Frankie by Shivaun Plozza
Frankie Vega is angry. Just ask the guy whose nose she broke. Or the cop investigating the burglary she witnessed, or her cheating ex-boyfriend or her aunt who’s tired of giving second chances…When a kid shows up claiming to be Frankie’s half brother, it opens the door to a past she doesn’t want to remember. And when that kid goes missing, the only person willing to help is a boy with stupidly blue eyes … and secrets of his own. Frankie’s search for the truth might change her life, or cost her everything.
Where can I get it? QBD the Bookshop, paperback $17.99
When can I get my hands on it? Now!
What can I expect? Anger, young love, family drama
This young adult novel centers around a young girl, Frankie, with anger issues. She was abandoned by her drug addict mother at the age of four and has been raised by her aunt ever since. She discovers she has younger half brother after he reaches out to her. Through this half brother, Xavier, she meets Nate (who of course turns out to be her love interest). Xavier goes missing and the rest of the novel covers Frankie’s attempt to find him while her life spirals out of control as a direct result of her anger and poor decision making.
I liked the overall story line. It was believable, relevant and engaging. I loved the fact that it was set in Melbourne and I loved how very Australian the tone of the novel was. What I didn’t like was how juvenile the dialogue was at times. For example:
“You know how you look at Pete Doherty and it’s like, ew gross, take a bath and quit smoking crack, you crusty punk, but then you listen to his music and you’re all, oh my god this man is a lyrical genius, I’m all melted joy right now and I totally love him and forgive him for being so icky? It’s like that”.
I know this is young adult but I hate authors who dumb down their dialogue to fit a niche. This book is about the emotional trauma Frankie endured after being abandoned by her mother. For me the dialogue just didn’t fit with the story. You also get passages like this:
“Because I mean…so…just…wow. How did this guy become this guy? I try to process this totally unexpected wowness”.
Do you see? It was a bit jarring for me to read about a memory of four year old Frankie having her shoes taken off her so her mum can sell them and feed her drug habit and then having to read about…wowness. If this book was written with less juvenile dialogue and passages I think it actually would have been a much better read. It’s a good story and the characters were great but the execution was poor. Every time the story got interesting I was distracting by how much the dialogue made my brain angry. This isn’t a bad book it just tries too hard to be young and hip (if that’s what the kids are cooling cool these days).
Final Rating: 2/5