Monday, April 30, 2012

The List by Siobhan Vivian

 The List by Siobhan Vivan is another contemporary young adult novel -- but a really well-done one.

Every year, on the last Monday of September, The List is posted at Mt. Washington High. Nobody knows who writes the List. It's stamped with an old school seal stolen from the principal's office years ago, and it lists the prettiest and ugliest girls in each class. Appearing on the list means recognition and notoriety for eight girls, but it's not always the blessing -- or curse -- one might expect.

This novel follows those eight girls through one week -- the week the List is posted; the week before Homecoming. Vivan does a fairly good job of differentiating the characters. Some are more fully explored than others, but each girl's story is an interesting exploration of beauty and the perception of beauty. As the stories weave together, the reader can't help but wonder: who wrote the List?

I was impressed with the characterization, as I have mentioned, as well as the way the author managed to bring closure to so many stories, without giving in to the temptation to give each one a pat ending. Recommended!

(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)

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