a chords with those who have faced the same situation in their lives. The supporting characters are good enough and peak the interest level of the story line.
The issues that this book raise are very much real and every single day, girls are becoming a victim to this social stigma. And the author deals with this cause with much sensitivity and emotions that will motivate the common people especially the parents and the teachers of the victims to curb this social stigma from spreading. The author sends a strong message through this book and it hits rightly through the souls of the people and encourages them to take a step against this issue of body shaming and labeling young girls upon their beauty, looks and figure.
In a nutshell, this is a must read book for not only the young teenage girls but also for their parents and teachers, that will compel them from their very core to understand the gravity of such a social issue.
However, at a few points I have felt that the author has taken too much on her plate, and here is why –
1) It is a delight to read a book written from 2 point of views. A 3 POV story begins to bother me. The List has 8 POVone-dimensional,he overdoing of characters actually adds negativity in the book as each of the characters have hardly five chapters to them. The characterisation, therefore, was expected to be only one-dimensional, however Vivian has very effectively built a good characterisation of about 5 of the girls.
2) The Ending is Abrupt. You are left with a lot of questions and practically no answers so as to what happens with a few of the girls next as their fate remains unresolved.
Despite the complaints, I am hugely satisfied with the book and I would never mind re-reading it. The reason is Vivian’s writing style. While the narrative gets kind of confusing, Vivian has a blessed writing style which has gone almost missing in today’s fiction and teen books. I can term it as a good literature. Apart from teens, parents and teachers must also consider reading the book to understand the gravity of the situation that prevails in today’s teens.
If you pick up the book with an expectation to read only mean things directed for the girls labelled as ugly, you are wrong. Even the girls tagged as pretty are in as much of social pressure as the ugly ones. This is just a signification of the fact that no matter which side of the coin falls for you, get ready for trouble.
Moral in Rupi Kaur’s amazing words, The body is what you come into the world with. This Is the First home, and would be the last home. So love your body.I finished this book in just 4 hours. That’s right. In a long time I haven’t read such a compulsive read and maybe that’s why I loved it so much! At no point did I feel that I was having to push through.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This book really captures the essence of the judgement placed upon girls (and boys) in high school, how quickly your view on someone can change because of something silly like a list, something so simple, not at all dignified or of great importance. I guess simplicity is what counts in books for teenagers like me who are a little slow on the intake.
The characters were very believable, not going to such an extent as a cliché of stereotypical high school students with the one queen bee and the others just roaming around aimlessly with their unimportant cliques, I mean, there was Margo obviously who was the top girl, but she wasn't a slave driver or anything. She genuinely appreciated her friends and didn't treat everyone like they were less than her which was a nice change of pace.
I like that the author touched on inner beauty. And I don't mean the little speech they give you in school or girl scouts or whatever about being beautiful no matter what anyone says, but more the opposite, telling a story of a girl who is pretty on the outside but oh so ugly on the inside, and her little realization of what she does to people. Having the pretty girl be the vulnerable one made things interesting.
I was left at the end with so many questions about everyone, Danielle especially, I really wish they were answered or that the author writes a sequel, because this is a great book and that's the only reason I'd leave out a star.
A great read for 13-15 year olds. Those older may not enjoy it as much, but give it a try if you're looking for a quick, fun read.
Every year the List comes out. There is an ugliest girl and a hottest girl in each grade. No one knows who makes the lists or how the official (stolen) school seal that marks the official list gets passed down from year to year, but they accept the list as a part of their high school lives. This year is no different from previous years for most people, but it is a life-changer for the 8 girls on the list. One has been on the list all 4 years of her high school career... as the ugliest girl in her grade. One only makes the list after her anorexia slims her down. One embraces her Ugly status by writing UGLY across her forehead and refusing to shower for the whole week leading up to the Homecoming game.
But one thing is for certain: the list affects every single girl it names. And while you might think it would help the lives of the Hottest girls, you would be miserably wrong. Being named Hottest only makes your friends jealous and guys think they have a right to hit on you or think you are a trophy to be won. Being on the list tests every relationship you have ever had, your values, and worst of all, what you think of yourself. The List has changed these girls... but you won't believe how.
This was a deceptively awesome book, I must say. I assumed it would be rife with cliches and stereotypes and full of pink plush morals and "typical", but it really wasn't. Instead, it surprised me. Time and time again, what happened to these girls REALLY surprised me. I thought I knew what was going to happen to the Ugly girls vs. the Hot girls, but I found myself flipping the pages time and time again with that "What the heck?!" shocked look on my face. It was a really refreshing read! But at the same time, it was a frighteningly accurate reveal into the world of high school culture. We, as adults, sit on the outside of the true happenings of our schools, and although we have lived through it, we have also outgrown it, making our opinions jaded. I mean, can you honestly remember what it felt like to live through high school? I can honestly say I have tried somewhat (un)successfully to block it from my mind, but every now and then I see something going on where I teach and all those memories come rushing back.
This would be an excellent book for any high school aged girl through adult trying to understand the lives and roles of teenagers these days. And to try and pretend judgment and criticism are not a part of adolescence is simply ridiculous. Sometimes we, as adults, just need to immerse ourselves in their world, even through a story like this one, to see the truth of what they live through every day. It might make you a little more sympathetic as you give them detention or scold them for not finishing their work. We see the world through our adult eyes, but we forget that as teenagers, we didn't even know who we were at that point. Vivian did a great job with this story explaining the lives of teenagers and I am sure all adolescents would find at least one character to relate to. Even if they don't want to admit it!