03 August 2012

Saving Francesca

Author: Melina Marchetta
Series: Companion books with The Piper’s Son
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released: 18 December 2007
Summary: courtesy of goodreads.com Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastians, 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 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.
My Review: I’ve begun a Melina Marchetta phase, can you tell?  Saving Francesca was another excellent novel about a girl trying to grow up.  I love the way that Marchetta constructs her stories, she’s so dang sneaky! (and I mean that in the best possible way!) You start out and it is just another contemporary young adult novel (think Sarah Dessen) but by the time you’re finished it’s become so much more than that.  Frankie’s voice is so real.  She is facing real problems that sixteen year old girls face, and her relationship with her family is so incredibly lovely and heart-wrenching.
The way that this novel unfolds is so lyrical that I can’t help but fall in love a little bit.  All of the characters in Saving Francesca have a way of worming into your heart and carving out a little bit of a place there.  Even if you don’t realize that it was their original intention to do so.  The group that comes out of this novel is so fantastic.  I’m excited to read The Piper’s Son to see where they end up. (it’s next in my Marchetta marathon after Looking for Alibrandi).  Francesca’s voice is perhaps my favorite aspect of this novel.  She is so unique to what I’ve read in YA literature recently, and I really enjoyed it’s resonance on the page.  This is one that I’ll definitely come back to over and over again. Love.

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