Friday, June 8, 2012

The List by Siobhan Vivian (Review + Giveaway)

Genre:Young Adult, Contemporary, Drama, 
Publication.Date  April 1st 2012
Published By:  Push
WebsiteSiobhan Vivian

The List - Goodreads
My review copy:Finished copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Where to get:

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)

“Sometimes, when you get something new, you trick yourself into believing it has the power to change absolutely everything about you.”
And everyone else.
This morning, before the first homeroom bell, every girl atMount Washington High will learn if her name is on the listor not.
The ones who aren’t will wonder what the experience, goodor bad, might have been like.

The eight girls who are won’t have a choice.

     The List is a smart and provocative contemporary novel, and one that made a huge impression on me. Featuring themes like love, friendship, sisterhood, family, and anorexia, The List is a harrowing exploration of the judgements that teen girls face regarding their physical appearance and popularity, as well as the social pressure for them to be pretty, skinny, and flawless in every way. In this wonderful, thought-provoking book, Siobhan Vivian raises many important questions. And it's up to us to find the answers. 

     Told in alternating view points, The List takes place in Mount Washington's high school. A place that wouldn't be all that different from any other American school out there if not for one thing - its cruel annual tradition. See, every year, on the Monday preceding the homecoming, a certain list is posted all over the school. It's pinned to every board and glued to every locker, and it's practically impossible to miss. Everyone knows about this tradition and everyone is equally thrilled to find out who'll make the list this time. On the list are the names of girls that were chosen to be the prettiest and the ugliest of each grade. Chosen by who? Nobody knows. For what purpose? We can only guess. The fact is, other than blindly accepting the list, and either worshipping the girls voted the prettiest, or making the lives of the ugliest ones as miserable as possible, no one is really interested in getting to the bottom of it. 

     The List tells the story of eight girls who have been "voted" the prettiest and the ugliest. We get to follow each of them for one week (the one leading up to the homecoming party). We see how they react to seeing their name on the list, how it affects them, how they feel about it, what they think. Each one of the girls has a different, entirely unique story to tell, as every single one of them has a distinct personality. They each have their own voice, their own hopes, dreams, and fears. And the list affects them in more ways than they could've ever imagined possible. Their stories intertwine with each other, painting an incredibly vivid picture of just how cruel high school life can be. How merciless and full of judgement. How completely unfair. 

     In her book, Siobhan Vivian explores the emotional and psychological consequences of being included on the list. She talks about beauty and its meaning, vanity, emotional abuse (bordering on bullying), morality, friendship, love, and finding one's identity. With her utterly compelling prose and excellent character development, she tackles some extremely relevant issues, from self-esteem and emotional devastation, to eating disorders and overprotective (dysfunctional) families. And she does all that with amazing sensitivity, not only perfectly capturing the dynamics and complexity of high school relationships, but also beautifully depicting all the burning emotions caused by the list. This book offers so much more than just solid plot and interesting characters. Filled with meaningful messages, important observations, fascinating conclusions, and eye-opening reflections, The List is one of the few books that have the potential to change someone's life. And just how often do you come across a book like that?

     Inspired by real-life events, The List is a powerful and rewarding read, filled with stories that are just as fascinating as they are disturbing, and just as inspiring as they are sad. Honest, insightful and very thoughtful, it's a book that deserves a special place on your bookshelf. It should be appreciated and cherished, as it speaks the heartbreaking truth about modern-day society, pointing out its many flaws and weaknesses. I loved it. I'm sure you will, too!


Scholastic Canada has generously offered to give away one copy of The List to one lucky Canadian reader!

Ends: June 30th
Enter through Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This review is posted as part of the Contemporary Fiction Month feature!

Click on the picture for full schedule.

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About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing


Kris @Imaginary Reads said...

This sounds like an amazing book. I love how it centers on the theme that apeparances aren't all there is to a person. Whether a girl is rated the prettiest or the ugliest, she has her own story to tell :) Thanks for the review!

Anonymous said...

Great review! I'm just finishing up Jay Asher's 'Thirteen Reasons Why' and it mentioned a list like this ... I think this would be a wonderful read!

Thanks for the giveaway!

Amy said...

Fantastic review! This book sounds really great. I have seen a few reviews for it and each time I keep telling myself I should read this book.

Steph said...

This sounds like such a great book. I think it is great that you will get to read from all the different points of view. I had heard about this book and thought that it would be a great read. Thanks for the review :)

Bookie Bee said...

Wow, this sounds like a fabulous book! By the cover, I assumed it would be just a mindless teen read but I read your review and directly went to my library site and put it on hold. Cant wait to read his one, thanks to you!!

LisaILJ said...

This is one of my read books of the year. I absolutely loved her last book. Your review really enforced my preconceived opinion on the book. Thanks!

Lulu (The Bookworm is Here!) said...

Wow. Your review is awesome! I put this as 'just another contemporary' but it sounds like so much more. With such a great message... I must read it know! Great, great review!

Alicia said...

What a great story to have out in a time of all the anti-bullying campaigns going on now. It's amazing the complex being a teenager is now. Great review and thank you for the giveaway.

roxanne s. sukhan said...

Great review. I want to read this book. It tells an important story and does raise some interesting questions.

Jen said...

I can't wait to read this!! I saw this on my Goodreads:))

Nataly said...

Well, with all those complimentary words used in your review, I'm really looking forward to reading this book. You just got me even more anxious to get my hands on it! I've heard about it and it's definitely one on my to-read list:)

Rebecca said...

I've heard mixed reviews but I still was interested to give it ago and your review has further why I should grab myself a copy. The List sounds fantastic and I'm looking forward to finally reading something by this author. Beautiful review, Evie but it's nowhere near as beautiful as you <33

Jessica Etches said...

I have been wanting to read this book for some time. The events are similar to something that actually happened at my high school so I've been wanting to read it. Great review and thanks for the giveaway!

Megan said...

Great review! I'm really liking the way this book sounds, I think it's something every teenager should read. I'm really looking forward to reading this sometime soon. THanks for the giveaway! :)

alicia marie said...

i like that this book is told from different view points. it sounds like an interesting story, and it's something different with it being not just the pretty girls that are pointed out but the ugly girls as well. i can't imagine how cruel that would be. I hadn't heard much about this book before reading your review, but it's pretty much convinced me i should read it : )

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I can't enter but I think the book is great. If I win another giveaway I'll pick it for my free copy.

Lexie said...

Beautiful review! I've heard very, very mixed reviews on this one, so I've been a bit unsure as to whether or not I should read it, but I think I may have to give it a try. It sounds so real and poignant. I love books like that.

Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I really love Siobhan Vivian's writing, so I'm excited to check this one out. I bought the eBook so I'll have to check it out soon-ish!

Chapter by Chapter said...

Such a great review Evie! I have been wanting to read this book for a while now so am keeping my fingers crossed! There wasn't a prom queen/homecoming queen thing at my high school, so these types of stories really intrigue me. I am a huge anti-bullying advocate, so bullying stories always have a special place in my heart. I'm always trying to teach my girls to be nice and kind to everyone. These books help to instill just how awful bullying is, and make my older one more aware of actions and consequence.
Thank you for the chance to win!

Chapter by Chapter

Kayla Eklund said...

I've been wanting to read this book for a long time. Thank you for the giveaway.

Emily said...

thanks so much for sharing! it sounds like a really good read. i can't imagine having to deal with something like "the list." high school is bad enough as it is without all that added drama.

Unknown said...

I've heard great things about The List, and it seems like I'd really like it - all the themes are ones that I usually am attracted to in a read. I also like how it's told from alternating POV's, it seems like it allows for more depth as it shows the repercussios on a variety of people. I can't wait to read this one!

Na said...

The story deals with so many girls and I'm most curious to see how they are all alike and different. High school can be a competitive time but also great for friendships.

Nicole said...

Normally I don't like this genre of books, But I have been hearing great things about The List and actually got quite interested in reading it! Hopefully I'll get to it soon :)

Gaby said...

Love this book, I haven't read this book but it's been on my TRL forever and would love to win :)

Unknown said...

Last year I read Not That Kind of Girl and absolutely loved it. I'm looking forward to reading The List.

Kristie said...

Can't wait to read this. I think it'll be an awesome read!

ZaraAlexis said...

Tough issues especially when it comes to YA. But, it's important for us to not only read about it, but talk about it, and encourage one another about preventing poor media and wrong ideas about our health and beauty. Thanks for your review. Looks like a good read.

Jaime Lester said...

Can you imagine the hurt that would have caused in high school? It is already such a huge, hard experience and then to add something like the list to it. I am very curious about this book, especially after your positive review of it. I had heard some not great things, but I think I will check it out anyway. Thanks for your review, and for giving me more motivation to read The List.

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