November 10, 2015

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta Review

Saving Francesca 
by Melina Marchetta
Published on May 9th 2006
Knopf Books for Young Readers, 243pages

A compelling story of romance, family, and friendship with humor and heart, perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Lauren Myracle.

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 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 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 social life and—hardest of all—herself.

- description

“It's a weird smile, but it reaches his eyes and I bottle it. 
And I put it in my ammo pack that's kept right next to my soul 
and Justine's spirit and Siobhan's hope and Tara's passions. 
Because if I'm going to wake up one morning and not be able
 to get out of bed, I'm going to need everything I've got to 
fight this disease that could be sleeping inside of me.”

Oh my god. I just finished this book and I am shattered. The FEELS. All these feels, I am overwhelmed. I read Jellicoe Road awhile ago, and I remember that I thought that Melina Marchetta was a total genius, and one of the best authors I have ever encountered. I was right then, and well, I am right again. 

This book is just wonderfully beautiful.

These days I feel like I am having troubles reading Young Adult books. I just can't seem to connect with the main character because their voices are becoming way too young for me. I am so happy to say that this book was not the case. Not at all. 

Francesca might be 16 years old, but her voice can be understood by any reader of any age. Her mom one day just doesn't wake up from the bed. And the next day she does not either. And the next. And you can feel her world slowly shattering around her. The more she is trying to keep holding on, the more everything around her is shaking. 

It was heartbreaking. Her whole family was shattered and was in a perpetual state of limbo. Not moving anywhere. It was like the world stopped. And, not only her family. We can see how Francesca is struggling with the new school she is in, figuring out her old friends moved on, finding new friends, boys drama, school drama. 

Everything was captured beautifully though. Absolutely beautiful. Melina Marchetta really knows how to write to bring up all the feels you can muster in your body. And it wrecks you, in all these oh-my-god-I-can't-take-these-feelings-anymore because they remind me of all those things I have felt in the past, and rejection, and the wanting, and the waiting, and the fear. I love this book so much I am having troubles coming up with words to best describe it. I feel like I am all over the place, and that kinda feels ok. 

Please, please, read this book.

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