Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta


Summary from Goodreads:

Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastians, a boys' school that's 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, along, 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

What I love about this book is that even though it tackles a serious topic like depression, it has enough funny and light moments in the story to not make me feel well, depressed. But at the same time making sure that one understood the gravity of the this kind of condition and how it affects the people closest to the one experiencing it. It is a balance of the light and the dark. 

Even the characterization of Francesca also exhibited that sense of balance, a balance of weaknesses and the strengths. I feel her vulnerability in her struggles with finding her identity; fitting in at a new school; coping with the depression of her mother; and her father's everything-will-be-fine-even-when-it's-not-attitude regarding their mom. But I also feel her toughness as she holds everything together for her little brother whom she loves so much; how she stands up to a group of girls from her old school, whose acceptance matter to her, by admitting being friends with Justine, a girl they used to make fun; how she is able to finally help out her dad which then leads to the beginning of her mom's recovery. 

It was not only Francesca and her parents that are stand out characters. The rest of the Francesca's friends are equally memorable with their unique personalities. Tara the activist, Justine the quite musical one, Siobhan the boy addict, Thomas the slob who loves music, Jimmy who is a bit crass and a bit of a bully. From all these descriptions, I would have thought that there is no way these people would get along with each other. But they do and they are friends. Such is Melina Marchetta's brilliance when it comes to creating relationships of her characters. 

I was not quite keen on Will Trombal, Francesca's love interest. A prefect, a former choir boy, and an athlete, with detailed plans of how his life is going to go. He seems like the perfect guy and he did and said sweet things to Francesca but he wasn't swoon worthy, for me at least. I kind of wanted Francesca to end up with Thomas Mckee. I admit he needs some lessons on good manners but he I like how he was there for the girls when they needed him and he actually cares for them.

This is another brilliant Aussie YA novel. I am itching for Jellicoe Road and The Piper's Son. *Scratch Scratch*

Comments

  1. Now that you've had a taste of Marchetta, you HAVE to read Jellicoe Road and The Piper's Son (especially if you have a soft spot for Tom Mackee). Those are brilliant novels and I love them to bits. Not that Saving Francesca wasn't good, I just didn't love it as much as those two.

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  2. @Chachic
    Hi Chachic! So far, this is my best contemporary YA read! When you told me about Piper's Son, I googled the plot and I was thrilled that it's about Tom Mackee! How about Looking for Alibrandi? Have you read it? :)

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  3. Yep, I've read it! Not as excellent as her other contemporaries because it was her debut novel but still worth checking out. So excited for you to read Jellicoe and Piper. :) I just started Finnikin of the Rock and I'm reading it along with two blogging buddies.

    Hey, do you have Facebook? LOL just wondering because I have a page for the blog: https://www.facebook.com/ChachicsBookNook and sometimes it's easier to communicate there.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Chachic
    You are not the first person to ask me that Chachic. As of the moment I don't have facebook. And my friends look at me as if I'm a freak! Others look aghast.:D I have been meaning to put one up, and I mentioned to my sister if she could give me a facebook turotial. Hihi. I keep putting it off though. I'll let you know once I have a page already. :D

    I hope Finnikin is just as good as her contemporary ones because I love fantasy. I held off reading Moriarty's Celia for The Thief,I like to alternate the genres. I'm just in the first few pages so its too early to tell. But I know you're such a fangirl for this MWT's series. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well, if you'd rather focus on bookish things and your blog then I recommend that you sign up for Twitter instead of Facebook. :P I also have a Twitter account and I use it to follow fellow book bloggers and authors. And sometimes authors reply to my tweets. :)

    And yay, you're reading The Thief! I actually didn't fall in love with the series until Queen of Attolia so make sure you read that right after The Thief.

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  6. @Chachic
    Yes, that is what I actually want, to focus on bookish things and my blog. Hmm, you maybe right, Twitter seems to be a better choice since you can get immediate responses right? Although I am a bit intimidated by it because it looks so complicated. But just as I thought blogging would be complicated, and here I am, actually blogging. :D

    I do hope I'll enjoy MWT's series as much as you do! Thanks for the tips! :D

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