THE LIST by Siobhan Vivian
YA - Hardcover, 332 pages
After meeting Siobhan Vivian earlier this year, I was even more excited to read THE LIST. At the every-high-school where the story takes place, a list with the ugliest and prettiest girls is posted anonymously each year. The book switches between each of the listed girls, and I found myself flipping to The List to verify I was getting their positions right. I eventually learned the girls well enough that I didn't need to flip back anymore, so I wouldn't worry about being confused throughout the whole book (which is what I thought might happen at first).
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.
As for the girls, you might assume the ones listed prettiest are having a great time, but that's not always the case. There's the girl who thinks she should've been prettiest, but isn't, and the girl who doesn't know what to do with her new popularity. Those alone were hard enough to read, so when you factor in the girls labeled ugliest, THE LIST becomes a seriously thought-provoking book.
The best (or worst?) part of the book is that it feels so real. It's the school you went to and the girls are you and your friends.
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