Book reviews

Book Review: Frankie by Shivaun Plozza


About the Book

by Shivaun Plozza

Penguin Australia

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.

Copy of About the Book


It is no overstatement when the synopsis said that Frankie Vega was an angry person. She seriously has some temper problems and some issues with making sure she doesn’t physically hurt anyone that says the tiniest thing. But despite that, ‘Frankie’ is a coming-of-age story about how one must overcome their past and embrace their future.

You know that feeling when the protagonist can never seem to do anything right or rational or even just be friggin’ calm?

Enter Frankie. She has a huge mother issue which comes with some abandonment problems and now a long lost brother has come into the picture. At the same time, it seems like at every turn, she is either swearing , kicking or punching. She has a lot of attitude  and we follow her as she learns to push the past away and accept what she has now.

But seriously, I just wanted to grab Frankie by her shoulder and scream, “CALM. DOWN. THERE ARE PEOPLE STARVING IN AFRICA. YOU HAVE IT GOOD COMPARED TO THEM.”


But any scene where there was Steve, her ex-boyfriend, I totally understood why she was unwilling to apologise or show any signs of peace because come on, he was an asshole. But reading Frankie’s romantic problems was pretty hilarious. You’d think being an angry person would make the boys run away but no, she seems to be getting a lot of attention. Ignoring jerk ex-boyfriend, there’s:

  • Mark, another cheating ex-boyfriend who seems to still be vying for her attention.
  • Nate, mysterious bad boy who apparently has the most vivid blue eyes. 

I think you’ve already realised that we’re all shipping for Nate, the bad boy. Their banter is funny if not slightly rude and blunt but you end up enjoying them going back and forth.

Nate is the only one (reluctantly) helping her lost new-found brother. It was pretty ironic that the ‘long-lost’ brother happened to somehow get lost again. But, this book is definitely an emotional rollercoaster. Frankie’s conflict with her Aunt Vinnie and quirky friendship with her best friend, Cara is something everyone can relate to. Plus, reading about Australia culture is something us, Aussies don’t get enough of – WHO ELSE KNOWS COLLINGWOOD BECAUSE OF THEIR AFL TEAM?! – since we’re always reading about some obscure place in the US, we have no idea is.


Conclusively, ‘Frankie’ is definitely an interesting and engaging Australian novel about a girl who learns how to overcome her past tribulations and immense anger so that she can experience life without lingering resentment. You learn about the power of family, friends and forgiveness and also, how life is just friggin’ unfair.



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