Friday, August 19, 2011

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Title:  Saving Francesca
Author:  Melina Marchetta
Release date:  March 9, 2006
Publisher: Knopf BFYR
Pages:  243
Source:  Bookstore

Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastian’s, a boys’ school that pretends it’s coed by giving the girls their own bathroom. Her only female companions are an ultra-feminist, a rumored slut, and an an impossibly dorky accordion player. The boys are no better, from Thomas who specializes in musical burping to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can’t seem to stop thinking about.

Then there’s Francesca’s mother, who always thinks she knows what’s best for Francesca—until she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, alone, and without an inkling who she really is. Simultaneously humorous, poignant, and impossible to put down, this is the story of a girl who must summon the strength to save her family, her social life and—hardest of all—herself.

Saving Francesca is my first ever Melina Marchetta book and I loved it.  I wasn’t quite sure that I would like it at first but I quickly fell in love with the characters and their stories.  I definitely plan on reading more of Melina Marchetta’s books in the future.

Francesca Spinelli is not your typical main character.  At first she seems kind of rude but she grew on me.  Throughout the book she really came out of her shell and I loved reading about the crazy, funny, fearless Francesca that she always was but never showed. The rest of the characters I liked from the beginning.  Luca, Will, Thomas Mackee, Jimmy Hailler, Justine, Siobahn, and Tara were hilarious!  I really want them as my friends.  This book was full of witty banter and hidden sides to each character.  They were all wonderfully well-developed.

The story itself grabbed me from the beginning.  Francesca’s mom, Mia, becomes very depressed and Francesca and her family must learn how to take care of themselves and her. Her mom’s depression really forced Francesca to rely on herself and to see who she was without her mom influencing her.  It was one of the most realistic contemporary books that I have ever read and that is what made me love it the most.

Overall, Saving Francesca is a fabulous book and if you haven’t read anything by Melina Marchetta yet, you really should.  I will definitely be adding her to my list of favorite contemporary authors.

First line:  This morning, my mother didn’t get out of bed.

Rating:  A-

Cover:  B

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  1. LoriStrongin

    Ooh, sounds like a good read! I’m a sucker for boarding school books, and seeing one about a school kinda-sorta trying to integrate female students into an all-boys school definitely piques my interest. Thanks for the rec!


  2. Christina Kit.

    I haven’t read anything by Melina Marchetta and I admit I’m a huge moron because all I hear are wonderful things about her.

    I’m glad you loved all the characters and that it was funny at times despite the mental illness issue they had to handle.

    Lovely review 🙂

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