Friday, March 12, 2021

Review: The Infamous Frankie Lorde by Brittany Geragotelis


by Brittany Geragotelis
Pixel + Ink
Middle Grade Thriller
160 pages
ages 8 to 12

Launch of a new series for upper middle graders about a girl who has lived as an international thief, now returned to the real world.

Frankie Lorde and her dad have been a team for as long as Frankie can remember. Being a tutor under the man responsible for some of the world's biggest heists has given Frankie a unique perspective on the world. And a special set of life skills. Frankie can spot an FBI agent in a second. Pick a lock in two seconds. Steal a Bugatti in three. Then dad is arrested.

Frankie is sent to live with her uncle, her dad's brother who she barely knows, and is, ironically a cop. Now Frankie has to go to middle school, learn what suburban kids wear and eat. But also ironically, Frankie is in Greenwich, CT, one of the richest towns in America. Seeing the starkness of super rich and the super not rich who support the community gives Frankie an idea. How to use her skills for doing good, to even the score...

GOODREADS   /    B&N   /    KOBO   /    AMAZON    /    BOOK DEPOSITORY

                                     * girl with con-artistry and thieving skills
                                     * bonds of friendship
                                     * lessons about truths, lies, and all that in between
                                     * get the bad-guy read


With wit, cleverness, and tons of fun, this book is one middle grade readers, who dream of spys and cons, are sure to enjoy...and it has lots of heart.

Frankie has the best dad ever. He loves her oodles and bundles, and has only one rule: don't get caught. She loves her life with him until one day he breaks his own rule and is shipped off to prison. She ends up living with her uncle, a guy she doesn't know well because he's a cop. And there are rules as well as a therapist and a new school. She's more than not sure about the whole thing and until she discovers two things. One has to do with a way she thinks she can help the poorer students at school with her stealthy skills. The second involves a very, dangerous man. Both throw Frankie's world into a she might not survive.

This is such a well-written novel and hits the middle-grade voice on the nose. I liked Frankie from the very first page. She's low-keyish, although she's not. She's street smart and clever, has tons of self-respect but not arrogant, and is as independent as can be. And she has a heart of gold. It's just her life has been so different with her father, that she now has to discover a few truths, which didn't exist for her before. Add the wonderful spy moments and all the tricks that belong to it, and it is definitely fun.

As is maybe to be expected, there isn't much room for boredom in these pages but it's not really about action, either. Frankie's world is stealthy and clever, and the pacing in this book is exactly the same. Every moment sits and every page brings something new. It's a very hard book to put down and lets Frankie's thoughts come across clear and understandable. The things she does make sense...for the most part. There's still room for imagination and stretched logic, which works perfect in this type of novel even if some things aren't really realistic.

While there is a wonderfully awful bad guy to keep the tension high, Frankie is also battling with herself and the knowledge of the world around her. Although she's got a very good head on her shoulders, she has to re-learn and re-discover several truths of life around her. The lessons are hard and some will even leave readers with a little food for thought.

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