Tuesday 4 October 2011

Book Review - Saving Francesca

Title: Saving Francesca
Author: Melina Marchetta 
Publisher: Puffin Books
Release Date: 6 May 2004
ISBN-13: 978-0141317991

Francesca's mum has high expectations - and Frankie never seems to be able to live up to them. Since moving to a new school, the pressure has been even greater - and, when her once strong mother has a breakdown and Frankie falls in love, she feels as though her life is falling apart. 

My Review
I've had this book in my locker at work for about two years. I had read various reviews and they were all positive so I decided to read it, but since then it just kept getting pushed back. I finally decided enough was enough and I wanted a quick read to take with me on a day out. Something I could put in my bag easily and dip in and out of. So this book got taken home. I actually started it last night as I had finished my other book, and managed to finish this one today.
Francesca is moving to a new school. It used to be boys only, but they are now admitting girls. Just think 375 boys and 30 girls, it should be great, but in reality it's a nightmare.
Francesca is not sure where she belongs, without friends and feeling like she doesn't belong the year seems to have got off to a bad start, but things get worse when her mum becomes ill.
Francesca isn't sure what's wrong with her mum, but we are taken through the journey with her.
This book is a bitter sweet story. You can't help but like Francesca, shes feisty, funny, honest, and a little bit lost. she spent years hanging round with a group of friends trying to be who they wanted her to be, now she's got to discover who she really is. 
Francesca's mum has depression. The thing I like about this book is that it doesn't skim over the touchy subjects, it looks at how depression affects everyone, not just the person diagnosed, it handles it tactfully and carefully. There were times I wanted to give Francesca a great big hug to comfort her. I could feel her hurt and confusion as she struggled to cope with her mum and the rest of her family. 
I also like that the author doesn't hold back or create the 'perfect boys' she is honest with  how the boys all fart and belch and say stupid hurtful comments, but then on the other side can be sensitive and caring. It made it feel so much more real. Life isn't perfect, but if you look there are still good things there.
It's a roller coaster book, one minute your crying then your laughing. I recommend it as a read not just for teens but adults as well. 

My Rating
I would give this book 8.5/10. A good sensitive, emotional but fun read.


Belle said...

I really enjoyed this book, though I preferred Marchetta's first book, Looking for Alibrandi, out of the two. I haven't read any of her other work yet but I really want to! I'm going to reread Francesca soon coz I'm keen to read the sequel!

Sash and Em said...

such an emotional read. i loved it.

Sash and Em

brandileigh2003 said...

Thanks for review. I sometimes don't hear about books that have been out for a while, and like seeing those reviewed :)

barmybex said...

Belle - I didn't know there was a sequel - do you know what it's called?
I haven't read any thing else by Marchetta, but I'm gonna try and track some of them down.

Sash & Em - thanks, it was a lot better than I thought it would be

Brandi - thanks. :D Yeah it's good to catch some of the older ones again.

Anonymous said...

I'm so looking forward to reading this book. After reading this review I'll probably start on it tonight, haha. I loved her book Jellicoe Road so much, easily my favorite book that year. I'm glad to hear this was a great read!

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

This is my first time hearing of this book. It sounds like a good read. I like it when the author really gets into a tough subject without skimming over it.