Saving Francesca
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Saving Francesca

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  16,918 ratings  ·  1,852 reviews
A compelling story of romance, family, and friendship with humor and heart, perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Lauren Myracle.

Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastian’s, a boys' school that 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...more
Paperback, 243 pages
Published May 9th 2006 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published March 31st 2003)
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On the Jellicoe Road by Melina MarchettaThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakSaving Francesca by Melina MarchettaGraffiti Moon by Cath CrowleyTomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden
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3rd out of 239 books — 740 voters
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3rd out of 11,554 books — 11,326 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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"i was born seventeen years ago," i tell him. "do you think people have noticed that i'm around?"

"i notice when you're not. does that count?"

seriously - that is barf-in-your-mouth sweet (in a good way) and part of why i love this marchetta gal. she writes boys you wish you had dated when you were sixteen. not now - now i would see through a line like that in a heartbeat, but at sixteen? hook line and sinker, man. put the apple schnapps away,boy, you will not be needing it tonight.

(full disclosur...more
Kat Kennedy
There is this cute, bouncing red tomato bopping around GoodReads singing the praises of Melina Marchetta.

I'll admit that I ignored the Tomato because my therapist said that it wasn't normal for fruit to recommend books to people. I accepted this advice because I'd already read Marchetta's Looking for Alibrandi and I hadn't enjoyed it.

I couldn't understand people's fascination with it, actually. Nobody in my class at school liked Looking for Alibrandi and I thought for awhile that maybe it was be...more
Aug 16, 2012 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of realistic YA fiction
As seen on The Readventurer

Updated 8/16/12
So, two years later after my original reading of Saving Francesca and I am removing a star. I've been claiming for a long time that this novel was my favorite by Marchetta, but it's not true any more. Let's see where my rereading of the entire Marchetta catalog leads me, however at this point I am certain I now prefer her fantasies. Truly, her later novels are simply better.

Original review

Within just a few days (and books) Melina Marchetta has become on...more
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 t...more
4.5 stars

Melina Marchetta writes like a god, there’s no denying it. Having read both On the Jellicoe Road and Finnikin of the Rock, I knew with near certainty that Saving Francesca would be just as spectacular as those books. How does she do it? I have never been so in awe of a writer’s writing before, but Melina Marchetta does not disappoint. Every single time I read something by her, I find myself sinking into each page, becoming lost among her poignant, humorous, and unequivocally real senten...more
Aaaand Tatiana scores again!

I've read every book ever written by Sarah Dessen. I've read Elizabeth Chandler. And Kate Brian. And Melissa Kantor. And Lauren Barnholdt. And practically every other YA author out there. SO when I began reading Saving Francesca, I was slightly dismissive. For the first hundred pages or so, I continued dismissive. It's not like I haven't heard the story before. New girl in school, out of place, dysfunctional family, misunderstood, etc, etc. Don't get me wrong, I love...more
The Holy Terror
This book made me remember why I tend to only read fantasy: everyday life is just so ... tedious. I realize that I am in a very tiny minority when it comes to disliking this book, and it always makes me feel like I'm missing something when I don't like a book or series lauded as incredible. I have to wonder if perhaps this type of book just isn't for me though, and that because of the way I grew up and the environment I was raised in I just won't ever be able to relate to something like this.

Emily May
Apr 08, 2011 Emily May rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Emily May by: Tatiana

Between the beautiful Edward Cullens and the sexy Salvatore brothers of today's young adult literature, it's easy to see why teenage girls think they're doing something wrong when all they get is Rob with the mullet who likes to fart and swear in the classroom. That's what I like so much about this book... it's not a story of beautiful, unrealistic people or the abnormally brave and self-sacrificing. This is the most honest depiction of school, boys and family for a teenager that I have ever rea...more
Thank you, Tommy! VD forever!!! ;)

I think I used to pursue only fantasy books because I thought I had to read about magic in order to have those magical transporting feelings, you might know the ones, like when Mathilda knocks over the glass with her mind and in the end stays with Miss Honey; like when Bran desperately reaches out with the crystal sword to cut the first blooming spray from the Midsummer tree; or how about when Amberle looks back at Wil and as he screams she reaches out to the El...more
This review is headed down memory lane. Consider yourself warned.

In chemistry class during my senior year of high school, I learned my trio of guy friends had a code name for me, which was…wait for it…The Cheese. I certainly mulled over that discovery for days. I suppose I should have been flattered (and maybe worried) that they talked about me enough to warrant a nickname. Yet I was primarily concerned with their choice. Why, oh why, did it have to be The Cheese? Do I eat my string cheese too c...more
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...more
How does she do it?

How does she write a story so beautiful and captivating that it makes me want to crawl inside the book and hug all the characters and tell them how much I adore them?

How does she wrap topics like friendship, family, love and coming of age into one amazing story that leaves me grinning like a dork, puts warmth in my heart and tears in my eyes?

How does Melina Marchetta do it? Can you tell me?

This seems to become a habit with her books. Just like when I started reading Jellicoe R...more
This book tells the story of Francesca, an Australian girl who is one of a small number of girls enrolled at a formerly all-boys school. I didn't know too much about the book going into it so I thought it was going to be a fun jaunt into Australian high school life and basically fluff. I was so far off base it is laughable. Contrary to the idea you get from the cover art,this book deals with serious issues, namely Francesca's transition into the school while her mother is suffering from debilita...more
Oh, little book! Sweet, painful, truehearted little book.

I concluded in my review of The Boyfriend List that regular high school shenanigans young adult bores me without zombies or faeries or whatever. I retract that. I submit instead that high school shenanigans bore me (hang on, this really is a different argument).

See, okay, it’s not like I didn’t have high school shenanigans. I went to the dances, I had a crush on my best friend’s boyfriend, I drank wine out of a box and threw up in someone...more
Aly (Fantasy4eva)
RATED: 4.5

“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.”

i wasn't fair to this book the first time i read it. i see that now. at the time i read jellicoe road and i had such high expect...more
Maggie Stiefvater
This book came highly recommended and I have to admit I put off getting it from my library for quite awhile because I prefer stories where there are a) supernatural creatures ravaging a town, b) dead bodies and angst, or c) any combination of a & b. SAVING FRANCESCA, of course, has neither. But it turned out that it didn't matter. The winning characters in this novel, the story of Francesca, one of a handful of girls at a previously all-boys school, carry the novel all on their own, no dead...more
Right at the moment, I don’t have a lot of time to read. Mostly only on my daily train trip to and from uni. I loathe this train trip. It takes away almost three hours of my time. Right now, if it’s late, it means getting into contact with lots of drunken people (because of this). I hate openly drunken people who try to convince me to talk to them. They scare me a little. But Francesca made me appreciate my train time more. I was almost sad to get off because that mostly meant that my time with...more
Tessa Gratton
I have a theory that there are three kinds of books in the word, based on my reactions to them:

- I could write better than that when I was 15!

- I can do that!

- I'll never be able to write that well!

There are variations within each category of course. In the "I can do that!" there is the occasional, "But I don't *want* to do that!" or "I'd have to work hard at it, though."

With the last category sometimes I dreamily add, "Maybe in ten years I could consider trying."

SAVING FRANCESCA is one of these...more
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
I had NO clue what I was getting into when I ordered this book. I ordered it just because of the high ratings and great reviews. I LOVED this book. Therefore, I must say THANK YOU to my GR friends!

This is not a lengthy book. However, there is NOTHING missing from the book. It is beautifully written. At some point in the book, I knew I was falling for the characters. I got that goofy smile on my face. The one that no one can see but you can't help smiling anyways. By the time the book was over, I...more
Oct 10, 2011 Sparrow rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sparrow by: all the ladies
I guess I have mixed feelings about Saving Francesca. I like the friends, and I like the way Marchetta tells the friends. I like the way she talks about camp because that felt real, and there was one moment in the book where I thought, “Ahh, truth.” But, I thought Francesca was mostly annoying. She pushed a lot of the buttons that were permanently welded to my framework in high school. They are mostly rusted over and useless buttons at this point, so I wasn’t really bitter at Francesca, but she...more
I’m not even going to pretend that this review is going to have much coherency or critical value – I’ll just be upfront here and admit that it will be more of a gush than a review.

Melina Marchetta’s books were amongst my first encounters with young adult fiction, “Looking For Alibrandi” being intrinsic to Australian high school English curricula. I read ‘Saving Francesca’ when I was a couple of years out of high school, and I distinctly recall how much this book spoke to me and my teenage exper...more
I've just finished re-reading "Saving Francesca". I've wanted to do so for a long time, but since my wonderful friend Nic has presented me with a copy of The Piper's Son, which is a kind of follow-up some years later, lately, it was the perfect occasion to set the plan into action.

I am so much in love with this book. I am as enchanted with the style and the whole gang of unusual friends as I was when I first read it. The Spinelli Family, Will Trombal, Justine Kalinsky, Tara Finke, Siobhan Sulli...more
Jillian -always aspiring-
Words cannot express how much I loved this book.

Melina Marchetta, most well-known for her Printz award-winning novel Jellicoe Road, somehow knows how to balance all the elements -- whether humorous, dramatic, or simply heartfelt -- in her novels and just make everything seem so right, so effortless, so powerful.

I started reading this book mainly because I couldn't sleep -- and then I found that I could not put it down. It seemed such an injustice to leave the book half-read for any amount of tim...more
Shayantani Das
How is it, that I am capable of empathizing with war victims, citizens from dystopian worlds, religious Jews, animated characters, speaking tress, even Serial Killers! (Dexter dearest); but when it’s non-Indian teenagers and their issues, my mind stops empathizing and starts judging. This book deserves at least 4 stars, and Melinda Marchetta is a fabulous author; still, I can not for the life of me, stop scoffing, and start crying about Francesca’s fate.

ps: Will is a massive eyesore in the book....more
Morgan F
It takes a very special book that makes me want to hide all the characters in my closet. That's where I keep all my dinosaurs, so you know its good.

A quick, fun, truthful, funny read.

But somehow, Ms. Marchetta finds a way to describe them anyway.
Melina, Melina, Melina. The World is your oyster and words are your domain.

If there was a place called The land of brilliant YA fiction, Melina Marchetta would have a paramount title and an absolute ownership of that place....all in all the girl sure knows how to dazzle you with words.

Saving Francesca is real and sarcastic and fearful and hopeful and simply brilliant.
I wish that teens and young adults out there would read this book, because in the turbulent sea of the third rate intellectually...more
Apr 19, 2011 Lora rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who's still waiting to read it.
Recommended to Lora by: Basically everyone
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

Saving Francesca tells the story of a girl named Francesca Spinelli. Francesca's life is semi-perfect until she's sent to St. Sebastian's, an all-boys school recently turned co-ed, and her mother slips into the abyss of depression for reasons unknown to Francesca. This is a story about family, friends, loves, and, most of all, hope.

It's safe to say that I'm one of the very few people left to read this. Almost all of my GR friends, and, frankly, a lot of my "real life" fri...more
4.5 stars.

"I want to be an adjective again.
But I’m a noun.
A nothing. A nobody. A no one."

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
Gorgeous. The perfect ending.

High Point.
Melina Marchetta- if you’ve read anything she’s written you’ll understand. Australia. Close family. Ethnicity. The power of girls vs Ridiculous boys. Finding your own way. Mental illness, this subject is a really important one for me and I really respect authors who write about this ‘taboo’ with honesty and understanding.

Low Point.
I have...more
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Melina Marchetta was born in Sydney Australia. Her first novel, Looking For Alibrandi was awarded the Children's Book Council of Australia award in 1993 and her second novel, Saving Francesca won the same award in 2004. Looking For Alibrandi was made into a major film in 2000 and won the Australian Film Institute Award for best Film and best adapted screen play, also written by the author. On the...more
More about Melina Marchetta...
On the Jellicoe Road Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, #1) Looking for Alibrandi Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles, #2) The Piper's Son

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“I 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.” 809 likes
“Comfort zones are overrated. They make you lazy.” 367 likes
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