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. – Goodreads
Much like with Not That Kind of Girl, Siobhan Vivian had me hooked to the pages of The List. Not only is there drama galore — two girls from each grade are selected as “the prettiest” or “the ugliest” — but Siobhan Vivian offers a very refreshing voice in the YA contemporary genre. She’s fearless when it comes to exploring themes of sexuality, self-esteem, family, and friendship, and she does it with honesty and minimal sugarcoating.
Although The List was definitely a gripping read, I must say that there were moments where the book lost me. I’m always one to make a “Yikes!” face when there are multiple POVs and that was definitely the case here. Eight! Eight narrators that I couldn’t seem to tell apart. Sure, they all had their own backgrounds and situations, but the constant switch between them had me referring to the initial list in the beginning to try to make sense of who they were. As I said before, Siobhan Vivian isn’t one to shy away from difficult themes, but I thought the individual character’s stories weren’t explored enough because of the limited pages they all had. Had they been further developed, I think The List could have been a stronger read.
The conclusion of the book also had me scratching my head. I kept thinking that things would come together as the last pages were turned, but that wasn’t the case in my opinion. I felt that The List ended rather abruptly and with no real resolution. I’m all for an open ending, but I wish there had been more closure for the girls. Was there a reason for this? Will there be a sequel? I would definitely read it, if that was the case, but I wish The List had read as a complete book all on its own.
Overall, I found The List by Siobhan Vivian to be an enjoyable read that I wish had more depth to it. The potential was there, and I loved the ideas that Vivian tried to present, so I will definitely look forward to what she writes next!
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