The List takes a cruel concept and redeems it with multidimensional characters and a caring adult in power bent on change. The story follows eight teenage girls, some with character arcs more interesting than the next. Premise-wise, it’s not a heartwarming tale meant to uplift, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s an interesting insight into high school teens and that inherent, timeless desire to fit in.

At the start of every year, two high school girls from every grade are deemed prettiest and ugliest on a list that’s plastered everywhere on school grounds. The faculty doesn’t know who’s responsible and haven’t made much of an effort to smoke out the guilty party. The eight girls find themselves in a position of notoriety and popularity and each handles it uniquely. Even the four so-called “prettiest” students don’t have it as easy as one might think, whether they suffer from eating disorders or live in the shadow of an older sibling. But the question is, who came up with the list? And will they be exposed at the high school dance? (PUSH, Apr., 336 pp., $17.99, ISBN: 9780545169172, HC, 14 & Up)
Reviewed by: 
Lauren Spielberg