Okay, so I now have a stack of four Melina Marchetta books loaned to me by a friend that I must read. :) Not so much a burden, but a lot from the same author. If I did these reviews another way I would scatter them out, but I review a book basically the day I finish it or the day after, so it's fresh in my mind but I've thought about it some. Anyways, on to the review...
Saving Francesca follows Francesca Spinelli during her 10th grade year of high school. For her entire life her mother has dictated all she does, but when her mom goes into a deep depression and can't even get out of bed Francesca doesn't know what to do with herself. She goes to a school that, up until that year, had been an all boy's school, her best friends go to another school and she's stuck with the rejects. At first Francesca flounders, unable to figure out what to do. But soon Francesca is able to make decisions for herself, and with this she gains real relationships with her friends, who hold her together at her lowest point.
So I'm, many times, not a big fan of modern-set books. I somehow prefer period books; I don't care which period, just not this one. BUT, I actually found Saving Francesca to be delightfully funny and a very good read. The modern setting did not distract me in the least. Rarely do I laugh out loud at a book, but several times I found myself doing so. While at times I found Francesca herself rather annoying, her friends were exactly the type of people I'd love to hang out with and I love how tight her family was.
Melina Marchetta's characters are ridiculously three dimensional.They have very distinct personalities and ways of speaking, never do you feel like what one character is saying could have been said by another character. Many times I come out of a book not remembering many character names, because they were just not very memorable. This is not the case. I can tell you the name, relationship, and personality of basically every character mentioned in the book. Making memorable and distinct characters is a talent many published and celebrated authors do not possess.
Risk a paper cut? Absolutely. No doubt about it.
Four out of five stars.
To buy: Amazon
Barnes & Noble