Release Date: 1st April 2012
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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.
The List has been on my TBR forever, and all of a sudden I was really in the mood to read it the other day. I wasn’t sure what it was about, other than there being a list at these girls’ school which lists the prettiest and ugliest girls from each year. And yeah, that’s pretty much the entire plot.
I did like The List, but I sure didn’t love it. My first problem being the eight points of view that the story is told from. We get the point of view of every girl who is on the list, and in my opinion it’s too much. Each character got about three chapters of “screen-time”, and it wasn’t enough to really get to know them or bond with them. I had problems getting to know all of the characters, Candace in particular, even though she’s the one who shows the most character growth.
Also, the book felt very incomplete, like it was a TV show that had been cancelled mid-season. It didn’t even get a finale, in my opinion, it just sort of cut out after we learnt who made the list. (Their reasoning sucked, by the way.) I wanted to know more about each of the characters and how they were going to end up. None of them, aside from maybe Sarah and Danielle, got a decent finale. Their stories just weren’t wrapped up well.
Another thing I needed to know more about was certain characters’ motivations, like I mentioned above. Not only were the motivations of the person who made the list vague and shallow, Lauren’s mother’s motivations for keeping her out of school were too. I mean, I get that she thought high school was full of evil, but why was she that extreme? And what happened to her when she was younger? We just don’t know.
Overall, The List is an incredibly average read that I can’t recommend because there’s not enough depth. It makes me wonder if Vivian had a larger hand in the atrocious ending of the otherwise terrific Burn for Burn trilogy, because that epilogue was a pile of poo that made no sense. No, I will not let go. Not ever.