Read Frankie by Shivaun Plozza Online


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 helpFrankie 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....

Title : Frankie
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780143573166
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 314 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Frankie Reviews

  • Cait (Paper Fury)
    2019-02-10 10:35

    I am an unfortunate disappointed melon when it comes to this book. An awkward melon, I might add, because everyone and their their aunt's pet goldfish seem to love it and yet here I am saying "HELLO BUT WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THIS????" I'm trying to read more Aussie books but nooooooooooo to this one.(Also I read a book in like A DAY but this took me over a week to finish because it just didn't hook me in.)One of my biggest grumpy moments is at Frankie.She's this super ANGRY sort of girl...which could work out fine, right? But she's so rude to everyone. I've seen other reviews (and also the author's note) mention that Frankie will make you laugh and cry. SHE MADE ME FROWN LIKE 9 TIMES. And I'm an unemotional brick so that's a feat. I get that she has problems (unwanted/unloved/tough childhood etc etc) but when is there ever a good excuse to be horrible? Never.The book centres around her looking for her missing half-brother...WHOM I DIDN'T CARE ABOUT BECAUSE I DIDN'T KNOW HIM.Like don't get me wrong, I actually liked Xavier. For like the TWO CHAPTERS WE GOT WITH HIM. He was super adorable and winning. But an entire 300pg story looking for this kid I barely even met??? My heart strings weren't hearting. Plus I just knew (view spoiler)[they'd find him dead because otherwise Frankie would have to hate him [because that's who she is, apparently] and when there was like 20-pages left and no Xavier in sight, I'm like "Well, he's dead somewhere". And while this made me minutely sad, I didn't really feel anything because I hadn't even had a chance to get to know him.(hide spoiler)].And what even was the romance???Frankie is like hating on this due for 87% of the time and then suddenly they're kissing?!? Where did that come from?? Plus that happened like 80% through the book, which I think is a little late to be adding in romance.Also the writing? ARGH THE WRITING.It uses pop-culture references instead of description. I hate that. Call me a freak (but don't because I'm sensitive) but I don't actually know many pop culture things?? So describing a person as "this movie star x this singer" was totally lost to me. I also feel like it's lazy describing. And Frankie had one of those seriously over-the-top voices where every paragraph was a huge dramafest in how it was written. Sometimes I just don't even know what she was saying. ANOTHER LANGUAGE PERHAPS???I am the saddest of melons, I truly am. I wanted to like this one, because Australian (!!) YA (!!!) and I also adore the name Frankie and name-loving almost always wins me over to a character. Not this time. Frankie was just too rude in all her self-righteous-self-obsessed-bitter-issues and I wish we'd gotten to know her brother before the plot dedicated itself to finding him. And when I finished the book...I really don't know what would be next for Frankie. I don't even really see the character development. I ALSO WANT A SPANISH DONUT. LIKE I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT IS BUT I WANT ONE.

  • Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
    2019-01-30 10:55

    Frankie is without a doubt, the most compelling debut in young adult since Stolen by Lucy Christopher. It's an utterly enchanting blend of attitude, sass and an engaging storyline as told through the eyes of one of the most likable protagonists in young adult today. Although she's always lived with the hurt of abandonment, Frankie is incredibly fierce and doesn't allow the failures of her mother to define her. She and aunt Vinnie live above Vinnie's kebab shop in the Melbourne suburb of Collingwood, with an eclectic mix of diversity and crime. It's here that Frankie now finds herself working, having been suspended from school after another violent outburst, when she is contacted by Xavier claiming to be her half brother.Xavier too has his own issues, the fourteen year old just having moved to Melbourne from Queensland with his abusive, gruff father. The very same man that Frankie's mother had abandoned her for all those years ago. Perhaps Xavier is the only person who may understand how Frankie is feeling but then Xavier vanishes. The local detectives see Xavier as just another runaway, the Vega name not worthy of their time so Frankie takes the investigation into her own hands and enlists the help of local neighbourhood burglar Nate. Possibly the only person to know of Xavier's whereabouts... Or who cares.My heart ached for Frankie as she felt she had nowhere to turn for help. Vinnie, although such pillar of strength and support in Frankie's life, was tired of her antics. Suspended for a violent incident at school, to return Frankie is forced to plead her case. In between her therapy sessions with the infuriatingly passive Daniel, the only calming presence in Frankie's life is her best friend in Cara but lately their friendship is also at breaking point. Frankie's sole focus is that of finding her brother which means breaking curfew, disregarding Vinnie, school and visiting the seedy underbelly of the northern suburbs of Melbourne to find him. What struck me most was how genuine Frankie's character felt and realistically flawed.The romance was barely there, but the attraction between Frankie and Nate was intense and dangerously sexy. Nate's character smoulders, but underneath his couldn't care less bravado lies a boy does what he can to survive, rather than just another petty thief. Although both were dealing with their own issues, they slowly begun to rely on one another for support and companionship.Frankie is Melbourne. From the language, diversity to the uniqueness of the northern suburbs. During my teen years, these were my people. From the streets of Reservoir to Victoria Park, the Preston Market to the factory outlets along Smith Street Collingwood, it was so incredibly vivid and beautifully written with such an honesty of how fundamentally flawed life in general is.Shivaun Plozza, you are a force to be reckoned with. Shivaun is an author who brings stories to life through her characters, her intensity and honesty. A remarkable debut from an author who captured me from the very first page.

  • Rebecca T
    2019-01-29 16:29

    HELLS YEAH.I have a ridiculous love for characters like Frankie. She was so incredibly snarky, and quite the troubled teen.I thought the story line was fab as fuck too. I was rooting for her the entire way. Not going to lie, I definitely wanted to shake some sense into her too, but I really enjoyed the way it all came together.I can't decide between a 4 or a 5 rating tbh. The only reason I'm leaning more towards a 4 is because, despite my love for all the characters and the story line, I still didn't feel attached emotionally to the characters? I don't know. Let's say it's a 4.5.(GR you need to get your half-star act together bruh).

  • Jess
    2019-01-22 14:42

    This book flat out destroyed me. In every imaginable way. I have never laughed with characters so much, or cheered for them when things started happening - or yelled at the page when things didn't. I also haven't cried these big ugly crying tears since I read Melina Marchetta's On the Jellicoe Road. Seriously. When this book releases at the end of this month, you need to buy yourself a copy. Stat.~*~*~*~The above is the original mini-I've-just-finished-this-book-and-I-need-to-tell-you-about-it review that I posted on Goodreads the second I finished the book, and now weeks later, I still think it sums up the book brilliantly. It's out in the world now, so do yourself a favour and track a copy down NOW!If you haven't already gathered I love this book so much. I've been reading a lot of fantastic 5 stars books recently, but somehow, this little gem of a début by Australia Author Shivaun Plozza is the one that stands out most in the world of 5 star ratings for me. It's on whole other playing field. It's the one that keeps haunting me. I can almost guarantee that it will be this book that I go back to and reread at least once more before the year is out ... and I don't reread this close to the original reading EVER!Frankie is the story of Frankie Vega, a 17 year old high school student from Collingwood, Australia. She's angry at the world and rightly so, for her 17 years have been anything but smooth sailing. Abandoned by her birth mother, and raised by her aunt Vinnie, Frankie lives each day as it comes. Armed with a quick tongue, attitude plus and a book of Shakespeare, she faces the teenage drama of high school as best she can. If only life was only as hard as dealing with cheating ex-boyfriends and high school bullies. Out of the blue, a 14 year old kid contacts Frankie claiming to be her half-brother; a half brother she never knew she had. Suddenly Frankie's world is turned on its head and nothing will ever be the same again. Especially when the kid goes missing soon afterwards and it seems that the girl who knows nothing about him, is the only one who seems to give a shit. Sure, he has dimples bought me dumplings and went to shit-loads of trouble trying to impress me. Sure he's maybe the best graf artist in town. But he stole, lied and vanished. A certain other blood relative did that me fourteen years ago and I couldn't give a shit what's happened to her.This book is about so much more than just another teenage girl angry at the world. It's about friendship and family, love duty and honour; it's about being who you are and finding your place in the world. It's raw and it's gut wrenching in parts, unashamedly gritty and honest; it's real. See? This is why I'm so angry. Because the second you consider opening yourself up to someone they tear your heart out.It's about a world that is often left out of YA novels. A world where life isn't perfect; when there's no fancy prince charming who comes to town and sweeps you off your feet and saves you from a life of misery, where you're parents don't have money or time for you, and when the world kind of just sucks. It's from a place where kids have to make their own way or risk staying in the same 'nothing' space for their entire life. Where you fight for yourself every damn day of your life. Frankie doesn't just live, she fights and reacts to the world that keeps pushing her down time and time again. Because she knows she's better than that. She believes she can be better than that.I absolutely loved the character of Frankie. Right from the first page, I just kind of 'got' her in a way I hadn't 'got' a lot of characters lately. She was not just a fragment of Plozza's and my imagination. She was real. A living breathing person that I might have passed walking down the street. Or sat alongside in class. She is raw ... and she's loud, refusing to be what other's constantly tell her she is. More importantly she's resilient.In many ways, Frankie is a kick butt kind of character - literally in the case of the Shakespeare mishap -, so yeah she's a super strong character, but she's also flawed as much as you and I are. Like every other human being out there, she has emotions and she's not immune to other's taunts and judgements. Frankie is vulnerable, perhaps even fragile after the half brother revelation. But from this fragility lies her true strength of character, of loyalty and love.Despite being considered trouble by those around her, Frankie has a heart of gold; one she is constantly trying to prove to the world. To prove to herself. Time and time again she has great intentions, but something happens or gets in the way that means Frankie is forced to act and then bad things tend to happen or people get let down. Frankie doesn't make the great decisions at the best of times, but it's not like she set out to do deliberately make 'bad' ones. She makes the best out of bad situations and she pays for her mistakes ten fold. She owns them, and that’s more than I can say for a lot of people in the world.It's kind of heartbreaking to read how much Frankie tries time and time again to impress or even just please Vinnie only to see it blow back up in her face and reinforce herself worth as a constant failure. She's haunted by a past that she can't change and left to face a future that she can only react to. React to save face. To protect herself. To survive the only way she knows how. That in itself shows a sense of true character and courage that often is missing in books.What's more the more energy Frankie tries to put into being what people want her to be or a better version of herself, the worse the outcome is. She's let down by those around her - even Vinnie who has her best interests at heart demands that Frankie be someone that Frankie just .. isn't. Constantly through out the book we see Frankie make these big gestures and moves to turn herself into a 'better version' of herself only to be told she was born bad and is beyond saving. There's one particular scene in this book with Nonna that gutted me to the core whilst reading it. I literally had big fat ugly tears rolling down my checks, whilst in my head I was yelling at the characters and Plozza simultaneously for doing this to me, for doing this to her! Because as if being a teenager wasn't hard enough in the first place, now she has to go through this! You may as well quit fighting it, Frankie. You were born to do this. It's in the DNA. It's what everyone expects. Introducing Fankie 3.0. The most badass model yet.I just love that Plozza was able to write such a kick-ass kind of character who is somehow both vulnerable, fragile and an emotional mess while simultaneously being so strong and wild, fighting against the constant walls of injustice that she sees day in and day out. Not that she'd see it that way of course.Through Frankie, we learn a lot of hard truths. Take the value of missing people for example. Society only cares about missing individuals if they have something to offer back to society. A point highlighted constantly throughout the book with the contrast between the missing rich boy Harrison Finnik-Hyde and Xavier, the poor no good kid. Harrison Finnik-Hyde is spared no cost or media coverage to find him again, whereas Xavier (Frankie's half brother) goes missing and no one cares but Frankie. Not Vinnie, not Nate (Xavier's not so innocent friend) and most definitely not Detective Inspector Eric Marzoli. 'I haven't seen anything about Xavier in the papers. Harrison Finnik-Hyde was booted to page six today, but it was still an entire page more than my brother had.' Marxoli holds the phone too close to his mouth, muffling his voice. 'Do you know how many people go missing each day? They can't all get a front page.' 'Just the pretty ones. And the rich ones. Are you even looking into it?'As disturbing and in your face this point is, I love that Plozza included this story arc. It makes me wonder now every time I hear of a missing person on the news, just what their circumstance is. Why are they deemed more worthy than someone else? And just how many missing people are out there that no one notices? It's a pretty bleak way to look at life I'll admit, but it's an honest one.Finally I loved Plozza's writing style. I know I'm biased because I can't stop raving about how amazing the book is, but for someone to be about to write a narrative with such ugly truths and connotations, and shape it into a story that is both heart breaking and a beauty to hold is nothing short of inspiring. This book is dark in places, not to mention an emotional roller-coaster that will leave you knocking your head hard at every twist and turn, but it's uplifting and awe inspiring too. It has heart and courage. But it's also funny. Plozza nailed the teenage voice. She constantly employs whit and laugh-out-loud humour to break up the emotional over powering sections so that you're not bogged down in heavier scenes. I loved it.What's more, it's a quick read. I read it in a day, so be prepared to have a clear schedule when you pick this one up, because from me to you, you won't want to put it down until you've reached the final sentence on the last page. Perhaps even not then. I know I didn't!Frankie has everything I love about a good book. It's fast paced, with strong but flawed characters who won't leave you alone. There's mystery and suspense, a bit of romance and book eye-candy, and the narrative is unique. It packs an emotional punch and there's so much more I want to discuss about the book, but in order to keep it spoiler-free I can't! So just buy it, read it, devour it, and then come and talk to me! I really think this book has something in it for everyone.I laughed. I cried. I gripped the book tighter and raced through its pages. I sacrificed sleep and a working day's concentration... I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. In fact I did. During the writing of this review, I went looking for quotes and before I knew it, I'd re-read the book again!I know it's really early to call it already, but hands down this is the best book I've read all year.Début author Shivaun Plozza has a HUGE future ahead of her, and I for one can't wait to see what's next for her.Ideal for fans of Melina Marchetta's On The Jellicoe Road.This review was originally posted over at The Never Ending Bookshelf on the book's offical release date, 28th March 2016 and can be found here:

  • rachel • typed truths
    2019-01-18 10:33

    Frankie was one of those decent reads that I enjoyed... but it just didn’t grab me completely. I liked that the characters were unique and distinctive but to be honest, I never really connected to any of them. We got about five seconds with Xavier before he disappeared so he was kind of just this assumed figure hovering over the plot. I could understand why Frankie cared about him but I never felt it for myself. The same with Nate, her best friend (whose name escaping me at the moment), Nonna and the other secondary characters. Only Vinnie, Frankie’s aunt and guardian, was a stand out. She exactly the sort of woman that someone like Frankie needed in her life. She was strong but fair. She was funny and sweet. She completely stole the show. The plotline itself was a little frustrating. I’m not a big fan of the trope where teenagers investigate crimes without the help of the police/adults. It’s generally unrealistic and frustrating, but this one did have a purpose: to show the bias of the police towards low socioeconomic areas. I liked that aspect of it, I did. It was just thought that there was so much effort taken to set these characters and the setting apart from other YA books that it seemed a little bit of a waste to use such boring tropes. I also thought that aspects of the ending were rather predictable… which made it rather anti-climatic. Oh, and the romance didn’t work for me completely either. I wasn’t a massive Nate fan - they hated each other 95% of the time, but then they were kissing? It was just another layer of the story that I felt was trope-y and slightly boring. The writing style was okay but it was also a little blunt - in a way that didn’t work for me. Like a lot of reviewers before me are saying, the author relied on pop culture references to describe people - which is something that I cannot stand. The reason this is the worst possible way to describe someone is that I literally didn’t recognise any of the names she mentioned, literally any of them! I wasn’t even sure whether they were meant to be real celebrities or made-up ones… so you can imagine the struggle when a character is described as “Blah Blah and Blah Blah’s love child”. If I don’t know who that person is then how am I meant to know what that person looks like? It just feels like lazy writing when it happens multiple times. Overall? I didn’t think was necessarily a ‘bad book’ but it certainly wasn’t for me. The characters weren’t my favourite and the plotline took a direction that I wasn’t completely into. The romance felt unnecessary and the the ending was ultimately anticlimactic. I will try more of this author’s work in the future but I was not the biggest fan of Frankie.

  • Grace Lucy
    2019-01-22 13:34

    Thanks to Penguin Teen Australia for the ARC!Anyone who has heard me talk about books (so basically everyone who has ever met me), knows that I am not a huge contemporary fan. Why would I want to read about real life? I already have one of those. Every so often, however, I read a YA contemporary novel that makes me eat my words - and Frankie is one of them. Maybe because it's an Australian novel and I could actually relate to the characters; maybe just because Plozza writes really well.One of my major problems with the contemporary genre is that it seems to exist in a frustrating dichotomy - its stories are either fluffy or preachy. Frankie is a novel that strikes the perfect balance between these two. It posed a lot of questions about our society - why are the rich, white kids the only ones who seem to matter? Why do people commit crimes, anyway? These are important issues that need to be addressed, but nobody wants to hear a sermon. Characters like Frankie demonstrate the truth of low socio-economic living, sans condescension - the issues just come up when we talk about her life.Frankie Vega is a unique and entertaining protagonist. She makes some pretty dodgy decisions (don't we all?), but you never really stop cheering for her. I felt like I was Aunt Vinnie throughout the entire novel, because I really wanted Frankie to succeed, but sometimes I wanted to yell at her as well. I think this was largely down to Plozza's writing - because above everything else, Frankie was hilarious. I actually laughed out loud at a lot of her comments, making her a much more sympathetic and relatable character. The characterisation in this novel was its true strength (I swear I actually knew Cara in school). The romance never felt forced because I got to know the characters separately first, and saw them gradually develop feelings for each other (no insta-love, hurrah). Perhaps the only thing I did not love about this novel was its pacing. Frankie is attempting to solve a mystery of sorts throughout the novel, and we do not reach a resolution until right at the end. I would have liked to explore the aftermath of this discovery for just a little longer.Overall, this is a stunning standalone novel with an interesting protagonist and brilliant characterisation. I would recommend this novel to anyone who wants a story about realistic Australian characters, or just feels like reading something honest and raw. I look forward to reading many more novels from Plozza!Check out the review on my blog or tweet me.

  • Steph Cuthbert
    2019-02-07 14:49

    I'm in a seriously messed up emotional state right now. I loved it. Review to come tomorrow. UPDATE: I'm still in a messed up place. This book killed my heart. I want to rave about Shivaun's writing, but I honestly can't because I literally didn't notice that an author had an idea, developed it, wrote it down, spent years of her life rewriting it, sent it to a publisher, spent forever on edits and copy edits and finally had it turned into a book. The entire process was irrelevant because my brain just went "Frankie is a real person and you are experiencing this first hand Steph."That sounds kind of mental, but there you go. For the first time in my life, I didn't analyse a book.Maybe Frankie felt so real because her voice was so authentic. She was rude and brutal and honest and didn't try to be anything else. And she is so funny. How can a book be so funny but seriously kill your heart too?And there was so much heart underneath this fucked up shell. The ending shattered me and I sat there for an hour after I closed the book, just staring into space thinking about it. I don't normally do that.What an incredible debut.

  • I.H.
    2019-01-30 12:27

    Frankie is, quite honestly, a gift to the Australian YA scene. Featuring a depth of character & strength of voice that carries it to incredible heights, this book deserves all the praise it gets and then some. Highlights for me included a tight narrative and a fantastic ending that worked incredibly well and carried a depth of insight and emotion that blew me away. Shivaun Plozza's voice as an author is distinct, breathing life into her characters, and layers of depth into the world of Colligwood - which is never better described than in this book. All of these elements combine to make Frankie one of the best books I've read this year, and one that's 100% worth checking out for readers young and old.

  • NicoleHasRead
    2019-02-07 10:41

    Bloody loved it. Review at nicolehasread.blogspot.comFrankie is that wonderful creation, a difficult, troubled character who does terrible things, that you absolutely fall in love with anyway. She is in trouble at school, having used a book of Shakespeare to rearrange someone's face, and her aunt, Vinnie, is close to washing her hands of her. When Xavier appears claiming to be her half-brother she is intrigued, but also wary. She hasn't exactly had the best experience with family. But just as she's getting to know Xavier, he disappears. The cops aren't interested in helping and no one else wants to know, apart from Nate. The only problem is, Nate doesn't exactly walk on the right side of the law, and his involvement could get Frankie into even more trouble. Can she find her brother, avoid expulsion from school and avoid her aunt killing her? Probably not, but she's going to try anyway.I absolutely adored this book. Frankie is such a flawed character, but I fell for her instantly. I loved her voice and I laughed out loud at several points in the book. But I also felt her loneliness and insecurity. She is a character desperate for love but far too scared to allow anyone to love her. She pushes everyone away for fear of being hurt.Nate is another flawed character. An admitted burglar, he's still incredibly likeable. He goes out of his way to help Frankie, even when it means putting himself at risk.This is such a Melbourne story, populated by believable characters and featuring local landmarks and Melbourne's famous street art. Although I don't know Collingwood as well as other inner city suburbs, I really recognised the setting of the story.I often find first person present tense narratives difficult. There is often a tendency to slip out of the present tense, or it feels clumsy. That's totally not the case here. I didn't even register that it was present tense until well into the book. It's so well written and put together. I wasn't sure about the cover at first, but it totally makes sense in the context of the story.This is a dark, gritty story. It's not all sunshine and roses, and it's all the better for that. It's beautiful, confronting and compelling.I totally fell in love with Frankie and read this in one evening/morning. Highly recommended.

  • Tara
    2019-01-23 13:52

    OK- That ending hit me like a freight train...... came way too fast and left me hurting (obviously I would be more than hurting if a freight train hit me but you get the point).I can't get enough of OZ YA lately, especially if they are set in Melbourne and Frankie did not disappoint. Starting with the beautiful cover, I was sucked into the story within the first pages, immediately connecting with Frankie and feeling a large amount of contempt for the asshats at her school, as well as absolutely falling in love with her best friend Cara. With a best friend like Cara you know there will always be someone looking out for you. And Aunt Vinnie was so awesome, with her Kebab shop in Collingwood and her bright lip stick - she definitely needs her own story. I would have liked to spend some more time with the boys, Frankie's brother Xavier, while not always making the right decision was a sweet kid, and Nate...who definitely didn't make the right decisions but had an interesting back story (and seems to be a great kisser!).And Frankie......... Frankie was tough and angry, but in every page I could also see the lost little 4 year old girl. She broke my heart, a few times. I wanted to hang out with her and help her look for her brother, and I wanted to hug her and tell her that everything would be ok. This story really took me on a ride of so many emotions, and when I got to the end I desperately turned the last page, hoping that there would be a '12 months later' paragraph so I could read a nice, happy ending for Frankie..... because I really wanted a happy ending for her. Filled with an endless supply of churros.Four and a half stars.

  • RavenclawReadingRoom
    2019-02-12 13:54

    Trigger warnings: parental abandonment, drug addiction, (view spoiler)[death of a sibling (hide spoiler)]Oh man. I am on Team Unpopular Opinion where this book is concerned. A bunch of people I know and trust have given it five stars. A bunch of kids at work have raved about it. And yet, I knew pretty much from page 1 that I wasn't going to love this. I think the book deals very well with poverty, and it's pretty much a love letter to Collingwood. But personally, I found Frankie's voice incredibly grating. I understood why she did the things she did. I understood why she was so angry at her life and at the world in general. I understood why she ran off after a cute boy she'd just met instead of hanging out with her best friend. I understood it all. But for the duration of the book, I just wanted to be the adult who was like "Girl, no". Add in an abrupt ending that I pretty much saw coming when (view spoiler)[Xavier hadn't turned up with like 30 pages to go (hide spoiler)] and this balanced out to meh for me. It wasn't bad. But it also wasn't a stand out.

  • nick
    2019-02-02 12:52

    I would like to know what the people of Australia are drinking because goddamn can they write. I have yet to read a book by an Aussie author that I’ve disliked. The quality of their writing is so superior to any other writing styles that I’ve encountered. Frankie was no different. It was such a fresh, riveting story with an extremely compelling main character.I loved Frankie. She’s a giant ball of fury and I related quite a bit to her. She’s angry, pissed off and unapologetic about it all. I mean this is a girl who punches a douche-nozzle at school and gets expelled for it, but doesn’t care about it because he deserved it. Her life is thrown upside down when she finds out that she has a half-brother, Xavier, who gets in contact with her. Only a few days later, Xavier goes missing, and Frankie tries to look for him. You get to experience every emotion with Frankie as she navigates finding her brother, new discoveries about her mother, and as she battles real life, in general. Shivaun Plozza writes emotions really well, and I loved that I was so in sync with Frankie. I also liked Xavier a lot. He was such a sweet kid, with a heart of gold. He goes out of his way to connect with Frankie before he goes missing, and it’s the most endearing thing. Frankie’s aunt, Vinnie, who raises her is another character I absolutely adored. She’s a sassy spitfire who takes no bullshit from anyone. She’s so wonderfully strong and supportive though, and just the sort of loving person Frankie needs in her life. Even when Frankie drives her mad, she is just there for her niece and it warmed my cold heart!I also loved how much attention was given to the Melbourne setting. It comes to life in Frankie, and I loved how the landscape was just as much part of a story as the characters were. It’s bright, vivid and I felt like I was in Melbourne while I was reading Frankie. It’s also a book that touches on issues like privilege, socioeconomic conditions and the importance given to people with more wealth and power, by the very people who are supposed to help you. There’s also a bit of a romance with a mysterious fellow in Frankie. It’s subtle, but I loved it. I constantly looked forward to their interactions. They had a hate-to-love vibe that I totally dug. Honestly, this is such a fantastic story, and it’s going on my list of re-reads for sure. I love it when a book makes me feel every emotion. By the end of Frankie I was an absolute mess, because it hit me right in the heart.All in all, Frankie was a fantastic read. Be sure to add this to your TBR if you’re looking for a stellar YA contemporary, especially if you’re a Marchetta fan!

  • Hannah
    2019-01-25 16:36

    Frankie is, quintessentially Melbourne. It makes me finally understand all those lectures at uni (thanks Curtin) as to what we mean when we discuss sense of place. And I think that’s why so many people resonate with this novel. There’s so much love for Collingwood and the city of Melbourne in Frankie that it’s hard not to feel completely immersed in this particular Australian culture, almost reminiscent of the way you can “feel” Sydney in Marchetta’s books. Frankie was a quick read, and deals with some pretty heavy subject matter in terms of socio-economic background and privilege. I loved the title character’s quick wit and sense of sarcasm - a girl after my own heart. I did wish however that the ending of the novel wasn’t so abrupt, as I felt like there could have been more explored on Frankie’s relationship with her half brother.

  • Rachael
    2019-01-27 09:41

    Frankie is angry. Naturally, I love her immediately. Her voice is authentic, snarky, fragile, toxic and totally believable. Beautifully structured, the narrative unfolds with urgent, compelling, clever storytelling. (Excuse me while I hurl all the adjectives). I love the references, relationships, the artistic and musical motifs, the agonizing journey towards self awareness and hope. Frankie proved completely gripping from beginning to end, and though it broke my heart it was a joy to read even in the breaking.

  • Fleur Ferris
    2019-01-18 12:33

    A brilliant debut. Frankie is a compelling story of mystery, humour, sass and sadness. The setting is as alive as the characters. Did I mention love and anger? Plenty of that, too. I can't wait for Plozza's next book. Highly recommend!

  • ShortReviews
    2019-02-13 11:38

    I can't seem to find books I love these days. Frankie is always angry, and I understood why. Her mother was all kinds of messed up. The ending was nice, I'm happy Frankie found a way of healing her pain.

  • Ryan Buckby
    2019-02-16 17:52

    i've started to get tougher on what ratings i give books since i've read more books but this book deserves its 5 star rating!Frankie was a funny, sarcastic and well-rounded character i loved reading this story it had me laughing throughout the whole book. This is Shivaun's debut novel and it was soo good and i cannot wait to see what other stories she has.

  • Jenna
    2019-01-25 14:27

    This review also appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!Frankie is a book that will make you laugh and cry. It’s a novel that’s for the kids out there who might be dealing with tough circumstances in their personal lives, and having trouble at school and with the law. The book is full of heartwarming and devastating moments that will tug at your heartstrings.Frankie had a very addictive story and I read it quickly in two sittings because I couldn’t put it down. It had a very intriguing mystery that I just wanted to unravel, while getting to know Frankie along the way. I felt very invested in everything that was happening and I couldn’t wait to discover more of Frankie’s story with every page. The book wasted no time in getting started. From the very first chapter, we’re thrown into the chaos that is Frankie’s life. She’s found out that she has a half-brother, Xavier, and against the advice of her aunt and guardian she decides to meet up with him. Frankie develops a soft spot for Xavier and when he mysteriously disappears, she makes it her mission to find him. However, that’s not all that Frankie has to deal with. She’s suspended from school for hitting a boy with a hardcover edition of Macbeth, and she’s trying hard to not further disappoint her aunt. The problem with that is… the only person who’s willing to help her find her brother is a troubled boy with a history of thieving, which gets Frankie into a whole lot more trouble.I thought the plot was extremely well-balanced. Even though Frankie has a lot of problems that she’s currently dealing with, I didn’t feel like it was too much. It never felt like her life was a tragic mess and there also wasn’t an over-emphasis on any one problem in her life. Everything was dealt with very nicely in a balanced manner. I loved and appreciated how the author tried to normalise the things that were going on in Frankie’s life. There are lots of disadvantaged kids and they’re no different from other kids. They’re still intelligent and caring, and if they go missing, somebody should care too.My little brother, the kick-arse graf artist. Warmth shoots through my body. Either I need to pee or… oh my god, is this what pride feels like?I absolutely loved the characters in this book. Frankie is an angry person because of her past and her circumstances, but she doesn’t have an angst, woe-is-me attitude. She’s feisty and independent, but not the point of being frustrating and annoying. I really connected with her character, despite not having much in common with her and not being able to fully relate to her circumstances. She was a very well-developed character, and I enjoyed all of her flaws. I liked that she understood her own flaws and tried to do what she thought was right for herself. I just really loved her character and how was not only sassy and badass, but also incredibly funny.I also really loved Xavier. I related to his need to be loved and all of his innocence. I wish we had gotten to see a little bit more of him in the book because he was one of my favourite characters in Frankie. I also enjoyed Nate’s character as well and that he was more than just another contemporary love interest. I loved the flaws that we saw in every character and that even though they may be misguided, they share the same feelings and aspirations as regular teens who haven’t grown up in a troubled environment. I thought Shivaun Plozza did a wonderful job of representing these misguided teens and the diversity that she packed into this book was wonderful.I really appreciated that the romance didn’t overshadow the messages in the book and didn’t have a large effect on Frankie’s character development. It was just there and it was pleasant to read about, but we still got to see Frankie overcome her problems and figure out who she wants to be, without being influenced by Nate and the romance between them.I thought Frankie was absolutely wonderful. It’s one of my favourite Aussie YA releases so far this year. I thought it had fantastic characters who you can’t help but fall in love with and care out, and also a really interesting plot that will have you hooked.

  • Ely (Tea & Titles)
    2019-01-19 16:50

    Review coming soon.

  • Mersini
    2019-01-25 13:53

    This book is what a Melina Marchetta book would be like if she decided to go punk. Set in Melbourne, Frankie follows Francesca 'Frankie' Vega, who has anger management issues and a not so stable home life. Her mother abandoned her when she was four years old, and she's never quite managed to move past that. Living with her aunt above their kebab shop, this book starts with an incident at school, and the possibility of Frankie expanding her family to include a brother she didn't know she had. There's lots to like about the book; the strong sense of place, the kickass character that is Frankie, who is all wit and anger, and the mysteries in the heart of the novel. There are nods to the immigrant community in Melbourne, from Frankie's own Italian family, to the occasional other character who turns up, cursing in Italian. And there is also the fact that the romance in the book actually builds, and does not fall into the common young adult trope of love at first sight, which is overdone and infuriating, and honestly, will turn me off completely if it's mentioned in the blurb. By the end of the book, Frankie and her love interest, Nate, have actually interacted in a way that's not just flirting.When it comes to the tension in the book, I think it could've been a lot better. Xavier, Frankie's brother, goes missing. He owes a lot of people a lot of money and he disappears off the grid after Frankie's only met him a few times. And yet, she worries about him constantly. Ordinarily, I might think that it's a bit quick, a bit implausible for her to feel so strongly about someone she's just met, but the more you read, the more you understand what family means to Frankie, and it's not unbelievable, but in fact, almost heartbreaking. However, while she's desperate to find him, and it's obvious in her actions, the emotion doesn't come through much. I really think the tension leading up to the discovery at the end of the book could have been so much more than it was. Add to this that Xavier bought Frankie a Joy Division record which gets stolen from her, and you really think she ought to be more heartbroken. After all, the record is part of the reason for Xavier's financial issues, plus it's incredibly rare, and Frankie's favourite band. Where the book fails a bit is in its emotional integrity. From the way Frankie reacts when she gets it, you'd believe she'd be more heartbroken about losing it. But overall, strong characterisation and a fairly interesting plot keep this book going. It's definitely worth reading if you're after some decent Aussie young adult fiction.

  • Casey
    2019-01-28 16:54

    Frankie is amazing!As an Aussie girl who grew up hanging around Collingwood and the city, getting into mischief, meeting my best friend for a drink at a ridiculous hours, getting in trouble with teachers. I mean let's get it straight I didn't have anywhere near the traumatising upbringing as Frankie, but I couldn't help to compare my year 12 self with her.Frankie is snarky, grumpy, and down right rude and I loved that? Okay? Okay I probably wouldn't be friends with Frankie but I loved her character, she was just fantastic.The problem I did have was the plot line, I don't know why but I felt like it was a bit meh? I liked her brother and I liked that he was a writer but I didn't see the point of us searching for him, like we just met him and his missing why do I care? BUT in saying that I would defiantly read this again based on the characters, writing, and setting alone.I read mainly American YA books and it was refreshing to read about a YA character that I could understand more, I knew what year(of school) they were in and what age that made them, I knew what their school was like, I knew the landscape and people. I new the slang! and it wasn't over the top!Every time I think of an Aussie character in a book my mind comes back to this horrible book I read dnf it had an Aussie as a side character and the lines were sooo bad, the Author made him sound like a 60 year old occa aussie. Every second line was a "Crocodile Dundee" style sentence and I felt like the Author lacked research and just slaughtered our slang (there was also some English slang mixed into the Aussie which was strange and just didn't work)Back to the topic of Frankie I loved this book and give it a 4/5 stars! If you're looking for an Aussie book to read I would highly recommend this, if your from Melbourne I double recommend this! Seeing Collingwood in all its *cough* glory was fantastic, even the neighbors had my heart.

  • Emily Mead
    2019-02-01 14:40

    Ahhhhhh Frankie. I loved Frankie - such a vibrant, smart, troublesome character. I loved a lot of things about this book, for example: - The friendship between Frankie and Cara- The relationship between Frankie and her aunt Vinnie (who deserves the Best Aunt award, hands down)- The mystery of Frankie's brother Xavier- Crosswords- Actually laugh-out-loud moments (Frankie is the most HILARIOUSLY sassy character)- Really witty, sharp dialogue and writing styleBasically it was fantastic. The only reason I'm not giving it 5 stars is because the plot could have been a little...more, I guess? There wasn't much happening. But overall an excellent read.

  • Karina
    2019-01-27 13:30

    One of the angriest, yet funniest, characters I've ever read. If it wasn't for the humour I probably would have found this really hard to read - basically because personally I don't deal well with self-loathing/self-pitying in characters. The physicality of Frankie's rage was also quite disturbing.I loved the writing and I loved the characters. I don't know how Shivaun makes horrendous characters so lovable - it's a gift ;-)

  • Aila
    2019-02-07 16:57

    3.5 stars! Aw man, Frankie's character is full of heart <3 I really enjoyed her character development and the relationship with her best friend and aunt. The end was a bit iffy for me but everything else was awesome! Her narration was super hilarious and relatable. Review to come.

  • Nina (JustAddAWord)
    2019-01-17 10:51

    In all honesty, I picked this one up because I thought it'd be DIFFERENT. I mean, on the outset, it does look different from my usual reads: a contemporary coming-of-age novel (or at least, that's how it's marketed, but I saw it as a mystery contemporary; to me, at least, the labeling is just bizzare), and, most importantly, it's written by an Australian author. I, as an American, thought this will be an opportunity to experience something NEW, setting-wise. We have enough YA books set in the US as it is. So bring on the Aussie culture, please. Plot-wise, the novel is wholly character-driven, leaning hard into the mystery genre. Frankie barely has enough time to get to know her half-brother, Xavier, before he disappears. And she tasks herself with finding him. The entire plot, therefore, depends on Frankie's progress, sometimes hindered by being grounded from leaving home to do her sleuthing, so the pacing was uneven and a bit jagged But that's to be expected when it's a mystery novel (not so in a coming-of-age one, but let's go with my label to prevent any more misplaced expectations, okay? Okay.) I must admit I liked Frankie herself, albeit for all the wrong reasons. She's impulsive, loud, sarcastic, a bit insensitive - not a good combo I like in my heroines, thank you - but I must admit I like her cynical sense of humor that was actually funny. Always bonus points on funny books, because it's kinda hard to make me laugh. But this book did, and for that, I enjoyed it. Some things, though, I was not a fan of. One: setting an entire book on the disappearance of a character we barely got to meet. Yes, some readers are compassionate enough to care about a character who is nothing more than a plot device to get the plot ball rolling. I ain't one of those readers. Xavier needed flashbacks, perhaps a shift in POV to his in a couple of chapters, anything to flesh him out a bit. The book's not that long - it could've been added. And I wouldn't have complained. And two: the romance felt last-minute. There really was no substance to the relationship, and Nate leaned a bit too hard into the signature Pretty-Boy-With-Tragic-Backstory™ trope. Save us both, please, and just keep 'em as friends. Did these knock some stars off the rating? Oh yes they did. We need a positive in here. Wait while I dig one up, please: *elevator music* Found one:I wholly believe the most interesting part of the novel was it's setting. Yes, there were many Aussie slang words I had no idea what they meant, but hey, that's what I was looking for, wasn't I? It was great. In that respect - and we'll consider this to be world-building - this book excelled much-ly. So all in all? I liked FRANKIE, but didn't love it. Quick, entertaining read, and one with a healthy dose of humor. Plus, that watercolor cover is absolutely gorgeous. (Yes, that needed to be addressed).

  • Dahlia
    2019-01-27 09:36

    Frankie's voice is like Parker Fadley meets Taylor Markham and that's about the highest compliment I can give. If you're a Melina Marchetta fan, check it out for sure.

  • Calzean
    2019-02-07 10:43

    Frankie certainly has anger management issues. She is angry about being left by her mother when she was only 4 years old, now in her last year of high school she is a punk, rebellious, has a fast tongue and a penchant for striking out if her temper goes to red. She is shocked to find she has a half-brother but just as soon as Xavier turns up he disappears.While Frankie was one angry young lady but her constant whining about how bad her life was, did get a bit annoying. I also struggled with why she had become so emotionally tied to Xavier so quickly.Nonetheless I liked the comparison of the news coverage of the rich boy gone missing versus no news coverage for Xavier, her Aunt Vinnie was a saint and the rawness of the life of the battlers in Collingwood.

  • Uyen
    2019-02-15 11:46

    I wrote a long review and it was deleted by accident, so I'm just going to do this in dot points.• Frankie is set in Collingwood, Melbourne. The story revolves around an Italian girl, Frankie Vegas, who was abandoned by her mother as a child. Her half-brother, Xavier, asks if the two can meet up as they have never meet each other before. He has a whole lot of issues and is the person that connects Frankie to love interest, Nate. He, too, has his own problems. Basically, everyone is in some way linked in a complex web of family secrets and dark matters.• The themes in this book encapsulate a part of YA that is often mis- and/or under-represented. Issues relating to drugs, family abandonment, death and even implied ("infer" or "imply"? A question asked many times in the book) prostitution and racism are explored considerably well, without sounding rushed or uninformed.• This book is very much influenced by Melina Marchetta's Looking For Alibrandi. However, Marchetta does a better job of ending her novel and instigating readers' thoughts about the self. The two novels revolve around Italian families, two love interests (one "bad boy", one "high school sweetheart"), long lost relatives, female protagonists with a lot of anger pent up, trouble at school, family secrets, death and tight friendships.Negatives:• The ending of Frankie is abrupt and not explained thoroughly enough. A lot is left up to the reader putting two and two together (which is not necessarily a bad thing for everyone). •The chemistry between Frankie and the respective love interests isn't one of the best of YA romances I've read. There was premise for strong friendships, but I never felt like the relationships would become romantic realistically. Positives:• The book takes aim at some pressing issues with Western media, though in a considerably subtle way. Frankie discourses the fact that an overwhelmingly large portion of criminal cases represented in the media play around the "white victim" trope (NB: Italians generally consider themselves non-white). • Frankie is hilarious. There were so many great lines in this book that I'm sure many will enjoy as much as I did. The characters are incredibly funny to read about: witty, sharp, impatient. • The book reminds me a lot of Looking For Alibrandi. Shivaun Plozza emulated Marchetta's touching and hilarious tone of voice well and I enjoyed the bit of Josephine Alibrandi flair in Francesca Vegas. All in all, I think Plozza has written an amazing novel for all ages. It discusses mature ideas in a sensitive and humorous way. I cannot wait to read Plozza's next novels. Four stars.

  • Courtney
    2019-02-06 12:44

    Well.I mean.Damn.So I cringe read through the first third of this book because it was so damn Australian and some times after consuming tonnes of media that generally isn't Australian it's so jarring and hella embarrassing coming back to being Australian. Okay. Judge me. I'm a little "eek!" about ocka australianism. Is it because I associate it with One Nation, United Patriots Front, Racism and general hooliganism of boganesque-ness? Um. Probably. That shit is embarrassing af. It's all very reminiscent of that article on Margot Robbie in Vogue (or whatever magazine... Marie Clare? IDK.) with that sexist creep interviewer who referred to Australia as a throwback country. Anyway. Moving on.Once we hit the second third though. Boom. That's when the parallels started leaping out. Or at least the situations that I could relate to because damn if my teenagedom wasn't hella similar. Or at least... you know... not that dissimilar. What really is the difference between Kyneton and Collingwood anyway apart from distance to the city? Drunk teenagers throwing marshmallows at ducks is universal. In Australia anyway. (No ducks were harmed in the writing of this review.)I really liked how this book didn't shy away from the ugliness of being an adolescent. Especially for a YA book. YA's tend to gloss over the majority of mess, there always seem to be one or two little messes that are either the direct result of the protagonist or easily fixed. Frankie, however, doesn't have any of that. She has an actual mess that is never really the direct result of her actions, okay her suspension is probably the result of her actions but damn has she got a good reason for it. I'm pretty sure there were some fights at my school that had far less of a motivation. Plus. Steve Sparrow was a fucking tool, he totally deserved that collected works of Shakespeare to the nose.I loved how the "love interest"/s weren't even part of the major story. Well. That part of it anyway. It was so refreshing to have a protagonist who wasn't obsessed with a damn boy. Am I petty and vindictive enough that I wanted Frankie to get revenge on fuckboi Mark? OMG. Yes. I am that petty. Hey! It's fiction! A worthy australian YA. Highly enjoyable. Will recommend.

  • Amy Leigh
    2019-01-30 09:29

    This coming of age novel is gritty sarcastic and full of humor! Frankie is a very relatable character and deals with so many hardships it's hard to count. Even falling in love. You can't help but just want to throw the book at times or just reach in and hold Frankie's hand. (I refuse to throw any book... too precious.) I recommend you give this book a shot.