The Compulsive Reader: The List by Siobhan Vivian

Monday, July 2, 2012

The List by Siobhan Vivian

Every year, the Monday before Homecoming, the List is posted. On it are eight names, the supposed prettiest and ugliest girls of each grade. For each of the eight girls, being named either pretty or ugly had different effects on their lives, but they all share one thing: attention. Because suddenly, pretty or ugly, everyone at school sees them, even the school’s new principal who is determined to discover the List’s author. But the List is tradition…can it ever really be stopped?

Siobhan Vivian has written a tremendous, truthful, and important novel in The List. Told from the rotating perspectives of all eight girls on the List, her characterization is so strong and brilliant. Each girl’s point of view is engaging and they all play off of each other wonderfully to help propel the plot while remaining very fluid. Rather than seeming disjointed, this style comes off as pretty cohesive. This is partly due to the fact that while readers do wonder about the List’s creator, the principal’s hunt for this person isn’t the main focus of the book. Instead, it’s about the very personal effects that being on the List has on each girl, and how it both negatively and positively affects the characters. Vivian did a magnificent job of balancing countless events, characters, and personalities, and she doesn’t let all of the action get in the way of diving into the heart of the emotions and feelings of every girl. In her straightforward, witty, and realistic voice, Vivian delivers an ironic ending that will leave a lasting impression. The List is an incredibly strong and important book.

Cover Comments: I like this cover! It's pretty and not too loud, but it captures the action and tone of the book quite well. The only thing I'd probably change is the title--it's a little small.

Review copy provided by publisher.


Lauren said...

I got to meet Siobhan Vivian several years ago for the release of her second book. Great author - looking forward to reading her newest work!

Aneeqah said...

I also really enjoyed this book! I loved the voices of each girl and their internal struggle- it was really great to read about. And I totally agree about the cover! It's very nice, but the font should just be a bit bigger so that it stands out a little more.

Lovely review! <3

-Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

Kristilyn (Reading in Winter) said...

The List looks super good! I love a good contemporary book that actually means something. I should definitely pick it up sometime!

Great review. :)

Alex (A Girl, Books, OtherThings) said...

Sounds awesome! I actually like the idea of rotating narrators! If it's well done it makes the story quite dynamic

marybelle said...

I can see how powerful this list would be for good or ill. THE LIST goes on my list.

Melanie said...

I've loved the Vivian books I've read and I plan on reading this one too! You're right, Vivian does have a realistic voice.

Anonymous said...

I think the book was ok. Nothing special really, wish there was a better ending. But right now i'm reading my life next door and loving it!! So much better then the list, sorry.