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Analysis

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks Plot Analysis

Most good stories start with a fundamental list of ingredients: the initial situation, conflict, complication, climax, suspense, denouement, and conclusion. Great writers sometimes shake up the recipe and add some spice.

Exposition (Initial Situation)

A Young Woman Blossoms

In the beginning, young Frankie is just entering her sophomore year of high school. She's gotten a lot hotter over the summer, which is great because she captures the attention of her crush, Matthew Livingston. They start going out and she gets to hang out with his table of popular senior boys. Everything seems la-di-da-di fantastic, doesn't it? Well that's just the set-up for the craziness that's coming down the pike.

Rising Action (Conflict, Complication)

Same But Separate

Cracks start to form in the veneer of Frankie's perfect life, as the year progresses. First of all, she finds out that Matthew is lying to her and is in the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, a secret society at the school. As much as she'd like to be a part of it, she knows she'd never be included because of her gender, which is Not Cool. So she starts to infiltrate the whole operation by pretending to be Alpha and masterminding all their pranks, going so far as to sneak around and steal the keys to the different buildings at school. There's no way this could go wrong, right? 

Climax (Crisis, Turning Point)

The Big Reveal

Things come to a head when Alpha is found in the school tunnels and is blamed for all the trespassing and pranks that have been going on. When Matthew lies to Frankie and tells her that he had no idea about what Alpha was doing, she breaks down and tells him that she was the one who did everything. Instead of thinking that she's quite smart and brilliant, Matthew is disgusted and tells her that she's sick. He goes off to the dean's office to report Frankie and turn her in. It's the big reveal we've been waiting for all along, and all that's left is to see where the chips fall.

Falling Action

Crime and Punishment

Frankie loses her boyfriend and has to deal with the repercussions of being quite notorious at Alabaster now that it's come out that she's the culprit behind all the shenanigans. She's kind of sad about the whole thing, but she also likes the fact that people are talking about her. They're not underestimating her anymore. Even when she goes home for the holidays, no one calls her a Bunny Rabbit. So while her dastardly deeds had some not-so-nice consequences, it wasn't a total loss.

Resolution (Denouement)

Kiss the Girl… Or Not

At the very end, Frankie tries to talk to Matthew again because there's a part of her that really misses him. After all, he was her boyfriend and she really liked him. But when he reacts poorly and doesn't want anything to do with her, she has to come to peace with the fact that she can't be with someone who doesn't accept her for who she is. She's not with Matthew anymore, and that's okay. She still has herself. How's that for a resolution?

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