The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
by E. Lockhart
Take a story's temperature by studying its tone. Is it hopeful? Cynical? Snarky? Playful?
The tone of the book is helpful, informative, and rather thoughtful, if we may say so. Though it's told from the point of view of a third-person narrator, it's not just your typical laying down of facts and figures. The tone isn't cold or scientific in any way; instead, the narrative strays away from straight up storytelling at certain points to explore the Big Ideas behind all the hullabaloo.
For example, after the party on the golf course, the narrator spends a little bit of time going over the different ways in which hypothetical females could react to a macho situation:
Most young women, when confronted with the peculiarly male nature of certain social events […] will react in one of three ways. (13.47)
That detail certainly isn't necessary to the telling of the story, but it does offer the reader a little bit of perspective or some thought-provoking ideas. Maybe it's a reflection of how thoughtful our protagonist, Frankie, turns out to be. After all, she turns out to be quite the mastermind with all her machinations. Plus it clues us in to how Frankie slowly shapes her ideas about broader social issues, and how they apply to her own life and situation.