Book Review – “The List”

The List is a young adult novel by Siobhan Vivian. The story follows 8 girls: Abby, Danielle, Candace, Lauren, Sarah, Bridget, Jennifer and Margo, whose lives have been turned upside down by a list. It declares who the prettiest and the ugliest girls at their high school are. The list takes a different toll on each of their lives. Abby learns more about her sister’s life, Danielle becomes more confident, Candace learns that “beauty isn’t skin deep”, Lauren changes, but not for the better, Bridget lets an eating disorder come back, Sarah tries to change people’s view of her, and Margo and Jennifer seem to switch lives.

The story starts from the 3rd person narrative (the way the story is told throughout the entire novel). The prologue talks about how the list is hung and stuck everywhere in the school, and how that is the tradition every year the week before the Homecoming dance. The book then shows a copy of the list. The following chapters show how each girl reacts to seeing her name up there. They also talk about the girls’ backstories. After, the novel shows how the list affects each girl’s life. It ends with the famed Homecoming dance, where we discover everything. The final sentence of this book says out loud what this novel has been meaning to tell the reader all along.

This book was one of the best YA novels I have read in a long time. I think it’s good because even though the main plot is something that wouldn’t happen here (I hope!) and the themes in the book go alongside things that do happen in real life, such as breakups, frenemies, bullying and anorexia. When I finished the book I silently wished that I could go back in time so that I could read it for the first time over and over again. This book is good for people who like to read books about real life for teenagers, and are fans of authors such as Siobhan Vivian, Jenny Han, Lindsey Lee Johnson or Chelsea Sedoti.  

Sadly, we do not have this book in the library but I will definitely be recommending it. I had never read anything by this author (Siobhan Vivian) before, but I am now going to be reading more of her novels. I think that because of all the themes in this novel, this would be a good book for English classes here at La Chat.  I am going to give this book 5 out of 5 stars. My recommended reading age would be 13+, but I think younger readers can read it if they are comfortable with themes like bullying, relationships and eating disorders.

By Rebecca LeMoult