18 December 2012

Review: The List by Siobhan Vivian

Title: The List
Author: Siobhan Vivian
Published: 1st April 2012
Publisher: Push
Source: Own Copy

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.

Siobhan Vivian has a gift for giving stereotypical characters depth and complexity. I read this right off the back of Burn For Burn since I enjoyed the writing and the story. Every year a list is made which names the prettiest and ugliest girl from each grade. This story highlights how each girl is changed by the list and how it is a curse for most no matter which side of the list you fall on.

This written in the same style as Burn for Burn with each chapter being a different character. This can at times get a little confusing as there are eight different characters. There was a lot going on here with many issues trying to be covered across too many characters. The stories that I really enjoyed and wish had been focused on more were Jennifer and Margo or Lauren and Candace. I found that these were the most interesting stories and these characters had the biggest life changes through the novel.

I enjoyed this book, and I like the way each of the characters, in their own way, develops through the course of the story. Most of the characters have a turning point that changes the way their character views everything around them and makes them a more likeable character.

This had an interesting story and was not something I had seen tackled previously, but at times I felt that the pace dropped away, or the particular character chapter I was reading was a bit of a slog to get through. I always enjoy watching the way Siobhan Vivian shapes her characters and turns them into real girls who each have flaws and issues, but maybe with 8 girls she bit off a bit more than she could handle.

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