1. Frannie and Tru by Karen Hattrup
When Frannie Little eavesdrops on her parents fighting she discovers that her cousin Truman is gay, and his parents are so upset they are sending him to live with her family for the summer. At least, that’s what she thinks the story is. . . When he arrives, shy Frannie befriends this older boy, who is everything that she’s not–rich, confident, cynical, sophisticated. Together, they embark on a magical summer marked by slowly unraveling secrets.
My Rating: 3.5/5
My Thoughts: If I could describe Frannie and Tru in one word, it would be “authentic”. It’s an authentic story of a young girl trying to establish her place in the world. She’s on the verge of discovering who it is that she wants to be. I could relate to Frannie; she was the type of person I was at 15. She’s shy and naive and constantly questioning herself.
When her older cousin Tru comes to stay with her family for the summer, she latches on to him. He gets her to come out of shell and live in the moment. I found Tru to be a very compelling portion of the story; but you’re only given the bits and pieces of things that Frannie picks up on. He’s mysterious, cool and obviously dealing with a number of personal issues. While I liked Frannie, I feel like Tru was the real star of the story. He definitely had the more compelling story of the two.
While I enjoyed the book, I feel like it Hattrup could have done more with it. She touches on some fantastic issues, but doesn’t really commit to them. She scratches the surface of topics like racism and homophobia through Frannie’s eyes, but just sort of glazes over them.
This book is what I would describe as a character driven. It’s a book centered around the characters, their growth and relationships instead of the plot. It’s a modern coming of age story that was both intriguing and interesting. I wish the plot had been a bit deeper, but it was still a good read.