By: Nova Weetman
Genre: 5AQ - Interest age: from c 14 years
Published by: University of Queensland Press
Published: 24 Jun 2015
ISBN: 9780702253638


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?

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?


Frankie and Joely are heading off to the country for a week to stay with Joely’s cousins. They are both excited to be getting away as they both have difficult relationships with their mothers.

Joely is insecure, especially about her freckles, and she worries how she looks next to the wild, beautiful, flawless Frankie, who all the boys seem to love. Joely worries about the effect that having Frankie around her extended family will have.

Although they are best friends, there is still an underlying nervousness about their friendship, and they don’t completely trust each other.

The bounds of their friendship are tested as they find themselves in a mess with the callous and self-centred Rory. A mess that may not have happened if they had trusted each other.

A story about honesty, relationships—both within a family and outside of it, belonging, and self-esteem.

I found myself wavering from seeing the story from Frankie’s point of view and then from Joely’s, which to me highlights how our personalities can change depending on the situation we find ourselves in. It is best suited to girls 14 and up.

Reviewed by Sam

Teacher notes are available for this title at the publisher’s website -