Study Guide

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks Summary

Frankie's disreputable history begins with a trip to the Jersey Shore with her mother. Frankie's mom is a wee bit overprotective now that her youngest daughter has shot up and gained some womanly curves. Nevertheless, Frankie manages to meet a boy at the boardwalk briefly, but doesn't think she'll ever see him again.

When Frankie returns to school, her big crush Matthew Livingston finally notices her and her brand new bod. They start dating, and she hangs out with him and his friends, including Alpha (who happens to be the boy from the Jersey Shore). She soon finds out that the boys are all part of a secret society called the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, but that it's a males-only group. Which of course piques our Frankie's curiosity. So she spies on them and finds out that they do all sorts of cool pranks and practice plenty of male bonding. She's kind of jealous of the whole thing, so she does some more sleuthing. Eventually she finds the book that houses the history of the secret society.

And that's when things get interesting. Around Halloween, Alpha leaves town to go on a yoga trip with his mother, and Frankie seizes the opportunity to open a new email account and impersonate him. She pretends to be Alpha and instructs the rest of the hounds to carry out a series of pranks. This sets off a whole chain of shenanigans, all of which Frankie engineers from behind her email curtain. Even when Alpha returns, he continues to pretend that he was the mastermind behind all the plots (so as to not lose face).

Everything culminates in the final scheme, when Alpha gets caught in the tunnels beneath the school and is fingered as the culprit behind all the devious pranks that have come before. Frankie confesses to Matthew that she was actually the mastermind behind them and he tells her that she's sick… and then goes to rat her out.

So Frankie loses her hot boyfriend and gains some notoriety around school. She's sad about it, but not too sad. If Matthew can't accept her independent spirit, then she shouldn't be with him anyway. Way to have your own back, Frankie. You go, girl.

  • Chapters 1-2

    A Piece of Evidence

    • At the very beginning of the book, we get a missive, and the missive is from one Frankie Landau-Banks.
    • Frankie is writing to the headmaster of Alabaster in order to confess to doing all sorts of intriguingly named things, including: the Library Lady, the Doggies in the Window, and the Canned Beet Rebellion. Um, what?
    • She also says that what she did was social criticism, so make of that what you may.


    • Between freshman and sophomore years of high school, Frankie Landau-Banks undergoes a typical high school movie transformation: she goes from the gawky girl to the hot one. 
    • At school the year before, she was just Zada's little sister. But Zada's going to college now though, at UC Berkeley. 
    • By the end of the summer, Frankie's all kinds of developed (if you know what we mean) but she's still a young girl on the inside.
  • Chapters 3-4

    A Chance Encounter That Would Prove Seminal

    • After Zada leaves for college, Frankie goes with her mom, uncles, and cousins on vacation to the Jersey Shore (yes, the Jersey Shore). 
    • Frankie wants to go into town by herself, but her mother Ruth doesn't want to let her because she's now such an, ahem, shapely young woman. 
    • Peeved, Frankie heads to the boardwalk because it's closer. She gets frozen custard, but it's actually pretty cold so she doesn't enjoy it (especially not in that itty bitty string bikini). 
    • Suddenly a cute boy comes up to her and asks her if he can eat the rest of her custard. What unhygienic flirting.
    • He asks her where she goes to school and she says Alabaster in Massachusetts. He goes to a school in New York (ooh, a city boy). 
    • Then Frankie's mom calls her and she has to scramble off to assure her that she hasn't been kidnapped or killed.

    Old Boy

    • The narrator tells us that Frankie was named after her old dad, Frank Senior, after he realized he probably wasn't going to have a son after all. 
    • Senior Banks is a doctor and is quite involved in the Alabaster alumni network; he's an "Old Boy," which just kind of sounds rich and pretentious. 
    • He and Ruth (Frankie and Zada's mom) are divorced, and when he sees them, he always waxes poetic about his old days at Alabaster and Harvard, and how that's how you get connections in life. 
    • Sounds like a real winner.
  • Chapters 5-6


    • Frankie, who is a Very Normal Girl, arrives at Alabaster wishin' and hopin' that Matthew Livingston, a hot senior boy that she has a crazy crush on, will notice her. 
    • Then the narrator provides us (the readers) with some handy dandy facts about Frankie's life at Alabaster, such as the fact that her roommate is named Trish and that the whole school has wireless networks and all the students have laptops. Fancy.
    • The most intriguing fact, though, seems to be that there are tunnels underneath the school. They're locked… but they're still there.

    The Geek Club Conglomerate

    • Frankie also happens to be in the "Geek Club Conglomerate," which doesn't necessarily sound like the most promising club to gain social cache in. 
    • She went to the Geek Club party in her freshman year because she's a part of the Debate Club. 
    • At the party, Frankie met Porter Welsh who is a member of the Spy Club. They started going out. 
    • Frankie liked having a boyfriend and it was all pretty adorable to the extreme. They held hands and wrote each other sappy emails and stuff.
    • But then mid-May, Frankie walked in on Porter fooling around with a junior girl named Bess Montgomery. 
    • So they broke up and never spoke again. 
    • The end… or is it?
  • Chapters 7-8


    • On the second day of school, Frankie's biking over to meet Trish for a swim when she sees Matthew, her crush. 
    • Of course, in true rom com fashion, she crashes her bike and scrapes up her leg as she's looking at him. 
    • And in true rom com fashion, Matthew runs over to save her and starts flirting with her. Even thought they've met before, he doesn't recognize her. 
    • Frankie actually had dinner with Matthew in the cafeteria the year before when Zada had invited her to sit with her friends. She heard all about Matthew's friend Alpha, who apparently lives in New York. 
    • Matthew then "helps" her find her way to the gymnasium to meet Trish (even though she totally knows the way).


    • Frankie sure has heard a lot about this Alpha guy from Matthew and from her older sister Zada. 
    • Alpha, whose real name is Alessandro Tesorieri, was actually a student at Alabaster before Frankie was there, but had to move away for his junior year because of money problems. 
    • But he's back again this year to rejoin his BFF Matthew, and is apparently alpha dog of the pack once more. 
    • Frankie has no idea what Alpha's going to be like, but she's shocked when she meets him at the gym. Absolutely shocked.
    • Why, you ask? Well it's because Alpha turns out to be the boy from the Jersey Shore who ate her frozen custard. 
    • Alpha doesn't seem to remember her and just introduces himself, then says that he doesn't remember meeting her when she brings up the fact that they've seen each other before.
    • She observes Matthew and his friends and the way they're all totally confident; after all, they're the boys who run the school, right?
  • Chapters 9-10

    The Ladies

    • Frankie, of course, rushes to her girl friend Trish and tells her everything after she meets with the guys.
    • She's shocked that none of them seemed to recognize her, but Trish laughs and tells her it's because she, ahem, filled out. She doesn't look like the same old Frankie anymore. 
    • Trish guesses that Dean (one of the popular guys) pretended not to know Frankie in order to feel important, and that Matthew didn't remember Frankie for real because he actually is that popular. 
    • And as for Alpha? Well, Trish thinks that he recognized Frankie but didn't want to throw in to compete with Matthew.

    The Panopticon

    • Frankie doesn't really talk to Matthew for the next week, though he says hi once or twice. 
    • She starts to think that maybe he wasn't really that interested in her after all. Maybe it was just harmless flirting. 
    • Meanwhile, Frankie switches out of Latin class and into one called Cities, Art, and Protest. 
    • There, they study architecture criticism and the panopticon, a kind of prison designed by a philosopher named Jeremy Bentham
    • The panopticon uses "systematic paranoia," which makes you feel like you're being watched even when you're not. So you stay in line, even though there may be no reason to follow all the rules. 
    • Frankie loves the class and does all the reading for it. We've got a budding academic on our hands. We're starting to see why she's in the Geek Club…
  • Chapter 11-12

    The Invitations

    • A week and a half into her sophomore school year, people start getting these blue envelopes at Frankie's school. It's all very mysterious.
    • Star (a girl in Frankie's year who is kind of ditzy) gets one, but refuses to tell Frankie and Trish what it's all about. She is going out with Dean, one of Matthew's senior friends. 
    • A bunch of the popular seniors seem to have the blue envelopes, but when Frankie checks her mailbox, nothing's there. Oh well.
    • Our heroine goes off to the library to study and then goes to look for something fun to read. 
    • She's got a book in mind when she overhears Matthew and Alpha talking. 
    • They walk away, but then Matthew returns alone and tells her that she should check her mail. 
    • Frankie goes back and checks her mail and there it is: the blue envelope. 
    • There's an invitation from Matthew asking her to go to the golf course on Saturday night dressed in black. The seal on the envelope has a Basset hound stamped into it. Hmm, curious. Very curious. 
    • Frankie recognizes the Basset Hound of course, because her dad had always talked about how he was in a "secret" society called the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds when he was at Alabaster. 
    • But Frankie is mostly excited because, duh! Matthew's finally asked her out.

    The Woods

    • Frankie gets a note from Matthew about how to get to the golf course unnoticed and Frankie reads it before burning it. 
    • Trish wasn't invited, but she doesn't want to go anyway because she finds those kinds of parties too macho. She'd rather stay home and bake. 
    • So Frankie gets dressed in all black and meets Matthew in the woods. Matthew actually holds her hand (swoon) while they walk and banter for a bit on the way to their destination 
    • Matthew tells her that he and Alpha planned the part, and that the "she-wolf" (Alpha's girlfriend) did all the invitations. 
    • He also makes a bit of a confession: he wanted to ask her out, so he planned a party where he could bring her. 
    • They flirt in true high school style and Matthew tells her not to tell anyone about him and Alpha organizing the party.
  • Chapters 13-14

    The Golf Course

    • When they get there, a lot of people are just hanging out, setting up and bringing out the beer. 
    • Frankie just sits around watching people drink and smoke cigarettes because she doesn't really have a lot of people to talk to. 
    • She tries to strike up a conversation with Star, but they have very little in common. They start bickering over whether the dog on the seal was a beagle or a basset hound. 
    • The party is pretty boring overall, even though she feels special for having been invited. 
    • When Matthew walks Frankie back to her dorm after 1 a.m., he asks her if he can kiss her. She says "no way" but of course, she actually means "yes way" and soon it's Matthew and Frankie sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. 
    • Frankie goes home not thinking that she's a little sophomore, or that the party was boring because she wasn't popular enough. No, our little Frankie thinks that she could have done a better job if she were in charge.

    A Garlic Knot

    • The next day, Alpha shows up at Frankie's door and tells her that they're going to get pizza. Frankie's pretty confused—what's he doing here? 
    • She figures out that he's here with Matthew, so it's okay for her to go. She gets downstairs and meets with Matthew in the car, and they head out for pizza with Alpha. 
    • On the way, Alpha makes a comment about frozen custard, that sly dog. Frankie realizes that he does remember her from the beach. 
    • When they get to the pizza place, they find out that they're not serving pizza 'til noon so they order garlic knots instead. 
    • Even though garlic makes Frankie nauseous, she forces herself to eat one because Alpha makes a comment about women not being "voracious." 
    • Later, Frankie calls Zada to tell her about what's going on with her and Matthew and Zada says that Matthew's the kind of person who tries to downplay his social standing.
  • Chapters 15-16

    A Triangle

    • Frankie finds out that the "she-wolf" is Elizabeth Heywood, and she and Alpha are definitely not affectionate when they're out in public. 
    • Frankie is happily included in Matthew's table at the cafeteria and gets to stay there from now on.
    • But she starts to notice that Matthew has invited her into his world, but doesn't necessarily seem into entering hers. He doesn't even recognize Trish most of the time, or know Frankie's debate club friends or ask about her family. 
    • Frankie's not sure she cares though—at least not yet. 
    • After Frankie and Matthew have been going out for two weeks, he blows her off for Alpha for the first time. Uh-oh. 
    • Then it starts to happen more frequently, and Frankie realizes that Alpha is marking his territory. 
    • The other boys also start to insert themselves into situations where Frankie and Matthew are hanging out.
    • Frankie feels like she's almost included in their friend group… but only almost.

    The Neglected Positive

    • Frankie has been reading The Code of the Woosters and is delighted by the wordplay in the book, especially the use of the word "gruntled" (as in the opposite of "disgruntled"). 
    • She tells Matthew that she's gruntled after he kisses her one day, but Matthew corrects her and says that "gruntled" actually means grumpy. He even shows her in the dictionary.
    • Frankie's kind of put out because Matthew didn't take it as a joke, so that made her feel stupid.
    • But soon enough they makes up, and Frankie starts using a bunch of other words that are "neglected positives."
  • Chapters 17-18

    Cheese Fries

    • Frankie gets an unexpected email from her ex-boyfriend, Porter Welsch, apologizing for the things that went down with Bess the year before. 
    • Skeptical, Frankie sends back some mildly snide emails, but Porter persists and asks her if she'd like to go get a burger on Wednesday with him. 
    • She's initially offended that he doesn't remember that she's a vegetarian, but he tells her that he remembers that she always got the cheese fries. He also says there's something that he wants to talk to her about. 
    • Trish tells Frankie that she has to tell Matthew about going to see Porter, so she does. 
    • When she tells Matthew, he tells her not to go. He wants her to have a picnic with him instead, but she stands her ground and assures him that nothing sketchy will go down. 
    • Matthew tells her not to let Porter push her around, which she just finds insulting.

    The T-Shirt

    • Frankie's in Matthew's room when she picks up a china dog statue of a basset hound. Matthew tells her to put it down, and we sense that something's off.
    • But then gives her his Superman t-shirt, which he's had for three years. All's well.
    • She puts the t-shirt on and wears it the next day, excited that everyone knows that it was Matthew's. 
    • However, when she calls Zada, big sister isn't too excited. She says that the shirt is a kind of a possessive gesture and that it's "retro." By that, she means that it's very 50's Sandra Dee letterman jacket kind of stuff. 
    • Zada warns Frankie not to let Matthew erase her, and Frankie responds that she's indelible.
  • Chapters 19-20

    The Suicide Club

    • Frankie's Cities, Art, and Protest teacher hands out info about a group in San Francisco called the Suicide Club. 
    • The group tried to live their lives with glee, and later changed their name to the Cacophony Society. The whole idea was to free oneself of the panopticon. 
    • Frankie wrote a paper about the Suicide Club that she turned in on December 5 of her sophomore year.
    • She later burned the paper.


    • Frankie goes to meet Porter for lunch but shows up late on purpose. 
    • When she arrives, Porter is already waiting there with two orders of cheese fries. 
    • He brings up the fact that she's going out with Matthew Livingston and tells her not to let him take advantage of her. 
    • Of course, this sets Frankie off and she goes on a verbal rampage, telling Porter to stay out of her business and that she's not the kind of person who's easy to take advantage of, thank you very much. 
    • When he leaves, upset, Frankie sits there and drinks Porter's soda by herself. She knows that she behaved like a monster, but at least she stood up for herself.
  • Chapters 21-22

    The Loyal Order

    • Ladies and gentlemen, the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds is indeed a real thing. 
    • In fact, Frankie totally stumbled upon a Basset Hound meeting the year before without ever knowing it.
    • After having walked in on Porter screwing around with Bess (oh, young heartbreak), she wandered around campus at night and saw Matthew Livingston with a big group of boys.
    • While she watched from afar, he took off all his clothes and jumped into the pond butt naked. The rest of the boys followed.
    • Apparently, Frankie had stumbled upon the annual tradition of swearing in their new king by swimming in the pond naked. 
    • The king also happens to hang onto a china doggie. Hmm, that sounds familiar, doesn't it? 
    • Alpha was actually supposed to be the Basset King, but then he'd gone to New York, and a substitute had been found.
    • And guess who that was? 
    • Matthew, of course.

    A Sea Horse

    • Matthew promises that he's going to take Frankie to see The Muppet Movie on Friday, just the two of them without any of the boys. 
    • Unfortunately the Geek Club Conglomerate party is the same night and Trish desperately wants Frankie to go. 
    • That evening, Frankie gets to dinner and realizes that she's too early. She usually joins Matthew and his friends at their senior table, but today they're not there yet. 
    • She knows she's not supposed to sit alone at the senior table—that's a major faux pas since she's just a sophomore. 
    • But she's also Frankie. So instead of going to sit at the sophomore table like she's supposed to, she goes ahead and sits at the senior table alone, even though it's really awkward. 
    • Finally, Matthew and friends arrive, and Elizabeth throws some shade about how Frankie's taking over the senior table. 
    • But Matthew, ever the gentleman, just says that he's always happy to see Frankie.
    • Alpha says something and Frankie realizes that they've been discussing, or arguing, about her. 
    • They get to talking about how men are like animals and Frankie disagrees with them about making assumptions based on gender.
    • Afterwards, Frankie asks Matthew if Alpha has something against her. 
    • He says that it's nothing, but Frankie gets the feeling that's not the case.
  • Chapters 23-24


    • The next day, Star grabs Frankie and tells her that she and Dean broke up.
    • She's pretty distraught and says that no one in the friend group is even saying hi to her anymore, like they were never friends. 
    • Frankie tries to comfort her, but Star just wants to know if they said anything to her. 
    • Suddenly, it dawns on Frankie: it would be so easy for the same thing to happen to her. How unnerving.

    A Broken Date

    • On Friday, Frankie and Trish get ready for the night, which entails all sorts of girlie things like their nails and wearing mud masks. 
    • Frankie goes down to meet Matthew and he tells her that he can't take her on a date tonight. She's pretty disappointed and upset, especially because he's cancelling on her in order to go do something with Alpha.
    • Nevertheless, she puts on a happy face, tells him it's fine and that she'll just go to the Geek Conglomerate part with Trish and Porter instead. 
    • But then, when he leaves, she starts to follow him.
  • Chapters 25-26

    The Old Theater

    • Frankie follows Matthew as he and the other boys enter the old abandoned theater on campus. 
    • She sneaks in and waits in the wings of the theater to see what's going on. 
    • Alpha and Matthew lead a meeting of the Basset Hounds and talk about what their Halloween prank will be. 
    • They mention a handbook and Alpha says it doesn't exist. But Frankie knows it does because her father said so. 
    • Then, she realizes that the sophomore who's been chosen to be the future king is no other than her ex-boyfriend, Porter Welsch.
    • Oops. That means that when she had said that she was going to the party with Porter, Matthew probably knew she was lying all along. 
    • And that makes her wonder why Porter had been trying to warn her about Matthew, if the two are buddies. 
    • Without further ado, she goes off to the Geek Conglomerate party and dances the night away. As an added bonus, a bunch of people see her there, so she has an airtight alibi. After all, she might need one.

    The Oath

    • The next morning, Frankie runs into Alpha getting breakfast in the cafeteria. 
    • She tells him she's sitting with Trish, but Alpha says that Trish can come sit at the senior table. He'd like to meet her. 
    • They all eat breakfast together and Matthew asks Frankie about whether she went to the party with Porter or not. 
    • She smoothly tells him that Porter ended up not showing up. Then he pretends that he doesn't know Porter's name. Which is little odd considering they're in the same club together, isn't it? 
    • Frankie picks up the habit of tailing Matthew all the time, seeing where he's headed with the Basset Hounds. 
    • They group has a ton of meetings before Halloween as they try to figure out what to do for the prank. 
    • Frankie likes watching the scheming but at the same time she feels kind of alienated by the whole thing. After all, she can't be a part of the Basset Hounds.
    • She's a girl. How's that fair?
    • She figures out, though, that the oath they chant at the beginning of each meeting is actually a puzzle for how to find the written history of the Basset Hounds. 
    • Clever girl, she takes notes and starts trying to figure it out.
  • Chapters 27-28

    The Crown of Alabaster

    • The next day, Frankie cuts all her classes Ferris Bueller-style. 
    • Okay, not exactly. Really, our girl just goes to the library and starts searching for a hidden door. It's all part of her quest to find the written history of the Basset Hounds. 
    • She spends a whole lot of time "looking west" as the chant tells her to do and trying to figure out what the next clue us. 
    • Desperate, she calls Zada, but Zada doesn't remember anyone telling her anything about where the history of the Basset Hounds is hidden. 
    • Zada also tells her that she shouldn't worry about joining an institution of male supremacy anyway, however bummed she may be that the Basset Hounds are closed to her. 
    • But Frankie wouldn't be Frankie if she didn't ignore that advice. So she goes poking around the Founder's House, and just as she's looking to the west, she sees that Alpha is there already.

    Look to the West, Boys

    • Frankie's pretty sure that this unexpected run-in is due to the fact that they're both looking for the same thing—the history of the Basset Hounds. 
    • She plays it super cool, though, and tells Alpha that she's just doing a project for her Cities class. 
    • To distract Alpha from looking towards the west (wouldn't want him to beat her, after all), she points out a path in the grass that people have been taking even though there's a sign telling them to keep off the grass. 
    • They get into a little debate about whether little things like the grass sign make you want to break the smaller rules. In Frankie's humble opinion, there are bigger things to be rebelling against than that. 
    • Matthew comes upon them and they start to walk back, but then Frankie runs back to the Founder's House to collect her book bag.
    • She overhears Alpha ask Matthew about why Frankie was at the walkway, and Matthew assures him that Frankie is harmless.
  • Chapters 29-30

    Bind it Tight With Sticking Plaster

    • Trish's boyfriend has keys to a bunch of the rooms in the school because he's an AVT guy and hooks up DVD players and stuff for the teachers. 
    • So Frankie begs Trish for the keys and Trish agrees. But she wants them back by Wednesday—no exceptions. 
    • Keys in hand, Frankie goes into the Founder's House and looks at the bronze map of the campus. Underneath the part of the map that shows the library, she finds a small leather-bound notebook. Jackpot!


    • The Disreputable History of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds goes back all the way to 1951 and is recorded until 1975. 
    • Frankie settles down and reads all about their exploits, including how her father actually smoked some weed in his days as a Basset. Fodder for later blackmail, perhaps? 
    • She also hungrily reads about all the great pranks that the Bassets used to pull, and marvels about their sense of togetherness.
    • And at the back of the notebook is a key that says Hazelton, sub-16. 
    • The mystery deepens.
  • Chapters 31-32

    English Muffins

    • Just before Halloween, Alpha's mom demands that he leaves school for several days to go on a yoga retreat with her. 
    • This is, of course, not the ideal situation, seeing as how he has classes and all. Not to mention a secret prank with his secret society to pull off. 
    • As Frankie sits and listens to him complain about it at the cafeteria, she realizes that if he's leaving school, she can do something. The guy won't even have cell phones or the Internet. 
    • She pretends to be paying attention to the cafeteria antics (like Callum stuffing a bunch of English muffins into his mouth), but she's really strategizing about what she's going to do when Alpha is gone for days. 
    • Later, she goes online and opens a new Gmail account with the screen name TheAlphaDog. 
    • When she's in her room that night trying to figure out what to do with her new email address, Artie (Trish's boyfriend) and some of his friends stop by dressed up as girls. They ask for Trish because they want to borrow her bras for their costumes. 
    • Once they leave, Frankie sits down to begin her plan.

    How to Get Through a Closed Door

    • Frankie the scholar writes another essay, which is about campus Ditch Day at the California Institute of Technology. 
    • The essay explores how weird traditions occur between the underclassmen and the upperclassmen. When the seniors ditch, the underclassman want in, and the upperclassmen want to keep them out. 
    • It also explores how the Caltech students critiqued their university by breaking its unwritten rules.
  • Chapters 33-34


    • Frankie sends out an email around Halloween to all the Basset Hounds telling them to change the plans for Halloween: they're actually going to pull off a mission called "In the Ladies We Trust." 
    • Prior to that, the plan had been to fork the main quad so that when seen from above, it said "Beware the Basset." 
    • Instead, on Halloween, all the students and staff wake up to all the portraits in the buildings adorned with bras. Very mature.
    • Even the statues and trees have been decorated, and the library dome is made to look like a giant boob. 
    • Frankie goes down to breakfast and feigns surprise with the rest of the students. They're all debating over the meaning of the prank.
    • Matthew is really excited but of course doesn't tell Frankie that he was involved in any way.

    A Vamp

    • Alpha comes back from his yoga trip and goes to a Basset Hounds meeting while Frankie watches from the shadow like some creepy stalker. 
    • Frankie's expecting some real drama to go down as Alpha gets mad and accuses other people of impersonating him, but that's not what happens.
    • Instead, Alpha plays along, as if he were the one who planned it the whole time. He just takes all the credit and then excuses himself. 
    • Frankie is surprised, but decides to raise the stakes of this game.
  • Chapters 35-36

    The Subsequent Emails

    • Frankie starts exchanging some emails with Alpha using her Alpha Dog email address. 
    • He's obviously mad and initially thinks that it must be someone from his own pack. But then he grows even more desperate and just throws out a bunch of names of people it could be (including Frankie). 
    • When Frankie tells him that she has the book, he gets even more upset, saying that it's the rightful property of the Order.

    How Much Is That Doggie In the Window?

    • Frankie's up to something. What else is new?
    • She goes into the tunnels of the school, tracing twine along them and into the library. Hmm, we wonder what she's doing?
    • When she gets back, Trish asks her what she's up to and Frankie lies and says that she and Matthew got into an argument. 
    • She then settles down to write thirteen emails.
    • Four days later, right on cue, the windows of the old gymnasium are all filled with glowing plastic basset hounds wearing Santa hats. 
    • The twine was to lead them to the gymnasium, where they put up all the dogs. And Porter had to plug in the whole thing. 
    • When Frankie goes to see Matthew at soccer practice, everyone's staring at the dogs and talking about it. 
    • Frankie feels awesome. After all, she made this whole thing happen.
  • Chapters 37-38

    An Ignominious Fall

    • In the month of November, the Basset Hounds get into all sorts of shenanigans, as directed by Alpha (supposedly). 
    • Frankie, posing as Alpha, sends them on missions to draw lots of basset hounds on the chalkboards, and set up a bunch of stuffed animals on campus. They even distribute a ton of dog masks and at the Harvest Concert, everyone shows up wearing them. 
    • Alpha emails the fake Alpha telling him or her to cut it out.

    The Canned Beet Rebellion

    • Frankie finds out that the cafeteria selection is limited because Viva Corporation, a big donor, provides everything. That's why there's no salad. 
    • So what does Frankie do? She goes and invents a "Society for Vegetable Awareness, Promotion, and Information Delegation" and has all the order members get stickers, buttons, and flyers for the day that the Viva Corporation lady comes to visit. 
    • They call it the Canned Beet Rebellion and demand a nice salad bar at the school.
    • A lot of the students end up wearing the buttons and stickers. A caterer also appears on campus with a giant veggie basset hound. 
    • Finally, the he Viva Corporation lady sends a donation to the school for a salad bar, so Frankie actually did make some real change happen. 
    • In fact, she's so please with herself and her accomplishment that she doesn't even follow Matthew to his next Basset Hound meeting. After all, she knows what they're up to.
  • Chapters 39-40

    The Return of Bunny Rabbit

    • Even though Matthew had previously said he'd come over to Frankie's place for Thanksgiving, he hasn't mentioned it since.
    • When she finally asks him, he says that Alpha had this skiing trip planned. He's pretty evasive about whether or not she can come along.
    • Frankie then does something bad when he's away from his chair at the library—she goes into his backpack.
    • There, she finds a print out of the emails between her and Porter in which Porter apologized to her. 
    • But since she found these while snooping, she can't exactly say anything. When it comes to violating each other's privacy, these two are even-stevens.
    • For Thanksgiving, Frankie goes back to Jersey to see her uncles and her cousins. Everyone calls her Bunny Rabbit again, which is just the worst. 
    • Her mom brings up Matthew, saying that it's nice that she has someone to take care of her while she's at school. 
    • And Frankie's all, gee thanks mom. She says she doesn't need a babysitter, but no one seems to listen to her.

    The Fish Liberation Society

    • While wiling away the hours at home, Frankie tries to figure out what the deal is with the printouts in Matthew's backpack. 
    • After some serious thought, she thinks she's figured it out: Matthew probably made Porter apologize to Frankie about the whole cheating thing, but Porter wasn't supposed to ask Frankie out to lunch. That's why Matthew was so weird about the whole thing. 
    • Frankie spends her time at Thanksgiving just wandering around her mom's house and being bored. Matthew doesn't call her. 
    • She heads back to school, where the next Loyal Order prank involves stealing the guppy statue at school (a classic Bassets prank according to the history) and replacing it with a basset hound lawn ornament. They also deliver a ransom note to Headmaster Richmond demanding the end of mandatory chapel (for freedom of religion reasons). 
    • Surprise, surprise—the prank actually works. Richmond posts a notice that assembly is going to be moved.
    • But instead of returning the guppy, the pranksters deliver a series of clues, which lead to the empty swimming pool of the old gymnasium where the guppy has been hidden.
    • When Frankie tries to talk to Matthew about the symbolism behind the whole prank—how it means that the old values of the school are obsolete—he doesn't seem to get it. And he definitely doesn't want to talk about it. He just wants to make out.
    • So Frankie just excuses herself, disappointed in the whole thing.
  • Chapters 41-42


    • Frankie has to go back to the library to get the twine that runs the length of the tunnels—since none of the Bassets thought to do it.
    • She feels lonely while she does it, because it makes her realize that she's still left of out Matthew's world, after all. 
    • But as she's tracing the path of twine, it goes slack and she realizes that someone did think to go get it. 
    • When she tries to hide, she burns her arm on a steam pipe. And when she finally emerges, she runs into a guard who tells her that they're investigating the tunnels for the perpetrator of the pranks, but that she shouldn't worry her pretty little head about it.


    • Frankie gets back to the dorm and hops into the shower in her clothes to cool of her burn, which is seriously painful. 
    • When she gets back into the room, she tells Trish that she fell into the pond, but Trish knows that she's lying.
    • She still won't give up her secrets though, even when Trish presses and gets upset.
    • Finally, Trish just gives up and goes to get her some ice. We like to imagine she rolls her eyes, too.
  • Chapters 43-44

    A Perpetrator

    • When the guards go down into the tunnel, they find Alpha down there hiding. He's subsequently charged as the perpetrator of all the pranks that happened that year.
    • The Headmaster tries to grill him about the whole basset hound connection, but Alpha doesn't give anything up. Even his emails turn up nothing (because he'd deleted all of them). 
    • However, the guards do find the book The Disreputable History of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds near him. 
    • The next day, Frankie has to go into the nurse's office to get a prescription for antibiotics. 
    • Matthew visits her at lunchtime and she tells him that he underestimates her.
    • He tells her that Alpha's been caught and that he was the one making all the pranks happen. But he doesn't tell her that he was in any way involved, or even that he knew about the pranks. 
    • She's horrified to hear that if Alpha gets expelled, he'll lose his place in his early-action admission to Harvard. 
    • He also tells her about how Porter turned over the emails that she had written because he thought they were from Alpha. 
    • That's when Frankie reveals everything. She tells him that she knew he was a part of the secret society all along, that she engineered all the pranks and wrote all the emails. 
    • Instead of being impressed, he's disgusted with her. He yells at her and tells her that she's psychotic. That's rich.
    • Then he runs off to go turn her in.

    The Letter, Again

    • The Cities teacher turns in Frankie's essays as proof of her rebellious nature. 
    • Frankie is called to the office and has to write her confession (which we read at the very beginning of the book). 
    • When she talks to Zada on the phone, Zada tells her that their dad is going to go crazy. She's also worried about whether or not Frankie needs medication or a counselor. 
    • Frankie doesn't even know if she wants to go to Alabaster any more. 
    • She runs into Porter, who apologizes because he didn't know that she was the one sending all the emails the whole time. 
    • He reveals to her that he was a spy for Headmaster Richmond; he was supposed to check on Alpha and make sure he wasn't doing anything crazy. 
    • Frankie asks him why he hates Alpha so much, and he says that Alpha dated his sister and completely broke her heart and messed with her head. Well now that's interesting.
    • They part on fairly good terms.
  • Chapters 45-46

    Some More Email

    • Frankie gets a more lenient sentence and both she and Alpha are kept on at school. 
    • Over winter break, no one knows how to treat Frankie because she's definitely surprised them all. 
    • She checks her email one day and finds that she has an email from Alpha. He's telling her that even though he thinks she's psycho, he admires what she did. 
    • Frankie is delighted but doesn't respond.
    • After all, she's still a strategist.

    After the Fall, Spring

    • When Frankie gets back to school, she's kind of a celebrity.
    • She has to go to therapy, but she shuns all their ideas because she is happy with who she is. Other people just don't get it.
    • Trish is still her best friend and has her back no matter what. 
    • One day, Frankie is sitting on a bench when she sees Matthew pass by with his friends.
    • She gets really nostalgic and misses him all of a sudden.
    • When she calls out to him, she asks him if he'd like his Superman shirt back.
    • But Matthew is so disgusted and done with her that he says no; she can keep it. 
    • Frankie cries when he leaves, but then realizes that she has to pull herself together.
    • After all, she shouldn't be with someone who isn't going to accept her. Who needs him?