“Frannie and Tru” Book Review

Author: Karen Hattrup

Publisher: HarperTeen


“Frannie has always idolized her cousin Tru. At seventeen, Tru is charismatic, rich, charming—everything fifteen-year-old Frannie wants to be, and everything she’s not. So when Frannie overhears her parents saying that after a bad coming-out experience Tru will be staying with them in Baltimore for the summer, Frannie is excited and desperate to impress him. But as Frannie gets swept up in Tru’s worldly way of life, she starts to worry that it may all be a mask Tru wears to hide a dark secret. And if Tru isn’t the person Frannie thought he was, what does that mean for the new life she has built with him?

Confronting issues of race, class, and sexuality, Karen Hattrup weaves a powerful coming-of-age story that’s at once timeless and immediate, sharply observed, and recognizable to anyone who has ever loved the idea of a person more than the reality.” via Amazon

Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️

Trigger Warnings: Racism, Hints of Depression


  • Enjoyed the writing
  • Cover is aesthetically pleasing


  • Lacked expectations
  • Could’ve had better characterization

In-Depth Review:

*Warning: Contains huge spoilers.

I picked this book off the bookshelf because of the minimalistic cover and the summary on the flap.

Despite the summary, this book is not a profound story of race, sexuality, and class. Frannie and Tru is a story about a bored girl who’s gay cousin comes to town. Frannie’s life suddenly becomes interesting due to this. She idolizes her cousin, Tru and spends her summer trying to become like him. Tru is supposed to be the cool, progressive cousin that has this amazing life because he grew up with some money. While Tru stays with her family, he recognizes the hardships that her family endures and chooses not to mention it.

After spending some time with Tru and his friends, she realizes how awful her and her friends were. The book is supposed to be a coming of age story of how Frannie becomes a better person but it’s not. Frannie eventually registers that she was never this accepting person. For example, she pretended she had feelings for a white boy because she was in complete denial over her obvious feelings for the black boy. She barely admitted it to herself, even at the end. This story is painted to be this beautiful coming of age story but it’s really about a girl coming to terms with trying to be a better person despite not actually changing that much throughout the plot.

In spite of everything I’ve said, I did enjoy the writing.


Final Verdict: It’s not for me.

Favorite Quotes:

“Pathetic little girls who lived sheltered little lives.”

You can find this book at Amazon.

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