Sunday, September 29, 2013

Review ~ The List by Siobhan Vivian

Series: N/A
Genre: Ya contemporary
Pages: 332
Publication date: April 1st 2012
Publisher: Push

Goodreads Description: 
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.

Source: ARCycling and The Book Monsters

This book is about beauty and self-esteem. It's about being reduced to labels based on how "pretty" or "ugly" you look. It's about seeing someone on the surface and judging them before taking a deep and careful look at who they truly are on the inside. It has a great message: it doesn't matter what other people think or say about you--it's what you think and feel about yourself that matters because after all, people aren't going to remember those moments where you were the "prettiest," the "ugliest," or whatever-ist. However, how you handle yourself and how you take being labeled in whatever way is something that could affect you in the long run. So . . . why not stop worrying about what others think of you and start focusing on the more important things in life?
"Years from now, no one will remember this dance, no one will remember who made homecoming queen, no on will remember the list. What people are going to remember are their friends, the relationships they've made. Those are the things to hold on to." - Principal Colby
Anyway, that's message I got from the book.

I loved, loved the concepts, the messages, and the lessons learned in The List. Was it a fascinating read? Did is suck me in, make me cry, make me laugh, or make me fall in love with it? No. Honestly, based on my enjoyment level, I could've given the book three stars instead of four. It made me think, though, and I thought that deserved a higher rating. I could see a lot of development in the characters--each one changed in some way. Sometimes it was a very positive change, and others were a bit negative. Sometimes, the change was only a baby step towards an improvement. I really liked the variety in these changes in developments.

What I didn't like, though, was the number of characters. There were eight of them, and each had her own story told in third person. I felt like there wasn't enough of some of the characters. The story may have been more engaging if there wasn't so many characters alternating throughout the book.

Overall, The List as a meaningful book. It's one worthy of a discussion.You can discuss the messages or the changes in each character. You can talk about why each one changed, or what certain moments and actions meant. You can also discuss the closing of each character's story and why they ended the way they did. This is a book that you can actually get something out of. It's also a very easy and relatable read. For those reasons, I highly suggest giving this book a try.


  1. It sounds like a great book with a great message being displayed. I think it's important for teenage girls to read these sorts of books during high school because it's such an eye opener.

  2. Hmm, this sounds pretty good. I like that it's a deep-thinking book, but the entertainment value seems to be on the lower scale here. I'm definitely searching for a book that just sucks me in for a few hours.

  3. This sounds pretty good. I am glad you found it overall enjoyable. Nice review.

  4. mehhh...this doesn't really seem like a book that I'll enjoy. I'm not the biggest fan of contemporary, so when I actually DO read it, I need it to make me cry and just break my heart. Doesn't sound like this one will do that for me.


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