Author: Nova Weetman
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Frankie and Joely are best friends. They love each other like no one else can. But when a summer break in the country brings fresh distractions, simmering jealousies and festering secrets, can their friendship survive?Review by Nara
It’s the holidays and, together, Frankie and Joely board a train and escape the city and their mums for a week of freedom. But when Joely introduces Frankie to her country cousins, Thommo and Mack, it soon becomes clear that something other than the heat is getting under their skin. As the temperature rises and the annual New Years’ Eve party looms closer, local boy Rory stirs things up even more and secrets start to blister. Suddenly the girls’ summer getaway is not panning out how either of them imagined. Will they still be ‘Frankie and Joely’ by the end of their holiday?
While reading this book, all I could really think was that neither Frankie nor Joely understood what was meant by the word friend, let alone the phrase "best friend". I wasn't even sure if they liked each other at times- they'd having these extremely petty thoughts towards each other (an example would be Joely "[hoping] the mosquitos bite Frankie and not her"). I mean, really. They'd have these passive aggressive arguments about the stupidest things e.g. what flavour of chips they want (just halve them, people), and they keep a ridiculous number of secrets from each other. From the reader's point of view, it certainly doesn't seem like they're best friends.
Unfortunately, the terrible friendship isn't the only unfavourable aspect of the novel. The writing is extremely stilted, with the author stating every little thing that the characters do and every little emotion they feel. Definitely a heck of a lot of telling rather than showing. There's a lot of thoughts/stream of consciousness style of writing, and I feel like it really doesn't work that well in the context of a fairly generic drama-filled contemporary YA.
Overall, the book felt unpolished to me. The plot wasn't really that interesting, and the characters were quite unlikeable and immature as well as being difficult to relate to. I can't really recommend this book, unfortunately.
It was okayRatings