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Don't mess with Frankie D.


The Life and Deaths of Frankie D. by Colleen Nelson transports us to the world of Frankie, a teen just trying to live without letting her traumatic past and angsty present bog her down.

This is complicated when she starts to have very vivid dreams about a circus, where she feels a connection to the people she is dreaming about.

When her dreams appear to be invading her reality, Frankie knows that there is a piece of the puzzle she is missing, and that she must figure out the meaning of her dreams, as they are impacting her real life.


I liked this story, especially Frankie's character; her snark, her vulnerability, her self-awareness, and her tenacity. Her relationship with her foster mom, Kris, was very touching; showed how love, kindness and support has the ability to help victims of trauma heal their wounds to some degree.

One of the themes that is all throughout this book is the found family, and the circumstances that draw and keep people together. This can be seen with Frankie and Kris, and also the characters that made up the circus. I appreciated how the author handled the various traumas that different characters experienced, it was not gratuitous and made sense to the plot.


There were some unanswered questions that I had with some aspects of the plot, as it relates to the connection between Frankie and Frances (from her dreams), but other than that I think the story was solid.


The Life and Deaths of Frankie D. is available from Dundurn Press, April 13, 2021.

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