Monday, January 27, 2014

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Title: Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Plot: 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 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.

Overview: I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Before I get in depth about what aspects I liked, I want to say that this is definitely a novel that I would recommend. Standing at 243 pages, this is a very easy-to-get through read.

What I liked: This book surrounds the topic of depression and dealing with someone very close to you going through a mental illness-that said, Marchetta executed it very well. Francesca's thoughts and struggles with her mother's depression came off as very realistic and not overdone.

The family actually had an actual personality and a significant role; many YA books have parents come off as nonexistent or bland, which this book definitely avoided. The characters were all incredibly relatable and had very obvious flaws. Every one of them had distinct voices and strong opinions. Even if you may be cringing at the some of them in the beginning, they soon become your second family.

One of my favorite aspects of this book is definitely the dialogue. It was incredibly comical to hear the characters banter and retort at one another (plus some of the comebacks were really witty). Francesca and her friends definitely know their way around words.

Another thing I really liked about Saving Francesca was the pacing. Throughout most of this book, I was very engaged and rarely bored. The plot moves by very smoothly and keeps you entertained through the entire journey.

The final point I wanted to say was that the romance was very "cute." I do not use this word lightly, but this book did have a few lovey-dovey lines that made my heart slightly melt.

What I didn't like: The romance moved too quickly. It lacked that development that it needed for me to really feel satisfied for when Francesca and her love interest actually got together. I'm half-unsure if this is a solid dislike, but I have mixed feelings about it.

What keeps me from giving this book 5/5 stars is a bang factor. This novel does not stand out very much amongst the other books I've read. Although there are definitely some good moments in there, I probably won't be thinking about it much past next week. Good? Yes. But phenomenal? Not really.