Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The List by Siobhan Vivian

The List
By Siobhan Vivian
Published by Scholastic, 2012
336 pages (hardcover)

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. (from

I picked up this book because it had such an interesting premise: a list posted in the fall of the prettiest and ugliest girls at each grade. Now, I sincerely hope this is something that would not ever happen. I mean, not every teacher in a school is that clueless and I KNOW some parent would sue if this sort of bullying occurred. However, I have seen and heard of lists that are passed around where students rate or rank other students according to looks, popularity, etc.

And those kind of lists do affect people.

In this book, the pretty and ugly girls are each impacted in different ways after the list is posted. Some girls’ lives change for the better, some find strength and/or friends they never knew they had, and some completely self destruct due to the increased attention and pressures.

The ultimate question, though, is… just who posted the list? I think the poster and why he/she chose the girls he/she did says a lot about how we view others.

But, really, everyone has pretty and ugly qualities and it may just take a little effort to look past the ugly and see a whole lot of pretty.

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