Friday, December 12, 2014

Book Review: The List by Siobhan Vivian

Title: The List
Author: Siobhan Vivian
Publisher: Push
Publication Date: April 1, 2012
Rating: ☆☆
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.

My Review:

Mediocre is pretty much the only way that I can describe The List by Siobhan Vivian. It's just not a very good book. It's not even a good book. It's not terrible, but it's definitely something I won't be reading again.

Vivian's writing style is dull.  It lacks excitement and variation. She writes The List in the present third person, and that gives the book a rather boring readability. I felt like it was taking me forever to get through the book. I also felt like the third person, omniscient narration made it hard for me to connect with the characters.

One thing that I feel the need to mention here is the use of a terrible, terrible word to use as a synonym for "stupid." I don't even want to type the word in my review, but I'm sure you can guess that I'm referring to the R-word. As a teacher, I'm extremely mad about this. There are young girls reading this book. People are trying so hard to eliminate its use as an insult. It's not even in dialogue. It's just sitting there used to describe something. I don't know if I can take Vivian as a serious author after seeing that in a YA book. 

I can't even believe the ending of the book. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but I was unsatisfied. There were some questions that needed answers that Vivian ignored. It's a shame that she didn't answer them in just a few more pages.

I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. I'm a little upset because I'd been wanting to read The List for a while now, but you live and you learn. I'm just hoping that the Burn for Burn books I have sitting on my desk are nothing like this one.


  1. I never got around to writing a review for The List after I read it this past summer, but I see that I gave it three stars on Goodreads. I wonder why I didn't go for 2.5 (which would be a 2 on Goodreads) because I remember that I didn't really connect with or care about any of the characters either. I was mostly interested in who was behind the list.

    1. I had to sit and write it pretty much right after finishing it or else it would have just sat there with the rating.

      It just wasn't great. I was really expecting more of something at the end. Oh well. It's one of those books that makes me glad I found it used. :)

  2. Because of your review this book has been taken off my shelf. I was iffy with it to begin with. I now have no desire to read it at all.

    1. I was iffy, too, but I did get a good price on it. I kind of wish I would have just left it at the store. Now I just have to sell it back for like pennies unless I create an Amazon Marketplace account to sell what I no longer want. :(

      The plot really was interesting, but tt would be a much better movie. The writing didn't sit well with me at all.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.