10 November 2012

Review: Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Title: Saving Francesca
Author: Melina Marchetta
Published: 6th May 2004
Publisher: Puffin Books
Source: Own Copy

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.

This was my first Melina Marchetta book. As soon as I finished it I was online buying up everything else she had ever written. After reading the final words I dried my tears and felt a sudden urge to go and hug my mum. This is the story of Francesca who is only of only a handful of girls who attend St Sebastian's boys school. Francesca has to deal with much more that the politics of being befriended by girls nothing like her and becoming the nemesis to Will, to whom she can't seem to say anything right. Francesca has a home life where her mother has not come out of her room for days and her father seems to be barely holding on.

I was expecting a usual high school coming of age book, with comedic situations and everything would be nice and happy and tied up with a bow. This was a little different from that, in fact it was a lot different from that. This was a raw book of a girl who is really struggling to make it though a normal school day. She is trying to keep it together and function like anyone else.

The writing in this book was beautiful. It felt raw and poetic at the same time. It pulled you in so quickly and kept you reading to see if Francesca's life would improve of get any easier on the next page. I wanted to hug this book and all the characters in it. Melina Marchetta is a magical writer and I can't wait to move on to the next book of hers that comes through my door!

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