The List, by Siobhan Vivian
Be warned: This is one of those books that you won’t want to put down once you start reading.
The List is about… a list. You may know the kind: who is smartest, who is best in sports, who you want to kiss, who you don’t want to kiss…
At fictional Mount Washington High School it has become a tradition to post the prettiest and the ugliest girl in each grade on the last Monday of September.
The book follows the eight girls through the week following the posting. The story alternates between the characters – the new girl, the jock, the mean girl, the popular girl, the wanna-be popular girl, the outsider… It’s amazing how much you can find out about someone by observing one week of her life. And this is the week prior to the Homecoming dance, so a lot is happening.
The author manages to quickly jump below the surface labels to show the person inside. The person who is so much more than a name on a list. And as you may guess, the girls who make it on the list, whether as prettiest or ugliest, have a tough time with being singled out for her looks.
The List is fast-paced and entertaining as well as insightful. The story doesn’t end with all the pieces neatly tied up, which may frustrate some readers. But, like me, I think that many more readers will find this glimpse heartbreaking and thought-provoking. I just couldn’t put the book down until I read every word. I think this would make a great book for discussion – whether with adults or teens or a combination of both. I can promise you this, you won’t look at another list the same way!
Check the WRL catalog for The List