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BOOK REVIEW: Frankie by Shivaun Plozza

| 14 August 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Frankie by Shivaun Plozza

March, 2016
Paperback, $17.99
Reviewed by Amy Briggs

YA Fiction


The first thing you need to know about Frankie is that she has spunk. On the outside she is a violent, aggressive teenager. On the inside her heart is as big as a whale. Regardless of her discrepancies, you will fall quickly in love with Frankie and cheer for her through to the very last page.

The background for this story is the notorious Collingwood in Melbourne’s inner north. It was so refreshing to read a Melbourne based novel, especially one set in Collingwood, which holds reminiscent memories for this reader. Collingwood itself is a deliciously colourful and creative part of Melbourne’s city and certainly adds its own character to Frankie’s story. Plozza captures this gritty, crime filled suburb perfectly.

I loved Frankie; you can’t help but love her sassy comments and her humour despite some tenuous situations she finds herself in. I was completely enthralled with the story, often forgetting that I was in public and openly laughing at her witty lines. Despite the adults in her life trying to contain her headstrong whims, her resilience to continue to fight for a better life for herself and her brother, Xavier, and her belief in what is just, leaks right into you.

“Its been thirty-seven minutes since I spoke to the officer on the front desk, a policewomen who rolled her eyes before saying someone would be down to take a statement ‘real soon’. Guess I missed the sarcasm.”

As well as writing a great story, Plozza also broaches interesting aspects of the justice system when it comes to disadvantaged families compared to people in a higher social class. As a parallel plot to Frankie’s search for her missing brother, a school kid from a more affluent Melbourne suburb goes missing as well. During the novel, this shows the stark contrast of the different attitudes towards different people in our society. One of the more prominent moments that outline this is when Frankie’s conversation with Marzoli, conveys that he perceives Xavier as just a delinquent runaway.

“He’s missing. You forgot to add that to the list. Missing and only fourteen.”

In the background, the media suggests that the other school kid couldn’t possibly just be a run away and that he was more likely abducted.

“What the hell? Some Malvern kid doesn’t front up to school for one measly day and we get a state-wide manhunt, but my brother goes AWOL for a whole week and no one gives a shit?”

In just 300 pages, Plozza gives you everything for a great read; it’ll make you laugh, cry and most importantly, it’ll make you think.

Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

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