Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta Review

Book: Saving Francesca
Author: Melina Marchetta
Source: Library
Summary (inside flap):
Limitation Placers in Francesca's Life:

St. Sebastian's - pretends it's a coed school by giving the girls their own toilet.

The Psycho Girls - The only female companions to be found at St. Sebastian's: Tara Finke, ultra-feminist; Siobhan Sullivan, former "Slut of St. Stella's Academy"; and Justine Kalinsky, impossibly dorky accordian player.

The Sebastian Boys - Thomas Mackee: Specializes in musical burping. Probably dropped on his head a few times as a baby. Will Trombal: Perpetually frowning, smug moron with no personality. Now if only Francesca could stop daydreaming about him....

Mia - The Queen of the Limitation Placers--Francesca's vivacious mother. Thinks she knows what's best for Francesca and makes her attend the hateful all-boys school--until the day she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, alone, and without an inkling of 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 soical life, and--hardest of all--herself.
Review: After reading Jellicoe Road, this was a slight letdown, but still amazing in it's own right. Francesca was a fun character to get to know. It was heartbreaking to watch as Mia lost herself, and then Francesca's family decide to have the kids stay elsewhere. Francesca is struggling at school, talking to a few girls, but she misses her ex-Stella girls who "saved" her. These girls really are just controlling *witches* who are not the type of people Francesca needs. She misses her mom, and how happy she used to be. And then there's Will, who she just can't seem to resist.

In all, this story has a lot going on, and it works. The reason at the end for Mia's breakdown surprised me, and broke my heart (something Marchetta is great at. She knows how to capture your emotions).

Highlights: Justine. She was my favorite character just because of how sweet she is. I absolutely adore this girl, and how dedicated she is to her friends. Her concern and friendship is genuine.

Lowlights: At the end, I really didn't think much about Will. I mean, what do I really know about the guy by now? Nothing interesting. I just wish there were more interactions (meaningful ones) where we got to know him better. It just seemed like they never really got to know each other.




  1. This looks fantastic - totally like the kind of book that would make me cry.
    Guess I'll have to check out Jellicoe road as well.

  2. Jellicoe is awesome, but you're right, this one wasn't as amazing. Still really good though,

  3. I love this book so much!
    Did you know that Melina's next novel is going back to this gang? It's called Piper's Son and it comes out next year in Australia.

    Anyway, nice review