Review: The List by Siobhan Vivian


So ‘The List’ is another one of those books that I’ve picked up in Waterstones but then put back down. It was intriguing and to be honest I’m not sure why I didn’t buy it sooner. I suppose it was a case of liking the idea of it but worrying that I wouldn’t be able to get into the writing style. Either way, I picked it up last week and finally left the store with it. I bought it, I didn’t like carry it out the store or anything…

Anyway, the basic plot is that every September ‘the list’ is poster all over school. Two girls are picked from each year. One is named the prettiest, one the ugliest. The girls who aren’t picked are quickly forgotten. The girls who are become the centre of attention, and each reacts differently to the experience. When they discover they are this year’s victims, Danielle, Abby, Candace, Lauren, Sarah, Bridget, Jennifer and Margo struggle with the judgements of their peers. After all, prettiest or ugliest, once you’re on the list, you’ll never be the same.


First of all, my absolute favourite thing about this book was that it wasn’t a simple oh the pretty girls have a really easy time and the ugly girls get a really shit time. None of them have a particularly easy time and it was so interesting to read about how each girl reacted. It made for a much more interesting read and made the characters more believable.

Speaking of the characters I don’t think there was a single one I truly disliked. Okay, I thought some of Sarah’s chapters were pretty gross to read about but I still liked her. My favourite has to be Lauren, I thought she was lovely and I loved reading her chapters. I did love Candace as well though but not right from the start. I loved that none of them were perfect, they all fucked up in some way and they were all so different from each other. In some books girls can be written so lazily, so to read about eight girls who were all completely different with their own unique issues was just so uplifting.


There’s also a mystery element and as I’ve mentioned before I do love a good mystery element to make you want to keep reading. We’re trying to figure out who wrote the list but its good because it’s not the obsession of any the characters, it’s just enough to keep you intrigued. Spoiler alert, you do find out who wrote the list, and I didn’t see it coming. I’m not sure what I thought of all that to be honest.

My only complaint would be that the ending suddenly felt rushed and I didn’t think it was a particularly satisfying conclusion but I can see what Siobhan Vivian was aiming for. To be honest though I could overlook it because I enjoyed the rest of the book so much!

Overall, I 100% recommend this to all of you because I honestly thought it was fantastic. I only bought it about five days ago and I’ve finished it because I just couldn’t put it down. Also, I thought that because there were eight girls it might be difficult to automatically tell them apart but it really wasn’t! It’s so well written, please give it a try! I definitely think I’ll be reading more of Siobhan’s books in the future.