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[Book Review] - Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

   Author: Melina Marchetta
   Series: #1 - Saving Francesca
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: September 24th, 2004
   My Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

     Francesca used to think her biggest problem was transferring to St. Sebastian's--a school only recently turned coed: "What a dream come true, right? Seven hundred and fifty boys and thirty girls? But the reality is that it's either like living in a fish bowl or like you don't exist."

     But now there's this matter of her usually vibrant and annoyingly optimistic mother Mia refusing to get up in the morning. Her taciturn father doesn't have much to say on the subject, her beloved little brother Luca is anxiously looking to her for answers, and her so-called friends from her old neighborhood seem to have abandoned her. So, Francesca keeps it all inside--her frustration with school (there aren't enough girl's bathrooms and no girl's sports teams); her fear making new friends (with the few girls who do go to St. Sebastian's); and her overwhelming hatred of the smug Will Trombal, who despite being completely infuriating, is also incredibly cute. Keeping this to herself when all she wants to do is spill it to her mother is killing Francesca, but with Mia trying to make herself well again, Francesca will have to figure out how to save herself.

My Review:

     Well when I initially reviewed this book I gave it a 4.5 out of 5.0, and in the process of redoing the blog, which by the way I hope you like, I thought about this rating and I just couldn't help but leave it there. It got raised because is does deserve it. Saving Francesca comes from a great and wonderful author, and the more I think about this book and Melina, the more I want to pick up her work and continue reading. Marchetta has this way with taking an ordinary time of depression, okay maybe it's not entirely normal, but she can turn it into a masterpiece of emotion and tell a story of self discovery and believing in yourself.

     Saving Francesca is a book about a girl who understands that her mother is strong willed, her father is more care free than he probably should be, but together they make a great couple that has stood the test of time. However, as one day shows, her mother doesn't wake up entirely from the night and the world collapses on her. Now, if I was Francesca, I too would be asking questions. Why is she still in bed, what's wrong? Depression and deep set depression is hard to explain to a teenager and what it exactly does to someone.

     Francesca is stuck trying to struggle and pull her family together, as they slowly split apart trying to understand the situation with her mother. At the same time though, her school is anything but comforting. In a school where girls are trying to put their foot down and show they have a choice and a right as well as the boys, Francesca is put center stage for their motives. At first I believe that Francesca doesn't want to be their center and go to figure, but still she believes just as they do that their action and causes are for the better.

     As the days slowly go by and she begins to reveal what is wrong with her mother and her family starts to coupe without her mother helping and functioning and supporting her mother through her time, Francesca finds not only herself but friends like she's never head. At the time, when I was reading I wasn't sure they were friends but when the book is down and you think back to the story, Melina just weaves it together so perfectly that you don't realize the building emotions and relationships behind the characters. It's a fluid and gentle build that I love, it feels so natural and she does it so perfectly.

     As much as I wanted Will and Francesca to have a good romance, it wasn't what I was thinking or thought i  would be. However, the romance left you feeling good and complete about the relationship that did play its course through Francesca. Ultimately I believe it's through Will and her friends that they push her to forget her past, forget the wall she built up trying to be someone she's not and open up. It's friends like those, that make you appreciate who you are, that everyone should have. Melina, I want to thank you for this story! It's a work of art, and I can't wait to start your other books!
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