Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Frannie and Tru

Rate this book
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.

320 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 31, 2016

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Karen Hattrup

2 books58 followers

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
135 (27%)
4 stars
134 (27%)
3 stars
149 (30%)
2 stars
51 (10%)
1 star
14 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 114 reviews
Profile Image for Ashley Blake.
Author 12 books3,632 followers
May 28, 2017
More than any book I've ever, read, FRANNIE & TRU captures so beautifully that strange experience of being a young teen girl unsure of your place, your people, yourself. Frannie's journey is lovely and quiet and Tru leaps from the page in stark contrast--but with wonderful similarities too. A gorgeous, literary, authentic read.
Profile Image for Dahlia.
Author 18 books2,333 followers
May 1, 2016
This really beautifully nailed that teen girl insecurity of hoping someone will come along and make you more than you are, as well as a young straight white girl's views of race and sexuality. This book is so much about identity so wonderfully done, and that comp to Prep is definitely well earned.
Profile Image for Korrina  (OwlCrate).
193 reviews4,563 followers
June 17, 2016
I feel like this is a book that people will feel really divided on, but I personally loved it. I found Frannie to be incredibly relatable, and also incredibly flawed. I found Tru to be an electrifying character who leapt from the page and straight into my heart. Although he absolutely has his own faults. Throughout reading it I felt myself wishing I was friends with him too, and I completely understood Frannie's fascination with him. The writing was elegant and beautiful, and sucked me in from beginning to end.

Go into this book blind. Don't read too many reviews, and just see if you take to the story.
Profile Image for Tyler Goodson.
171 reviews122 followers
January 21, 2016
At the beginning of the summer, Frannie is quiet. She's lonely. When her cousin Tru comes to stay with her family, she hopes they will be best friends forever. In a not great book, this may have happened, but this is a great book, and it never takes the easy way out. When it can complicate, or show how complicated things are, it isn't scared. When Frannie looks inside herself, things don't always feel good. Tru is not always the best friend she wanted. Her brothers are not the people she thought they were. Finding out that life isn't always perfect/easy/simple stings, but it is also real. This world felt like the real world, and these characters, even the ones not in the title, felt like they had whole novels inside of them. This novel, is fearless. At the end of the summer, Frannie is different, but she has grown. Everything was not perfect. But it was.
Profile Image for anna (½ of readsrainbow).
570 reviews1,761 followers
September 27, 2019
rep: gay major side character

this idea which most young girls have, that someone will come along & magically change their lives into something exciting & worth living and not just bearable - it's done so well here. frannie, The White Girl™, w all her naivety, her thoughts on race & sexuality & rly just life itself is a little embarrassing and almost painful to follow but at the same time - relatable. & most importantly she's allowed to grow up and her journey is nothing if not believable.

oh, and then tru, my asshole son whom i love w all my heart!
Profile Image for Karen Fortunati.
Author 1 book103 followers
December 17, 2015
Absolutely lovely, gorgeous story! Karen Hattrup is a superb writer and the story of Frannie's Baltimore summer - one that starts off bleakly due to a looming change of schools, dad's loss of job, and abandonment of friends - slowly begins to sizzle after the arrival of her mysterious cousin from Connecticut, Tru. Frannie latches onto Tru and sees him as her summer's savior but slowly begins to question who her cousin really is. Public and private prejudices about sexuality, race and class are explored here with great honesty and emotion. Highly, highly recommended. A book to savor!
Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 6 books1,205 followers
May 6, 2016
There is a lot to like here, but also, a few giant missed opportunities.

Frannie's a quiet, shy girl whose parents are struggling a bit financially. They make the decision after the summer, she'll attend a magnet school in Baltimore. It'll be much different than her private Catholic school, primarily because Frannie will be one of the only white people in a mostly-black public school.

Tru is Frannie's cousin who is living with them over the summer. The presumptive reason being that his being gay is too upsetting to his parents. That's...not the real reason, but it's what Frannie believes is true.

At first blush, this is a really powerfully quiet story about growing up in a conservative, white, privileged Catholic upbringing. That's why Tru's parents are mad about his sexuality and why Frannie struggles with the idea of leaving her old school and attending one where she's the minority. This stuff -- it's not bad at all. It's sort of refreshing to see a white girl struggling with her privilege and racism.

The problem is that it isn't pushed enough.

There are a lot of conveniences thrown throughout the book that seem okay until you begin to think about them. Frannie's parents cut internet and cable for the summer because of money. This isn't a huge deal, as it reminds us this is contemporary time and These Things Happen. But then there's a big to-do made about how Frannie's dad reads the newspaper and, in one scene, Tru is sitting with him as he does.

Let me back up: this book is set in Baltimore.

And not once, not once, are any of the racial tensions in greater Baltimore looked at, beyond a slight "the police watch black kids more" comment or two stated by the black characters in the book. Those, of course, make Frannie consider the privilege but it is really disappointing to see this opportunity, especially when it's right there in front of all their faces (literally!) completely missed. How can you write a story about racism and privilege in contemporary times in a city where these are hugely powerful and life-altering issues and not go into it at all? This isn't an issue of Frannie's ignorance at all; it was not thinking big enough in terms of the setting and implications of that setting.

The book is not bad, especially for a debut. I think Hattrup has talent and why it's a little bit of a let down for me is that it could have been So Much More with So Little Work, since every piece was sitting there, begging to be drilled just a little more.

That said, this is a book about a quiet teen, about privilege, and about racism, and I think it could start some good thinking and conversation. Maybe because of the use of water and the themes, but this could pair well with The Miseducation of Cameron Post.
Profile Image for Janet McNally.
Author 8 books144 followers
April 10, 2016
FRANNIE AND TRU is a gorgeously written novel that drew me in from the first page. I liked Frannie's voice immediately; she's the kind of character who's a little quiet but is always watching and considering the world around her. This kind of character works so well in a first person story, because of course we get to know everything she notices. Hattrup's sense of place and skill at detail comes through beautifully in Frannie.

The novel takes place during a very fraught time in Frannie's life. Her father has lost his job, her family is in flux, and she'll soon start at a brand new school. Frannie's trying to figure out who she is and who she wants to be, so her cousin Tru shows up in her house exactly when she needs him. He helps her to see herself and her family in a different light, and pulls her out of herself just long enough that she's able to find a way forward. Nothing about their relationship seems cliche or predictable. Neither needs to save the other, but instead, they form a relationship that is authentic and interesting.

This is an engrossing, literary read that examines the full and complicated life of a teenager. Once you start, you'll want to keep reading.
Profile Image for Karla Mae (Reads and Thoughts).
696 reviews142 followers
June 25, 2016
*ARC kindly provided by Harper Teen thru Edelweiss for review*

I started reading this book with much interest based on the blurb that was given. Into the first few chapters on the story, the interest is still there but as the story goes on I find myself getting slower and slower into reading it. I find myself actually getting bored. The flow of the story was slow. It was full of Frannie’s random train of thoughts aside from just getting in to the story.

I like Tru and his interesting personality. He’s Gay. And his character is the type that looks like nothing can faze him and he does not care what other might think of him. But it’s all a defense mechanism for him. Frannie on the other hand became Tru’s puppy since her arrived. Frannie was also nice in her own way but I did not really get attached on her character.

I was expecting a lot more but get lesser of it. It could’ve been an amazing story because the idea is there but it just felt overall flat for me.

*For more reviews, please feel free to visit Reads and  Thoughts*
Profile Image for Meli.
613 reviews390 followers
June 15, 2016
El que mucho abarca poco aprieta y después salen cosas poco definidas como este libro.
Me gustó la voz de Frannie y lo que saca de la experiencia, pero no la forma en la que está encarado. Lo sentí un 90% relleno y una trama casi inexistente. (Es más bien una crónica del verano de esta chica, no sigue la estructura clásica, no hay una problemática definida).
Profile Image for Amber Smith.
Author 10 books1,212 followers
January 13, 2016
Beautifully written, FRANNIE AND TRU bravely tackles some big issues, like class, race, and sexuality with both honesty and sensitivity. But underneath those issues, at its core the story is about the complex friendship that develops between estranged cousins, Frannie and Tru, both of whom are trying to find their place in the world over the course of one Baltimore summer. Hattrup's portrayal of that moment in life when it feels as though the whole world seems to be changing around you and you're not sure where you fit in anymore is spot-on. The voices of all the characters, but especially the titular main characters, were believable and well-rounded. Throughout Frannie and Tru's journey we see them come to terms, both together and separately, with who they really are versus the image other people see - that being different is something everyone has in common.

Karen Hattrup is an exquisite writer, which only makes reading FRANNIE AND TRU that much more rewarding - it is a coming of age story that is bold, memorable, and so well-crafted. Highly recommended!

*I received and ARC in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Grace {Rebel Mommy Book Blog}.
475 reviews170 followers
June 13, 2016
Frannie & Tru was a book where I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to get.What a got was beautifully written, quiet story. When I say quiet I don't mean boring. I just mean that is a subtle story. There isn't any crazy plot, any quirky hook - it is just a really lovely coming of age story of shy girl with a really normal family.

Frannie was someone that I got. I was shy, naive and always feeling like I was trying to figure out what was going on. I thought she sounded a bit young but she was - she was 15. And if you are friends with other shy, naive girls you may be a little more immature. So I bought that. When Tru came to stay with that for the summer she really needed him to be the one to take her under his wing. She needed something to push her - make her grow, make her open up.

And that is what I loved most - Frannie growing and starting to open her eyes and figure out who she is and that she ultimately had to be the one to get things to happen in her life. Watching their summer unravel was really fun for me. I felt like they were totally normal teenagers - there were parties, the movies, times with family, trying to sneak into an 18 and older club. It all felt real. There were also some tougher subjects touched on in race and sexuality.

The other thing that rang true to me was their family. They were very present but definitely not perfect. But not in that crappy YA syndrome type way. More in they had some hard times and that affected everyone. That is why Frannie had to go to a different less expensive school, why maybe the AC wasn't on as much, why everyone needed a job in the family if they wanted to do things. It just seemed like a very real portrayal and I appreciated seeing it.

I really enjoyed this one and getting to spend the summer with Frannie and True. I especially loved the epilogue. To me it is how it should be done - a sneak peak into her life but not so tidy that it feel too easy. Plus it brought out some emotions and I got teary but they were happy teary eyes. I was so happy for Frannie and how much she grew. I look forward to more from Karen Hattrup.This review was originally posted on Rebel Mommy Book Blog
Profile Image for Caleb Roehrig.
Author 16 books712 followers
March 22, 2016
A lovely and moving novel about important issues, FRANNIE AND TRU charts one summer in the life of Frannie Little - a sheltered Baltimore girl whose entire life is on the precipice of change; a bad economy portends a bleak future for her working class family, and everything Frannie always took for granted about her existence is gradually being called into question. When her urbane and worldly cousin Tru comes to stay with the Littles for the summer, evidently after a bad coming-out experience estranges him from his parents, Frannie's world view expands in ways both grand and subtle - and the end result is a meaningful exploration of race, class, and love.

In Frannie Little and Truman Teller, Karen Hattrup has created two vastly different characters who both feel real and grounded. Tru has a chip on his shoulder, and when he acts out, he's not always easy to like - but he's a character you love, regardless, because you understand his pain. And as for Frannie...I cannot say enough how important I think this character is. The journey she undergoes will foster so many necessary conversations about privilege and social justice - and the openness and self-awareness one must possess to approach these subjects - and I would not be surprised to see this book added to required reading lists someday in the near future. A truly wonderful read.
Profile Image for Kathy MacMillan.
Author 29 books437 followers
September 11, 2016
A beautiful, literary coming-of-age story about a young girl opening her eyes to the wider world around her. Fifteen-year-old Frannie Little is prepared for the summer after her freshman year of high school to be a total disaster – she’s going to a new school in the fall, drifting away from her old friends, and her father’s work situation means her family is running out of money. But then her troubled, charming, two-years-older cousin Truman comes to stay for the summer, a refugee from his Connecticut prep school life. Frannie connects with Tru more than she has ever connected her own older brothers, and tagging along with him becomes a lesson in opening up to new experiences. The story is steeped in its Baltimore City setting, and Hattrup uses city landmarks to play against the themes of the story. Questions of race and class bubble up throughout, seen through the lens of Frannie awakening to the realities of how her experiences differ from those of her African American friends. Frannie is a quiet, thoughtful protagonist, blossoming slowly into a confident, self-aware young woman. More than anything, the push and pull of Frannie and Tru’s relationship – troubled and close and caring and contentious all at once – is a pitch-perfect portrayal of those seminal friendships that only seem possible in the throes of adolescence.
Profile Image for Jenn Bishop.
Author 5 books214 followers
November 1, 2016
I'm always a sucker for novels about family secrets, so it shouldn't surprise that I was completely captivated by Karen Hattrup's debut, FRANNIE AND TRU. Frannie's a narrator that I could easily relate to, an ordinary girl whose tendency to blend in with the scenery lies in strong opposition to her cousin, Tru, who's tossed her family's way for the summer under complicated circumstances. This is a slow burn of a novel, where I often wondered in fear about where it might be going. I loved following Frannie's growth, and like Frannie, yearned to break through Tru's facade to examine what lies beneath. A smart literary debut with echoes of The Great Gatsby.
1 review1 follower
May 7, 2017
This book provided one of the most honest images of the mind of an adolescent girl that I have ever read. Frannie's rational stream of conciousness is beautifully represented through Hatrup's dynamic prose. I felt the struggles that Frannie went through deeply, and unlike many coming of age stories, at the end Frannie's insight into life is that it is more complex and obscure than she ever imagined it might be at the beginning. I have always felt that the great books leave the reader with more questions than answers. This is such a book. The characters don't leave the situation with any more clarity than they began it with. They simply have gained confidence to lean into the mystery. That is the most any of us can hope for in life, and that acceptance of a life without certainty is a beautiful thing which the book encourages the reader to do. Thanks for a great read!
Profile Image for Chiara.
870 reviews220 followers
May 28, 2016
A copy of this novel was provided by HarperCollins for review via Edelweiss.

I was drawn to Frannie and Tru because of the supremely gorgeous cover (I mean just look at it), and also the blurb. I thought it sounded pretty interesting, and from what it said I thought there might have been a possibility that it could be LGBTQIA+ (sadly, that wasn’t the case).

To be honest, I am not entirely sure what to think about Frannie and Tru, because I don’t really feel like there was a lot to this novel. I would describe it as a snap-shot book. Sure, most books are just a snap-shot into the lives of our characters, but those snap-shots are usually the most drama-filled or exciting or whatever moments of those lives. Frannie’s snap-shot didn’t really fall into that niche.

The snap-shot of Frannie and Tru followed Frannie’s summer, when she was fifteen and her cousin, Truman, came to stay because of troubles back home. Frannie was desperate to be his friend, to show that she didn’t care about the fact that Tru is gay, and wanted to have the best summer of her life.

Tru was Frannie’s manic pixie dream boy. He was sassy and sarcastic but also had an underlying sadness. He introduced Frannie to super cool friends, and took her drinking and clubbing, and tried to get her to smoke weed. He made her think about the assumptions she made about people and herself and experiences and life in general. He made her step outside of her comfort zone. He made her appreciate herself. He changed her. Manic pixie dream boy indeed.

Frannie was quite an interesting character. She did a lot of imaginary scenarios in her head, which really reminded me of, well, me. When I was a teenager (and let’s be real, sometimes I do it now), I’d lie awake just trying to go to sleep, and I would conjure up these massive fantasies about what would happen with my life, and with certain people. So to read a character that has that same trait was kind of awesome, really.

During the book, Frannie realised her own prejudices and assumptions that she made about people, especially people of colour, and gay people (I say only gay because she didn’t mention any other queer identities). I liked the fact that she realised the way she had been thinking of people outside her own white, straight existence were wrong, and that she shouldn’t have been thinking like that at all. I liked that she confronted herself, and also brought those confrontations to the reader, as well. I think this aspect of the book was probably one of the best because it could bring these important discussions to people who need them or have never thought about them or wanted them confirmed. I’ve never read a book where the main character realises that their way of thinking is wrong and harmful and naïve. A+

That being said, there were moments when Frannie and her family were talking about the kid that Frannie babysits, Duncan – who is autistic – and they were very ableist discussions. II felt a little let down by the fact that the realisations that Frannie has regarding race and homosexuality didn’t also extend to her inherent ableism.

Overall, I felt like I didn’t really get much from Frannie and Tru. I felt, most of the time, like I wasn’t getting a grasp on ~ the point~ of the book. Why was I reading about Frannie’s summer with her manic pixie dream boy? Her first kiss? Her first drink? I didn’t really know what I was supposed to take away from it all. But that’s entirely personal. Everyone takes something different away from a book and perhaps that something was just missing for me in Frannie and Tru.

I think if you’re a fan of snap-shot novels, and ones where characters realise who they are in a more broad sense in that snap-shot, then Frannie and Tru is something I would recommend.

© 2016, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity . All rights reserved.

trigger warning: sexual assault (of a minor), ableism, racism, homophobia, separated parents (due to affair), physical assault, emotional abuse, and bullying in this novel
Profile Image for Kelli Spear.
519 reviews63 followers
March 27, 2016
This book could have been amazing. It deals with a vast number of societal issues, and will probably make readers take a look at their own actions and second-guess themselves, the way Frannie does. However, it does get to be a bit annoying after a while. The train of thought becomes repetitive. And for everything that happens in the book, I never really noticed a change in Frannie. I'm sure we are meant to, but at the end, I felt I was told rather than shown.

And really, this summary was pointing me in the opposite direction as to what this book was about. I was expecting more of a fun, adventurous, epic story that would slowly unravel with some horrific doomsday type event. It wasn't. I think people will enjoy it --- a girl finding her place in the world, becoming true to herself. For me, it just wasn't enough. Frannie, to me, embodies everything people loathe about teenagers. I wanted to really like her, but the character is just dull. Her personality doesn't shine off the page, and if I'm being honest, I nearly quit the book around the halfway mark. The only reason I continued was to find out exactly what Tru had been hiding.

Tru. Man. <-- That's funny and accidental. Initially, I thought I was going to love him. He's that cool cousin or family member that you look up to. You have this perfect image of them in your mind and you want them to live up to it. But he's not. He's arrogant and manipulative. And shows zero growth throughout the story. It's rather disappointing considering why he was living with his rarely seen family members. Not that I necessarily expected him to do a complete 180 and become a saint. I just expected him to be a bit more tolerable. I lost any love for him as the story progressed. His true colors aren't pretty. And for someone who didn't want to be pitied as the outcast gay kid, he really does a good job of perpetuating that role at times.

As for everything else? I don't know, I really don't. France's family was going through hard times thanks to her dad's loss of contracts. Money is tight, she's going to be starting public school... okay. Again, I probably should've been more sympathetic here, but the way Frannie handles all of it... I'm reminded of how it was to be a teen. To remember how much it sucked caring what others think of you. But, life isn't fair. And we can't live wishing we were someone else, wishing for things to be different. I think this is what bothered me so much about the character and the story. It takes forever for her to come to these realizations. But again, we don't really see it happen. It's just told to us at the end of the story.

Frannie and Tru is a tough book for me to rate. It started out really well, was extremely interesting. There was a bit of intrigue and mystery in the beginning and some carried over throughout the story. You knew there was always something more to Tru's visit. I had imagined hundreds of scenarios over the course of the book. But what I ultimately learned gave me that, "That's it?!?!" reaction. So, yeah, a little lackluster after the tediousness of the story. I suppose it's readable if you can handle the mind of a sheltered, shy 15 year-old girl who essentially has the same thoughts over and over. There isn't anything really profound here, although it makes attempts to be progressive and inspirational. I know I am already in the minority here, but it's just not for me.

Profile Image for Molly.
456 reviews129 followers
April 18, 2016
My god, the writing in this book was effortless. I was able to sink down into it. I love it when I read a book and it feels like the words are just washing over my brain.

So I was DYING to read this book and was so excited when a friend gave me a copy. It sounded like such a ME book (dark-ish contemporary, ugly pretty people). And it was such a me book. I loved Tru and Frannie and their interactions with each other. I loved how pitch perfect Frannie's thoughts and feelings and actions were.

This is the story of family. There's a little romance in it, but not much, and it is NOT the focus of the book. Frannie's family is struggling after her father loses his job. There are three kids, Frannie has twin brothers, and they're at the start of what promises to be a long, hot, boring summer. Then one night Frannie's mom gets a phone call from her sister and the next thing everyone knows cousin Tru is coming to stay for the summer. Frannie overhears her family talking about Tru and learns that he's gay. Frannie then assumes that Tru is coming to stay with them because his family (a rich white NYC family) can't handle it. Frannie tries to be sensitive to Tru while trying to understand him and what his sexuality means.

Only how much does Frannie REALLY know? All she can remember about her cousin is that he's smart, funny, and well off. She harbors fantasies of the two of them going of into the summer to have grand, sexy, sultry adventures. And while they do, she learns that Tru is hiding something, that he's not always honest with everyone (himself included) and that behind his charm and swagger is a guy who's kind of a dick.

The family dynamics, the secrets and interactions between mother daughter sister brother father cousin and so on were so well done. Family is complicated, especially when one side is financially better off than the other. Relationships with blood can be difficult because you know you're supposed to be a certain way and you can't always be your true self.

There was another underlying theme playing out in this, about race, that I felt was a little too agenda-y. We find out that due to her family's financial situation that Frannie will be going to a public school that's going to be "filled with black kids". There are black characters and they have discussions about race, but sometimes it felt a little too forced. I DID like the awkwardness of race between Frannie and Devon, that was so natural sounding, but there are a few other things that just kinda stuck out at me kinda oddly.

Overall this book was perfection and I think that it will do really well when it comes out.
Profile Image for Lauren  (TheBookishTwins) .
447 reviews204 followers
June 2, 2016
Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.

I've been thinking about my rating for Frannie and Tru for a while now. I originally had it at four stars, but when I look back, it didn't leave a massive impact on me, so I'm moving my rating down to three; for me that means an enjoyable, but average, read.

Frannie thinks her cousin Truman is coming to stay with them for the summer because his parents found out that he's gay, and they're so upset and need "time" to deal with it. Frannie is moving to a new school as her parents can no longer afford her private Catholic school tuition, and she's losing her friends too. She's all set for spending her summer alone, until Tru arrives. Frannie wants to make the most of the summer so she befriends this rich, confident and outgoing boy, and together they embark on a magical summer.

I didn't feel much actually happened in Frannie and Tru. I enjoyed Tru's characterization immensely, but I felt at times Frannie was an irritating character - she was kind of obssessed with Tru, kind of racist and homophobic too (which she is called out on). She was shy, and Tru brought her out of her shell and she did grow as a person throughout the novel, but I couldn't emotionally connect with her at all, and this lessened my enjoyment. I enjoyed Tru and Frannie's friendship, how the two were polar opposites, and I enjoyed Tru's relationship with his other friends. Frannie and Tru also has some good discussions about race and sexuality.

I do think this is a good summer read with some important messages about race and sexuality, and about teen insecurity, but apart from that I don't think this book offers much in the way of 'plot', and it's purely a character driven novel.
Profile Image for Inah (Fueled By Chapters).
476 reviews115 followers
May 26, 2016
The first time I’ve heard about this book, I immediately wanted to pick it up. So when Yani of Paper Boulevard was looking for bloggers to participate in the blog tour, I immediately signed up. Upon reading the synopsis, it’s pretty much given that the story was set with a dark aura, which gave off a mysterious vibe to the story.

It was difficult to get into the characters and relate to their situations. Growing up, I wasn’t really that close with my cousins so I’m sort of naive when it comes to the cousin situation. It was also obvious that Frannie was a bit of a wallflower, dragged by Tru in different circumstances that made her question things and learn from them. Frannie and Tru had a very complex relationship and it was great to see it unfold. However, I really wished that there was a wider character development for Frannie. Her personality was hard to catch and she mostly lowers herself. I think it went with the fact that she seemed to idolize Tru too much.

I also think that the book would have been more fun to read if some of the parts were in Tru’s POV. The guy was a delight to read and I would’ve really enjoyed to read his thoughts in the story.

I was enticed by the fact that this book has a gay character but it actually went beyond that. The book tackled pressing issues such as race, sexuality, family relationships, and friendships. I wouldn’t say each of these were tackled well but it was nice to see the effort. Overall, this book is a great debut!
5 reviews
June 20, 2016
Frannie and Tru is the story of a 15-year-old girl set during a particularly difficult summer. Summer is always the best time for these kinds of stories—education without school; sweltering, oppressive heat as the backdrop for hard won understanding. You think you know what Frannie and Tru will be about from the book jacket, but that merely scratches the surface. Hattrup deals with subjects like race and class in a way that makes a reader reflect on his/her own assumptions and experiences. Never heavy handed, Hattrup’s deft mastery of difficult and complex issues shows how the characters are beginning to unpack prejudices they didn’t realize they had. Hattrup also puts the reader right back into the experiences of their own teen years—you remember your own intensity of emotion as Frannie is living it. The writing, the story is authentic and brave—like Frannie.

Hattrup also uses other literature as a beautiful foil for Tru—his observations of The Great Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye give readers more insight into his character than anything else might. Hattrup herself is Faulknerian in her commentary on her characters through seemingly throw-away sports team mentions.

This is a great book for the young and used-to-be-young. Go get it.
Profile Image for Karen.
490 reviews94 followers
July 18, 2016
This story was told by Fannie, a girl who is starting public school after being in Catholic school her whole life. Her homosexual cousin Tru comes to stay with the family (because his own parents couldn’t handle it) and Frannie becomes obsessed with him. Tru is all Frannie thinks about. I hated this obsession she had with him. Frannie doesn’t think much of herself and I found this boring. Frannie has no issues with Tru being gay, she just finds him so interesting. I got about 1/2 way through this book and realized I didn’t care to hear about the social gatherings of these two anymore.
Profile Image for alice.
268 reviews334 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
May 7, 2017
thank you to HarperTeen for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.

unfortunately, I was unable to finish this due to complete antagonizing boredom, but this may be a case of "it's not you, it's me." I personally could not read this book because I felt like nothing was happening. Literally (chris traeger, anyone???). Check this one out if you want, but this was not for me.
Profile Image for Kelly Gunderman.
Author 2 books76 followers
June 9, 2016
Check out this and other reviews on my young adult book blog, Here's to Happy Endings!

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.

Note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for JoLee.
1,568 reviews58 followers
June 23, 2016

Featured in "Reading on a Theme: Books Set in Baltimore" on Intellectual Recreation.

I was completely enchanted by Karen Hattrup's debut novel, Frannie and Tru.

Frannie and Tru is set in Baltimore, which, I admit, was what initially drew me to the book. And, I did love the setting. Ms. Hattrup does such an excellent job evoking the feel of the city in the summer. (The lack of an air conditioner was a good move. So sticky.) I loved reading a realistic book that was set so close to home. While the setting alone would have been enough for me to read the book through, it is not the reason that I fell headlong into story.

Frannie lives with her parents and her twin brothers in a row house in Baltimore. Her father has been out of work for quite some time, and Frannie is now faced with the fact that her parents can no longer afford the Catholic school she's been attending. The impending school change has caused Frannie to pull away from her friends, and so she faces a very lonely summer until her aunt asks her parents to take in Tru, Frannie's cousin, for the summer. Frannie overhears a discussion between her parents, and she thinks that she knows why Tru is coming. And so, on that false premise, Frannie realizes her summer might be a bit more exciting.

Frannie and Tru is a quiet kind of book. But it's the good quiet; the quiet that I love best. While it handles big ideas, like racism, class, and sexuality, it does so on a personal scale, through Frannie and her engagement with the world. I can see a certain type of reader reading this book and thinking, "nothing much is happening," and I guess that reader would be right because there's not a whole lot of external action--there are no car chases or murderers or magic--but there is a lot of change in Frannie's way of thinking and in the way that Frannie engages with the world.

A quiet book like this must have beautiful writing, and oh my, Frannie and Tru definitely does. The writing reminds me of Bone Gap, The Vanishing Season, or Up to This Pointe. These are all book with a lyrical loveliness to them. Also, I thought that Frannie, with her youth and naivete, was a really refreshing character. I

I read Frannie and Tru in one day. I didn't mean to, but I'm glad that I could because when I run across a book like this I always wish I could read it straight through. I think it helps to be fully submerged in this type of writing style.

Frannie and Tru is out May 31, 2016.

Review copy from NetGalley.
Profile Image for Sara (A Gingerly Review).
2,679 reviews156 followers
May 26, 2017
Review to come soon

All of these debut books are starting to read as if they are the same. This was no different than the rest I have read recently. It started promising and then turned boring, leaving me to wonder what I just read.

This is the story of cousins Frannie and Tru(man). Frannie overhears her mother talking on day and mentions that Truman (who goes by Tru) is gay. Tru’s parents are so upset by this news that they send him away to stay with Frannie for the summer. Frannie is elated to have her cousin around. I know there is more to the story but it was so uneventful that it isn’t worth mentioning.

This story should have had a bigger LGBT part but alas, it did not. Clearly the topic was mentioned and it is supposed to be part of the story, but I felt it was barely touched upon.

Frannie was an interesting character but not enough that I found myself really liking her. She wanted to be liked and therefore tried her best to be “the good girl”. She did everything her parents asked of her, did not cause a commotion in school or in public, and always told the truth. I was hoping she would change a little bit when Tru showed up for the summer, but instead, everything became repetitive. They did and said the same things over and over and over and… She never became a risk taker outside of her own mind. I also felt there was more of a story in her mind than what was going on between the two of them. In the end, I ended up not really liking her character very much.

There was also no character development for Truman as the story wen ton. He started out complex and ended the same way. He came from a family of jerks so he remained one as well. His father was a jerk (obviously) and Tru didn’t think it was necessary to change. There was nothing redeeming about him so I’m moving on.

There was talk of “family secrets” in the blurb of this book, but I am sorry to relay that they will completely let the reader down. I was expecting something big and mind-blowing, instead, what I got was incredibly anticlimactic.

Yet again, another disappointing book. I really had high hopes since this book promised LGBT and family secrets but none of those were really explored. What might have made this story a little better was if it had included Tru’s POV. The entire book is told from Frannie’s POV but Tru’s might have given this story depth. Regardless, the world will never know because that is not how it was written. From other reviews I have read, I am the black sheep with this book and I am okay with it. Maybe I am just not the right reader but this one was not for me. That is why I gave this book 2 stars.
Profile Image for Danny.
85 reviews3 followers
May 4, 2018
I highly recommend! It was a wonderfully sweet book that I couldn't put down. Admittedly, part of my love from the book came from my own ability to connect with the narrator as she comes to terms with race, class, and sexuality... often in a way that is a dual-realization of the actual existence of these factors and, perhaps equally important, the smallness of one's own little safe world. Growing up in a similar enough environment, it was incredible to read these situations, even as an adult. The characters are beautifully developed, particularly Tru, the cousin who moves in with Frannie's family for the summer who is the standout star of the novel.
As with all the YA I've read, it stands out, not because it's particularly high stakes or dramatic (it's not), but, even in its unoriginal moments, it's beautifully written.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 114 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.