Arlene's Reviews > Saving Francesca

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
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Oct 12, 11

bookshelves: favorites, read-2010, ya-contemporary, aussie-books, young-adult
Read from November 13 to 14, 2010

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 Quotes
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.

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 Scenes
Thomas, 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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Reading Progress

11/13/2010 page 155
64.0% "Love it so far." 1 comment

Comments (showing 1-35 of 35) (35 new)

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oliviasbooks Ohhh. I wish you some perfect reading hours.

message 2: by Nic (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nic Give Thomas Mackee a big kiss from me :) Happy reading!

Alexa Enjoy! ;D

Arlene Thanks Bookers. XD This is such a great book. Almost done with it.

message 5: by Nic (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nic Great review Arlene. I loved that scene too where the gang is on the bus with Tuba guy. And Thomas Mackee I just love him. Wait until you read The Piper's Son, it is just as good.

Arlene Thanks Nic That was so awesome of Thomas and what he did for Justine. He's adorable. I can't wait to read Piper. It's waiting for me at the post office courtesy of Albie!! Squee!! I'm picking it up this week. *cheesy grin* !

message 7: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim I'm ordering every book this woman wrote on my next book hunt.

oliviasbooks Good choice Kim. Sadly there are only five (and a picture book?) yet.

message 9: by Albie46 (new)

Albie46 Arlene wrote: "Thanks Nic That was so awesome of Thomas and what he did for Justine. He's adorable. I can't wait to read Piper. It's waiting for me at the post office courtesy of Albie!! Squee!! I'm picking it up..."

Ooooh, you're getting it this week?? HOpe you enjoy the book! Let me know what you think.
I"m so far behind in books at the mo (end of year stuff!) that I think I"m going to take all the Marchetta books on holiday with me in December!

Janina Hach, your review makes me want to re-read this book ... I really have to buy it.

Jessica Wow, what an awesome review Arlene! Loved it!
I agree with Kim, I'm going to order all of her books now. Including the picture book.

~Tina~ Loved this Arlene! I read this book so long ago I forgot so much of it. I need to pick this up again:)

Alexa So glad you liked Arlene! :D But I'm not surprised 'cuz it's Melina Marchetta. ;) hehe

Arlene @ Kim. Marchetta is a literary god. I love her writing. I hope you enjoy her book.

@ Albie. I missed the postman on Saturday!! I was out traipsing around and when I got home he left me a note saying I had a parcel from NZ that I needed to sign for and not I have to go to the post office. Don't worry Piper! I'm coming to get you! I can feel the book! It's in my town and I can't pick it up till after work. Torture!! Thank you so much for sending it. :)

@ Janina and Tina. Re-read it!! Yes, good idea. :)

@ Jess. Thankies! I hope you enjoy her books.

@ Alexa. Thanks for your rec. I've been snooping in your shelves to see what else I should pick up. You haven't steared me wrong yet. :)

message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Well, between you comments and the quotes, I'm definitely adding this one to my TBR pile.
I wasn't convinced by the "Girl in an all-boys school" argument, but if it's that engaging, and has half the content you impute, it deserves the attention. Most of all, if the novel is written as delightfully as the excerpts you added, it'll be a marvel. I haven't even become invested in the characters, and the opening quote still touched me deeply.
Thanks for this review. You've peaked my interest.

Arlene Wow Taly, thank you so much! It really makes me happy when I come across someone willing to read a book I adore and hopefuly experience the same emotions I felt when going through the journey.

As an update, I've finished every single book Melina Marchetta has published to date including her children's story The Gorgon in the Gully, and I have loved.loved.loved every single books she's produced.

I hope you get the chance to read Saving Francesca and decide to move on to the second book along that story line called The Piper's Son. They are amazing IMHO. And please let me know what you thought of them. :)

Sunny Why just one star to this book?

Arlene Wow! Thanks for the catch! This was five stars for me. Don't know what happened. :/

message 19: by Liz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Liz Awesome...5 stars...yay! I have this sitting on my coffee's next :D

Arlene I hope you enjoy it. After this one you have to read Piper's Son. Loved it too and it includes the characters from this book. Enjoy!!

message 21: by Liz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Liz Oh I am too excited Arlene! I have that one from the lib too! Guess I got my weekend all planned out :O

♥Rachel♥ Great review Arlene! I have this one at home. It's part of my Aussie reading challenge book list. Did you like is as much as Jellicoe Road? I loved that book!!

Arlene @ Liz. Oh I wish I were reading these for the first time. Have fun and hug Thomas Mackee for me!! :D

@ Rachel. That is a tough question! :) I Jellicoe Road. My absolute favorite of Marchetta. However Saving Francesca is brilliant in its own right. So I have to say JR is my fave and the best of Marchetta's works, but this book is crush-worthy in so many ways. So really, you can't go wrong with Melina. XD

♥Rachel♥ Thanks! Good to know! I don't have Piper's Son yet but if it has characters from this book, I'll have to get that one as well! So many books, so little time!

message 25: by Amber (new) - added it

Amber I need to read this!

Arlene @ Rachel. You're welcome. Yes, Piper's Son is a beautiful sequel to this story. It's narrated by Thomas and Georgie who really bring their story to life. I know, right? I wish I had more time to read. :)

@ Amber. You do!! Such a great story that you shouldn't miss. :)

message 27: by Amber (new) - added it

Amber I really want to read all of her books. That's a personal goal I am setting lol. I still need to order the kids book she wrote. Great review by the way. :)

Arlene Amber I have all of them if you need to borrow them. I need to send the kid one (Gorgon) to Flannery. Sending all my parcels out this week. If you want to borrow it after that, just let me or Flann know.

message 29: by Amber (new) - added it

Amber Aw...thanks Arlene :) I'll let you know ASAP

message 30: by Liz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Liz Arlene...your review was bang on! I started this book last nt and just finished. It just got better with every page! I loved all these characters so much...I want to hang out with them! What a fun book with some very touching moments. My fav has to be when her mom comes to pick her up at eyes welled up! So touching. I am reading the Piper's Son next :D

Oh and that scene on the bus with tuba guy...too funny!

Arlene Liz wrote: "Arlene...your review was bang on! I started this book last nt and just finished. It just got better with every page! I loved all these characters so much...I want to hang out with them! What a ..."

Wow am I late to the party on this post or what?? I am so sorry I missed this Liz.

I hope you enjoyed Piper's Son. It was the perfect sequel to this book and I loved both.

Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughs and again so sorry I missed your post. :(

message 32: by Nadine (new) - added it

Nadine Whoop Whoop! Thank you darling! Without reading ur review i would have never come to the idea that i have to read this book. But now i will for sure!

Arlene Oh Nadine, this is such a great book. You're in for a treat. :D Enjoy!!

Michael Justine Yes! We both gave this one 5 stars Arlene!! This is my first marchetta book and I will certainly get my hands on all of her books.

Arlene Michael Justine wrote: "Yes! We both gave this one 5 stars Arlene!! This is my first marchetta book and I will certainly get my hands on all of her books."

I love Melina Marchetta! She's one of my fave YA writers. I've read all of her books and can't get enough.

Glad you loved it too Michael. :)

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