I'm not sure exactly what to say about this... I really liked it, a lot more than I did Jellicoe Road, and I enjoyed Francesca as the main character, but though parts of it were, I'm still not settled on it being a four star read. Until the last of it, I was thinking this might be more 3.5 star than 4, but then I really liked the ending. I will try to sort this out and come back later.
I've decided that for me, this was a 3.5 star book, and even though the very end of it was four stars, I don't think I liked this "enough" to bump it up to four stars. Francesca is a great main character and fairly relatable, and I enjoyed reading about the friendships she developed - particularly with the girls, less so with the boys. I was intrigued by her relationship with Will, but not really into the way it played out at the end. I also definitely appreciated the way her mother's depression was handled, but I was not particularly into the extended family dynamics with the aunts/grandparents. At times, this felt quiet and very busy all at once. Which I guess can be fairly true to life.
I did like this, but the more I hear other people talking about it, the more I feel like I didn't like this the way everyone else did. I'm still waiting for one of Marchetta's books to reach me the way they reach everyone else.