Title: Saving Francesca
Author: Melina Marchetta
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Reading Level: Young Adult, 14+
Publication Date: May 9, 2006
My Edition: Paperback, signed, Australian version
Plot - 17/20
Characters - 20/20
Writing - 20/20
Originality - 16/20
Entertainment - 10/10
Recommendation - 10/10
Francesca battles her mother, Mia, constantly over what's best for her. All Francesca wants is her old friends and her old school, but instead Mia sends her to St. Sebastian's, an all-boys' school that has just opened its doors to girls. Now Francesca's surrounded by hundreds of boys, with only a few other girls for company. All of them weirdos--or worse. Then one day, Mia is too depressed to get out of bed. One day turns into months, and as her family begins to fall apart, Francesca realizes that without her mother's high spirits, she hardly knows who she is. But she doesn't yet realize that she's more like Mia than she thinks. With a little unlikely help from St. Sebastian's, she just might be able to save her family, her friends, and--especially--herself.
I read this one directly after reading Jellicoe Road, so I had had my share of Melina by then and I got a glorious whiff of her style. So I was really excited to see how this novel compared to Jellicoe Road. It was really good. Extremely good. It had that raw, honest thoughts of a girl trying to survive High School while her mom is in depression and she also finds some love. It was amazing, but Jellicoe Road was really hard to beat. It just wasn't as clever. But still, this book was amazing.
The plot was something done a tons of times before, so it wasn't original. But that didn't matter. The plot was of a girl who is coming-of-age in Australia. Her mom is depressed. She has to keep her family together without her going insane. We've seen it before. But not before with such brilliance of writing and the development of characters.
Francesca was a great main character. She really was. I could relate to her so much, and it was just because she is what you would think of as the average high school girl, and pretty much everyone can relate to her. And we like that in a novel.
The writing was, obviously, so amazing. I just don't know how Marchetta does the things she does with her words? She is a brilliant writer. Period.
I really recommend this novel for everyone. It's a great read that will suck you into Francesca's story. The relationships between her family and Will is amazing. Just everything about the novel is great.