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Saving Francesca (2006)

Saving Francesca (2006)

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3.96 of 5 Votes: 2
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0375829830 (ISBN13: 9780375829833)
knopf books for young readers

About book Saving Francesca (2006)

Melina Marchetta is wicked awesome in her malicious power to make people feel all the SOBS AND PAIN!Bare with me here people. Let's say that one day you wake up. The sun is shining, the air is clean, and your nameless pet licks you on the face. You stretch your arms and feel every muscle in your body relax. Mr. Sandman blessed you with the best nights sleep of your life. You walk to the front door. You slowly turn that handle and open the door. You look down and grab that crisp new newspaper. Now just for a second, let's pretend you are the sappy type of person that actually reads a physical newspaper and instead of digital newspaper like a boss. It's the modern age people. Time to wake up to reality. Ahem. You smile. Breathe in the fresh air. You smell the pretty roses. You have happy smiles coming out your ass. You look up into the beautiful colorful sky. You take a second wind and..."SHIT BALLS!! IT'S RAINING FIRE AND KNIVES!" A titan of a knife falls into your head (Now. Remember this isn't real. In my mind, this could actually happen. Reality has no meaning here). Yes, into your head. You feel as if your very soul is being ripped out, it's so painful.This is what it's like to read a Melina Marchetta novel. You go into it skipping and dancing thinking of rainbows, daisies, and beautiful words. Little do you know of the demented and malicious creature who wrote that book. I can just imagine her sitting there at her desk, injecting the tears of her readers into her bloodstream so she can stay alive. She is BAD ASS.*death will come to you my friend*Francesca is the zenith of young adult heroines with personality and individuality. She's a pop culture junkie and uses it with intelligence. Marchetta writes Francesca's snark and witty comebacks with class. Never did I feel that she drilled it into the reader that she's astute and flippant. She's no Charley Davidson. "...Do you know what this is? Luca is going to sneak out of bed in the middle of the night and squirt it on his tongue. It's like drugs for ten-year-olds. Today it's Ice Magic. Tomorrow, heroin." *Give me the delicious Ice Magic*Francesca wants to find her place. She's not shy, but she doesn't want to be an outcast either. Her mother's opinion is that she's lazy. Her old friends think she's nonthreatening and weird. Her new friends think she's shy. But, Francesca: she's not sure what to think because everybody else is telling her what she is and what she isn't. She wants to make them see the real her. She wants them to see the real her, but at the same time she just wants survive her new school at St. Sebastians. It's a dangerous thing to be the center of attention and it's not a job she wants. My theory is to lay low, and my reluctance to get involved has nothing to do with fear or shyness, contrary to popular perception. Francesca is stuck between being in the hellish place that is teen adolescence and watching her mother sink deeper and deeper into the sorrow of depression. The reason I love Francesca is her savage honesty about boys, sex, and depression. In the midst of all that, she never censors her thoughts or language. She uses words like fuck and get stuffed, making me adore her all the more. She's independent and speaks up with a slightly crude attitude. I am Team Francesca all the way.I want to be her friend. Seriously, Francesca. Me and you. We could rule the world with our pop culture references and snarky slams. It would be glorious. The things we would do together:1. Spread world peace with our snark.2. Watch the entire Buffy series.3. Watch anything with sappy love scenes like pride and prejudice.4. Start our own blog of pop culture wickedness5. Sing the lyrics of Fiddler on Roof drunk on Vodka and cheetoes.6. Go into a bookstore and put pink stickers on our favorite books so people would buy them.See how much fun would we would have? Seriously Francesca, you have no idea the wondrous things you would miss out on if we don't become friends. We could be like a Jennifer Lawrence type of awesome.*Look at my beard of glory*Francesca acts like a real teen instead of an immature rip off Bella Swan. She's real and doesn't overemphasize the guy's good looks just to make sure the reader is listening. I love that the guy she's into isn't good looking. He's plain. They get off on the wrong step , but then over the year they sink into each others lives. They can't help but look at each other. Very few Young Adult books make me feel that the relationship is real. This one made me believe. "Sometimes you look at me and it's like all the bullshit gets stripped off and I'm left with what's underneath and I kind of like what I see. Someone who actually fails. Someone who has absolutely no self-control. Someone who says real dickhead things like 'this is complicated.' I like that part of me, you know. I like the fact that I know I can't control you or how I feel about you and that doesn't freak me out." God, what is with you Marchetta? What kind of sick need do you have to make me feel saccharine feelings all the time. No other author has this effect on me. I don't cry. Not a crier, okay?*SOBBS AND CRIES AND TEARS AND WHERE IS THAT BOTTLE?*Marchetta doesn't just excel at characterization and emotion, she's a wordsmith without turning it into purple prose. She's wildly talented with words and forming them to make sure that every single time magic comes out of her pen. You can just tell that each sentence took time. Each sentence reads as if she spent hours just thinking of the perfect way to form the words she wants to say. She's a malicious magician and I love her. *Time to intentionally fall out of my chair so I can sob the ultimate sobs*Her dialogue is pure fucking genius: "You chicks give me the shits," he says.                                                     "You, on the other hand, brighten up our day," I tell him. "We all regard you as a god."                     "You know what we call you? Bitch Spice, Butch Spice, Slut Spice, and Stupid Spice." Marchetta deals with Francesca's development beautifully. At first, I thought Francesca judged a friend of hers for having sex because she was known as the school slut. Then, I changed my mind. There was a development that curbed her original opinion. It was done subtly, but it was there. I never felt that it was slut shaming, but that it was unclear as to whether it was slut shaming. I came to the opinion, that Francesca may have originally been judgmental about her friends decision to be rash and irresponsible in her sex life. Francesca improved her thoughts that it wasn't her place to judge someone based on whether they had sex with someone they didn't know.Full of Buffy, Bill &Ted's Excellent Adventure, and Taxi Driver references among many others, this is the type of novel you should be ashamed you haven't read.

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 Siobham'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. After reading Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta I’m convinced that this author can write a 500 page book about the different brands of toilet paper and I’d be glued to every page and every single word she has to share. I love this author’s writing, and I’m going to make it a point to read a couple more of her books before the year is out, including The Piper's Son and On the Jellicoe Road. Marchetta is a master of her craft and I’m enchanted by her skill and ability to draw the reader into her story and make them want to travel with her characters and feel every emotion they are experiencing. Saving Francesca is a poignant, character driven story filled with humor and heartfelt moments that kept me turning the pages until I reluctantly stumbled upon the conclusion. What a beautiful novel that will stay on my mind because I became attached to the characters immediately upon meeting them.This is more than a story about St. Sebastian’s boy’s academy becoming coed and Francesca and several other girls having the misfortune of trying to infuse themselves in the school. This book deals with depression, family issues, social pressures and a girl’s attempt to find the strength to keep her family together and her life in tact. It’s about love, friendship and finding the will to continue when everything around you makes you just want to curl up and hide from the world. I loved it and I’ll be reading Francesca’s story over and over again.There were moments I laughed out loud, giggled like a goof and other times my eyes got misty and my heart felt a tug. When a story pulls me in so many emotional directions, but leaves me with a sense of hope, I know something was done right. I loved this book and I hope others will give it a try and get to know Francesca and walk in her shoes. Great book that shouldn’t be missed. Favorite QuotesI can't believe I said it out loud. The truth doesn't set you free, you know. It makes you feel awkward and embarrassed and defenseless and red in the face and horrified and petrified and vulnerable. But free? I don't feel free. I feel like shit.I came, I mucked around. Thus I did not learn.Do something that scares you everyday.Ten years from now…Will you have played your part?Will you have carved your mark?What are you thinking?I’m thinking a lot of things, but they will require too much honesty and I don’t think I can take that at the moment.I was born seventeen years ago. Do you think people have noticed that I’m around? Francesca said. Will replies, I notice when you’re not. Does that count?Did he just insult me? Francesca asks Justine. Yes, but the tragedy is that he thinks he’s paying you a compliment.You go shake your foundations, Will. I think it's about time I saved myself.Favorite ScenesThomas, Jimmy, Justine, Francesca are on the bus and Tuba Guy Francois boards. Thomas makes things happen for Justine. I loved this guy!!! Francesca rids the cabin of evil spirits with her hip hopping and chanting but before she does, she stops Will from entering and tells him “Nonbelievers are barred” Why did that make me crack up???Thomas, Jimmy, Justine, Tara, Siohban wait for Francesca at her home as her dad drives out to Woy Woy to bring her back home. What an awesome group of friends.

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The people who know me around here, know that I have a hard time expressing my feelings about books I like. Well... No wait, I'm sorry, this is all wrong because I don't like this book. I love it. Every single word on every single page.This was the first time that I didn't want to finish a book because I had so much fun reading it. I felt really happy and really sad at the same time when I turned the last page.Many many thanks to all the Bookers who recommended this book to me. I'm sure I would never have read this if you guys hadn't told me about it. Thank you Olivia, for ordering it so I could take it home with me. I really appreciate your kindness.I'm really looking forward to reading The Piper's Son but I'm going to wait just a few days before I devour that book. Because I already know I won't be able to stop once I read the first page.

:::4 Stars:::*Wipes tears* This author gets me every time.Okay, twice. She got me twice. I’ve read two of her books. But that only means there’s more of her brilliance to enjoy...Oh, yeahhh Saving Francesca is a very touching and gentle read that centers not only on common themes such as family, friendship, and love—but thoroughly explores the heartaches of depression and the toll it can take on a family as a whole. I’ve read many books where the narrator/main protagonist suffers a mental disorder. We get close to the disease…so close we are able to physically feel its anxiety. But in this case, we're offered the perspective of a high school girl whose mother has fallen into the dark depths of this illness. And although we’re presented with a solid picture of all sides, the focus refreshingly lies on Francesca (as well as her father and younger brother) and how she finds herself through the cloud of her mother’s depression.Tragically enough, the results on all parties involved are quite similar… I want to go around the neighborhood saying, “We’re depressed.” If my mum can’t get out of bed in the morning, all of us feel the same. Her silence has become ours, and it’s eating us alive. Yes, most families will crash and burn together…but they can also rise together, stronger because they’ve faced such weaknesses. So Francesca may need some “saving”, but she’s not the only one. And I loved watching her character evolve and surpass the limitations she unknowingly places upon herself. Much of this story takes place at a new school, consisting of mostly boys, where Francesca is attending. She misses her “popular” friends and the fact that they were the ones who did most of her thinking for her. Francesca is a complex and memorable character. She pretends to be shy, but she’s not. It’s just easier to not have the spot light on her. However, the quirky friends she reluctantly makes at her new school may be exactly what she needs to bring her back to life. The “romance” in this book felt more like an insinuation: Gentle, slow-to-build, but very sweet and promising. However, this is not a romance novel.Melina Marchetta’s writing absolutely astounds me. It’s witty and profound, and glides with an effortless rhythm that made me stop and whisper “wow” a few times. The characters she creates are extremely unique. I found myself growing surprised by how life-like they felt. There were some scenes that felt too vague and other areas that may have been a teensy bit dragged out — which may work well for some, depending on your preference. As a whole, this book is a breathe of fresh air…a shaky breath at times, but quite satisfying and refreshing nonetheless! "What is this, Grand Central Station?" ♥ ;) Book Stats:▪  Genre/Category: Young Adult/Contemporary▪  Steam Caliber: Teenage kisses▪ Romance: Sweet and gentle▪  Characters: Well drawn out and lovable▪  Plot: A teenaged girl must figure how to live and find herself in the cloud of her mother’s depression. ▪ Writing: Simply beautiful. Poetic and witty. ▪ POV: 1st Person: Heroine▪  Cliffhanger: None. May be read as a standalone.▪  Next Installment: Secondary character spin off. (5 years later)▪  HEA? (view spoiler)[YES :) (hide spoiler)]
—Kristin (KC)

4.5 stars This is my first Melina Marchetta's book and probably won't be the last one. That alone makes you guess that I liked the book, add the four stars and the answers are given. I really enjoyed reading this book, I didn't fall in love with it nor did my feels go up and down, but its tenderness reached the deepest place in my heart.. This book is not about just a high school girl. It's about family. It's about friendship. It's about loss. It's about a fake world built up in order to never face the real world. It's about finding who you are and what you've lost long the way. It's about love. It's about experiences. It's about anger. It's about school life. It's...So many contemporary books deal with the same problematics but there is something special about Marchetta's way of doing it. Marchetta takes a big problem like depression and transforms it in so much more, not just a word that we are used to bringing up every now and then like something unreal... depression is a serious matter and I really appreciated this author's way of describing it.Unfortunately I don't have much time and I don't feel like postponing this review, so I'm just going to say the things that I loved most. I loved Francesca. I loved her way of seeing the world, in her denial mode. Once the anger was out and the truth unfolded she reveals her true self, and we discover that there is so much more to this shy/extravagant girl, and she doesn't disappoint us at all (Well how could she? She is so real). Like I said I loved her little messed up head. I loved her mother/daughter relationship. I loved seeing Mia from Francesca's eyes. Well I also appreciated all the other characters, most of all Thomas. I loved him! I was hoping for something different even though I knew how things were going to end up ... but that still didn't stop me from dreaming. I like to dream a little when I read even if the ending won't turn out to be the way I wanted it. That's something I actually love about books... they make you dream, they give you all the information in order to figure out the ending and at times hope for a different ending, and when the last page arrives they still surprise you. This is the first book in which the love story didn't really get me. I was falling in love with Francesca's world, with her bizarre italian life (there were sooooo many things that only italians can understand...) that made me laugh and smile so many times, that I didn't really care about Will. I just wanted her to be happy. ^^ Great book!!! Hope to read Tom's POV as soon as possible!P.S. I was listening to Radiohead's Creep and well I couldn't stop myself from connecting the song to Francesca and Mia's relationship.

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