The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline PrestonThe Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston
Publisher: Ecco
Number of pages: 228
My copy: hardbound, birthday gift from KD

From the author of the “New York Times” Notable Book, “Jackie by Josie,” comes a spirited, visually lush, and stunning novel, inspired by the art of scrapbooking and told through a kaleidoscopic array of vintage postcards, letters, magazine ads, ticket stubs, catalog pages, fabric swatches, candy wrappers, fashion spreads, menus, and more, starring an unforgettable heroine and set in the burgeoning bohemian culture of the 1920s.

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I’m one of those people who tries to scrapbook. I say try because as much as I try, I can’t really make my scrapbook pages look…well, as pretty and cute as the ones that other people do. That, or maybe I just don’t have that artsy vibe (and the patience) and access to art supplies at MisterArt.com to do them. But anyway, that never really stopped me from having fun with my planners, though:

Planner pages - 2006 to 2012

[Click to embiggen]
Top row: 2006 planner – thesis defense+birthday week, Kalinga Luzon
Bottom row, left: 2010, 25th birthday week
Bottom row, right: 2012, February, word of the year

So it’s not as pretty, but it serves pretty well as my own memory bank. That’s pretty much why I was delighted to receive The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston from one of my co-moderators in our book club on my 26th birthday (Thanks, Kuya Doni!). I had no idea what the book was about, but looking at the first few pages, I knew I was going to like this if only for the visual treat that it has. If I can’t make pretty scrapbook pages, then I would live vicariously through others’, even if it is from a fictional character.

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt tells of a story of Frances Pratt, who received a scrapbook and her father’s old Corona typewriter as a high school graduation present. In here she documents her summer after high school where she decides to forgo a college scholarship to help her mom out, but she is smitten by an older man. Her mom finds a way to get her to college to keep her out of the influence of her unsuitable suitor, and Frankie finds her world opening up to more possibilities than she can imagine. We follow Frankie’s adventures in college and in her meeting Vassar alumna Edna St. Vincent Millay, who inspires Frankie to go to New York to pursue her dreams. But when heartbreak finds her there, she sets sail to Paris to make it on her own. All Frankie wants is to find herself and the love of her life, but will she ever find it when she gets called home to be with her sick mother?

If I were to describe this book in a just one word, it’s gorgeous. I loved every page of the book with all the typewritten (and some handwritten) words and the photos and the 1920’s memorabilia. Some of them makes me wish they were real and I can pluck them off the page and keep them for myself! Look at some of these photos from the inside of the book (warning, slight photo dump):

Can you imagine how much effort the author went through for each and every page of this book? I’m no expert in vintage, but this book just screams it from the cover all the way to the last page, and it made me a bit more interested in the 1920’s (even if I have a feeling I don’t think I can carry a flapper dress, LOL).

The story feels just a little bit ordinary. I don’t mean that in a bad way — but if you’ve read the book’s dust jacket, you pretty much know the story save for what happens in the end. It didn’t have that much revelation, and it read like a coming-of-age story, but again, I didn’t find ittoo shocking. But then…life doesn’t have to be shocking to be extraordinary, yes?

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt is a relaxing book to read for all its gorgeousness, and maybe that really is the charm of the book. It may not end up as a favorite, but I will keep it on my shelf whenever I need to look at some pretty stuff, and maybe even get inspiration for the other pages of my planner when I get the mood to scrapbook again. :)

Rating:

Other reviews:
Love YA Lit
Teen Voices
NPR

6 Thoughts on “The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt

  1. Oooh! Pretty! The key and the charm bracelet are real? This reminds me of my Griffin and Sabine reading experience. I was very excited that there are postcards and hand written letters, which all seems very personal. It’s like I’m privy to the person’s thoughts and secrets :)

    • I wish the bracelet was real! But nope, it’s just on the page. It looks real, noh? :) I saw the Griffin and Sabine book in Fully Booked recently, and I liked the letters in it! You’re right — it’s almost like reading another person’s thoughts, just like how it feels when reading books that are also diaries. :)

  2. You’re right, this book is GORGEOUS! And I love that you scrapbook! Your pages are lovely too!

  3. I’m so inggit! Why do you have beautiful scrapbooks? (And a beautiful handwriting, too, hahaha.)

  4. I’ve never heard of The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt before, but does it look lovely! I myself love art and scrapbooking too, so I could definitely see myself enjoying this. :)

    And what do you mean, you don’t have an ‘artsy vibe’? You’re a natural! Your planners are so colourful and appealing.

  5. This one sounds like a visual feast of a book! I love the idea of a story told through scrapbooking. I’m just thinking of how much fun it would be to just flip back and forth, looking at the pictures and noticing new details. I’m a picture kind of girl. :)

So, what do you think?

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