Release date: May 31st 2016
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.
This was the story of a lonely girl and the cousin who came to live with her family for the summer. Frannie had lost her best friends when money constraints meant she could no longer attend the private school they all went to and would be starting public school in the fall. She was lonely and insecure and anxious about starting a new school so it made sense that she really was looking forward to connecting with Truman. She was searching for her own identity so her latching on to Truman, who seemed so confident and sure of who he was, also made sense. It did make Frannie seem more like a supporting character in her own story for a while, with most of her thoughts centering around Truman, always wanting to be with Truman, feeling jealous when Truman spent time with other people, but I liked getting to see her slowly take control of her own identity.
There was also a nice sub-plot of Frannie and her whole family opening up to be more accepting of people and events outside their norm. They weren’t bad people but at the beginning they were all very comfortable in their own neighborhood, their own ideals, and branching out to meet new people or try new things was never at the top of their lists. Truman changed that. He pushed Frannie, and in turn she made the other want to push themselves.
Tru was an interesting character. Seeing him through Frannie’s eyes made him seem larger than life, that cool guy you definitely want to notice you, the person who’s approval will validate you. Reading him, even through Frannie’s eyes, as an adult, I could see him more clearly than she could. There were moments of wincing when I knew he was being manipulative but there were definitely moments when it was obvious he did genuinely care about her. He was going through a lot and angry and sullen but also trying to be there for Frannie.
Overall, it was a quick read but one that said a lot about growing up, finding your identity and breaking out of your own comfort area.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.