Reviewed by Sarah Lelonek

While I’m usually fond of reading more series than stand-alone novels, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed The List by Siobhan Vivian. Since The List is a novel directed toward young adults, I was instantly drawn to the book. I was, however, surprised to see Vivian’s novel have many adult undertones. This novel is one of those books that anyone at any age can relate to.

The List begins with an explanation of just what the list is. The list is a compilation of two girls from each grade at Mount Washington High School: one girl named ugliest and one named prettiest. No one knows how the list began, but the simple piece of paper effects every student at the school.

What’s interesting about this year’s list is that one senior girl, Jennifer Briggis, has been queened ugliest for an unprecedented four years in a row. The other girls deemed ugly seem to have just as many problems as those deemed pretty. The story changes between all eight girls, leaving the reader abele to relate to the drama that consumes the students.

Vivian manages to put her own twist on a story essentially told before in the movie Mean Girls. The story jumps between characters, and while a little confusing at first, the back and forth becomes a vital part of the story. Being able to see the plot through so many different pairs of eyes helps develop a strong story line with many different levels.

The only real criticism I can give on The List is that the ending left me wanting something more from the story. Knowing this won’t be a series, I wanted closure. Instead there is a scent of mystery, which is not necessarily a bad thing, just different from what I’m used to.

All-in-all, I believe The List offers readers insight into high school bullying and hazing that, in the end, helps no one. It’s a strong story with a few twists that will keep you on your toes.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Sarah Emily Lelonek has a BA in English Literature from Kent State University. She is planning on attending Graduate School for English Rhetoric and Composition. She enjoys traveling and gaming while on breaks from working on her novel.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Push. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.