Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Title: Saving Francesca
Author: Melina Marchetta
Summary: 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 really liked this book, but at the same time I was a little disappointed by it - after reading Jellicoe Road, I was sort of hoping/expecting Melina Marchetta's other books to be just as amazing, and it was really good, but it wasn't close to being in the same league as Jellicoe Road was. I think maybe if I had read this one first, then I would've liked it much more because I wouldn't have had as many expectations for it.

But anyway, I really love the way Melina Marchetta writes. I love that she writes in the present tense, I haven't read a lot of books that use that but it works and her books are the kind that make me want to grab a highlighter and highlight all of my favourite quotes in the book (something that I never do, I don't like writing in/highlighting books in any way).

Something that I loved about the book was the minor characters, they just had so much personality and they had me laughing out loud a lot, I think it was them that pushed me from just thinking the book was okay to thinking it was good because the thing with Francesca's mother being depressed, it could be a little boring at times and I would find myself wanting to skim over the parts where she was at home and find more of her friends and Will-moments.

Will, I really liked him - but one thing I didn't like was that their feelings for each other weren't all that believable if you really thought about it... liking each other? Sure. But they had barely had a conversation - it was very Edward/Bella (oh joy, Twilight references), where you just have to accept that they love each other without really knowing why.

The main character, Francesca, sometimes she was really likable but at other times you'd just want to pull her out of the book and scream at her for being an idiot (like the way she views her "friends" from her old school, and how it takes her so long to see things that are right in front of her).

Random, but heres one of my favourite quotes from the book (and it's little things like this that make me love the way Melina writes):
I miss the Stella girls telling me what I am. That I’m sweet and placid and accomodating and loyal and non-threatening and good to have around. And Mia. I want her to say, “Frankie, you’re silly, you’re lazy, you’re talented, you’re passionate, you’re restrained, you’re blossoming, you’re contrary.”
I want to be an adjective again.
But I’m a noun.
A nothing. A nobody. A no one.

I just noticed that in this review I seem to be focusing a lot on the negatives, and yet I said I really liked it... I guess the things I didn't like about the book were just easier to figure out, but I honestly did like the book and I'm pretty sure the main reason I wasn't able to love it was because of the expectations that Jellicoe Road had set for it. :]


P.s. About the contest thing, thanks for replying. I think I will be doing a contest, I just need to figure out when.


  1. i read this book ages ago, i really liked it. you should read looking for alibrandi, that's another really good one by melina marchetta. i liked it megazoids ay :P

    for the competition; i think that the prize should be choosing a book out of all the ones we've reviewed so far, and that's awarded.

    :) xxx

  2. Yeah, I actually have Looking for Alibrandi, after reading Jellicoe Road I bought that and Saving Francesca (and I want to get her other book too, Finnikin of the Rock). I've seen (and own) the movie version of Alibrandi as well. :]

  3. Finnikin of the Rock is also amazing and really shows how versatile Melina Marchetta is. I highly recommend it. I read Saving Francesca first, and it is my favorite book ever. I have read Jellicoe Road as well, and I LOVED it, but I think Saving Francesca won out for me because it is so real and true. Francesca's thoughts and emotions are all so believable. Thanks for the discussion.



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