Book Title:
Frannie and Tru
Book Author:
Karen Hattrup
Publishing Date:
May 31st, 2016
Publisher:
HarperTeen
Date Read:
May 19th, 2016
Source:
eARC from publisher via Edelweiss

Synopsis

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 Review

Frannie and Tru is one of those rare books that leaves me at a loss for words when it comes to writing my review.  I did like the book, but at the same time, it isn’t something that left a lasting impression on me, so I didn’t absolutely love it.  To be completely honest, I wasn’t able to develop many feelings at all for the book or its characters.

When I had heard about this book, it instantly became something I knew I would have to read.  When I was approved for an eARC on Edelweiss I was super excited to finally dive into this one, and the first third of the book was really good.

Frannie lives with her parents and her twin brothers.  While things are a little tight for them, they get by (even if they aren’t allowed to use the air conditioning this summer because their money is better spent on other things), and Frannie has to leave her private school and her friends and start attending public school in the fall.  While she isn’t happy with it, she realizes that there isn’t much she can do about the issue.  When Frannie overhears a phone conversation between her mother and her aunt, she learns that her cousin Tru will be coming to spend the summer with them.

Frannie also finds out that Tru is gay.  In her mind, she also comes to the conclusion that the reason that Tru was send to them for the summer was because he had come out to his parents, and they needed time to come to accept it.  Frannie and her family have no problem with Tru being gay, and I feel the need to point out that this is a wonderful thing.  There aren’t nearly enough supportive families in the world, and Tru was really lucky to have somewhere to turn where he felt like he could be himself.

Anyway, when Tru arrives, at first he doesn’t seem to want to talk to Frannie – instead he spends time in his room in the basement or going out with Frannie’s brothers.  Frannie feels a bit hurt by the fact that Tru doesn’t seem to want to do anything with her, and then he tells her they are going to a club one night.  Frannie instantly thinks the summer is going to get better and the two of them are going to end up as best friends.

And really, that’s kind of where the story just starts repeating itself.  It kind of goes through a loop until the end: Frannie being upset because Tru doesn’t want to talk to her or spend time with her, then Tru hangs out with Frannie for one night, then Tru goes back to ignoring Frannie and Frannie is all upset about it again.  Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be much deeper of a plot to this one, and the ending was kind of a downer as well.  I felt like it ended abruptly, and the middle of it was filled with the same scenario happening again and again until the very end.  Not only was I confused…I feel like most people who have read this book really enjoyed it, so I’m not sure what I’m missing.

I disliked Frannie’s character completely…she just seemed perpetually upset about everything that was going on in her life – her lack of a cell phone (which she lost in a sewer drain), the fact that her friends kept ditching her, Tru didn’t want to talk to her, she never went anywhere, etc.  I couldn’t help wondering why this girl didn’t actively try and change the things in her life that she didn’t like, instead of just being miserable about everything.

Tru’s character was definitely interesting, though.  Sometimes he seemed like he would sit in his room for days, brooding and doing who knows what, and then emerge when he wanted to go out and do something.  His relationship with his parents was strained, and the reason why is definitely not what I had expected.

I wished there could have been some more interesting parts of this book to make me love it more – maybe a bigger conflict or something actually happening in the middle between the episodes where Frannie sulks because everything in her life is just miserable. 

I feel like I focused more on the negative parts of the book than the positives in this review, but please don’t those things deter you from picking up this book.  It does have its positives, and is a great summer read (I got through it pretty quickly – in just a day), and the author’s writing flows nicely and makes the book catchy.  For this reason, I’m giving the book three stars.  I didn’t want to put Frannie and Tru down once I started reading, because I was interested in finding out what their summer would hold.  I wish it held more than it did, but all in all, it’s a decent read.

3 stars
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2 Responses to Frannie and Tru by Karen Hattrup

  1. Deanna says:

    Bummer this one didn’t turn out as good as you had hoped. The blurb does make it appear more exciting than what you described.

    • Kelly says:

      I know, right? The blurb makes this one sound like it’s going to be this fun, adventure filled summer read, but it just seemed a little boring and lackluster to me.

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