The Year My Life Turned Upside Down (Franny Cloutier)

The Year My Life Turned Upside Down (Franny Cloutier)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
  • Marianne Ferrer
  • Ann Marie Boulanger (Translator)
Publisher Name
Age Range
Release Date
November 14, 2023
Told in diary format, 14-year-old Franny journals about the year when she is sent away from the only home she’s known to live with family members she didn’t know she had all while her father goes to Japan on a research trip.

Franny is a feisty 14-year-old with a gift for turning her thoughts and feelings into drawings. She lives in Montreal with her father, a sewing machine repair man by day and inventor by night. When he’s invited to pursue his research in Japan, Franny is sent to a small town far away from Montreal and all her friends. She will meet a part of her family she has never heard of before and will have to adapt to a new school and a new life. Soon, she will discover that this is the town where her mother lived before she died, when Franny was very young. This leads Franny to investigate the mystery behind her mother’s death and discovers a terrible truth.

Editor review

1 review
Diary format makes it engaging
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
The Year My Life Turned Upside Down follows the life of 14-year-old Franny Cloutier as she moves to live with her maternal family that she didn't even know existed in the small town of St. Lorette.

Franny's father is a widower living a very average life with his teenage daughter in Montreal. After accepting his dream job in Japan, he moves Franny in with her Aunt Lorette, Uncle Andre, and stepcousin Henry who is the same age as her. The move is not easy for Franny, who struggles to adjust to small-town life and make friends.

In a strange twist of fate, Franny does become friends with a dorky girl named Leona, whose mother was best friends with Franny's mother before her death. As Franny learns more about her mother, she sets off on an adventure with Henry and Leona to discover what happened the day she died. This brings Henry and Franny closer together and their budding romance is sweet. There is quite a bit of emotional turmoil as Franny learns the truth surrounding her mother's death and the ripple effect it has on her family relationships.

What I Liked: The story is told through diary entries and illustrations, making it an easy and engaging read. The diary format reminds me a bit of the YA book Cross My Heart and Never Lie. Franny's character is over the top, but the author did a great job portraying her as a typical teenager. She doesn't always say the right thing or react the right way, but that makes Franny relatable.

What Left Me Wanting More: The book ends on a sort of cliffhanger. There are a few key things that are resolved, including the mystery of Franny's mother's death, but we also have some new questions. I am impatient and want those answers now!

Franny Cloutier: The Year My Life Turned Upside Down had a little bit of everything from mystery to romance making it a book I could not put down.
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