By Melina Marchetta
Publication Date: May 9, 2006
KnopfBooks for Young Readers, 243 pages
Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastians, a boys' school that's 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.
- From Goodreads
In my world, Melina Marchetta can write NO wrong. Several years ago, I happened upon a brilliant book called On the Jellicoe Road and reading young adult fiction, for me, hasn't been the same. If there was ever an emotional story of love, loss and everything in between, Jellicoe Road is that book. So, my love affair with Melina Marchetta's books has been going on for a while. Saving Francesca was no different.
It tells the story of Frankie, who has just transfered to St. Sebastian's for Year Eleven of her schooling (by the way, this story is set in Australia). She has left all her old friends behind and has trouble fitting it. Plus, she is dealing with her mom's recent depression. So, life for Frankie is not going well. Then she meets Will Trumble and starts making friends with Thomas, Jimmy, Siobhan, Tara, & Justine. The book is their coming-of-age story and everything you have to deal with in between.
Much like Jellicoe Road, this story is about a group of friends. I think this is where Marchetta excels as an other. She is able to pair people together that might not work, but then they do and they form these really intriguing friendships. It's nothing short of amazing. It also makes you long for your own group of close-knit relationships.
Frankie has to deal with a lot of hard stuff in this book. I think this is one of those stories that girls in the thick of their adolescence need to pick up. It's hard for everyone, even girls in fiction stories, but the circumstances can be the same. We're all dealing with things, and they always seem harder when we are young. This is a great book for girls who want to learn and who need to see pictures of healthy relationships and friendships.