The List - Siobhan Vivian

What does it mean to be beautiful?  What does it mean to be ugly?  And how would you feel if the world had determined that you belonged in one group, and not the other?

These are just some of the questions raised in Siobhan Vivian's INCREDIBLE novel The List.  Ever since I read Magan's review over at Rather Be Reading, I knew that this was a life-changing kind of book.  And it absolutely is.  This is a reading experience that you don't want to miss.

"The List" is posted at Mount Washington high school, detailed the prettiest and ugliest girl in each grade.  Making the list guarantees instant popularity (for the pretty girls) and complete ostracism (for those that are unlucky and deemed to be ugly).  No one knows who writes the list, but it appears every year and dictates the way the year will be played out for eight girls.

The story follows each of the eight girls: Abby, Lauren, Bridget and Margo (who are named prettiest) and Danielle, Candace, Sarah and Jennifer (who are named ugliest).  Each girl has a completely unique story that transcends merely her reaction to being on the list, and delves deep into her experiences in school, her personality, and her interactions with those around her.  Each chapter centres around a different girl and, although the chapters aren't in first person, we see the world through that character's eyes, before moving on to the next.

Siobhan is a truly talented writer and she evokes so much emotion throughout this book.  The storyline really brings back memories of just how cruel girls can be towards one another, but also has its heartwarming moments that reminded me that high school wasn't ALL bad.

My only criticism of this book would be that I wished there could be a complete book for each character, since I wanted to know more about each of them.  But even that's not a major criticism, since the storyline is incredible, well-told and a perfect experience.  Read this book -- you won't be sorry.


  1. I completely agree with your criticism. Completely. It took a lot of page flipping back and forth to the list for me to remember who some of the girls are. 8 girls is A LOT. I don't know that the idea would have worked if she had narrowed it down to a smaller list, though. I really enjoyed this book even though, as you said, it brought back memories of mean girls from high school.

    Speak of mean girls.. here's a book recommendation. Have you read Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers? If not - READ IT. That book is frightening in the sense of cruelty.

  2. Thanks Magan! I've just put your recommendation on hold at the library...becoming friends with you has had a direct impact on the un-control-ability of my TBR list, just so you know. But I'll return the favour: my favourite book of frightening cruelty is Carrie Mac's The Beckoners (and she's Canadian too!)


I love comments! I will always return the favour whenever I can!!

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