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Saving Francesca

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  28,098 Ratings  ·  2,854 Reviews
There is an alternate cover edition for this ISBN13 here.

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 better, from Thomas, who specializes in musical burping, to Will, the perpet
Paperback, 243 pages
Published May 9th 2006 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published March 31st 2003)
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Josh It's written just as well as Jellicoe Road (both with honest, accessible 1st person narration), but as Hafsa said, they are different. Jellicoe Road…moreIt's written just as well as Jellicoe Road (both with honest, accessible 1st person narration), but as Hafsa said, they are different. Jellicoe Road had more of a magical impressionism (is that a thing?) feel that elevated it in my head. Saving Francesca has the same reality-based characters and sensibility, but more grounded in the day to day experience of the character in school & family (a little more typical YAF in that sense) thise sense, it makes sense that it was Ms. Marchetta's 2nd book. Anyways - my 2 cents.(less)
Sue D. Niem I think it's totally fine for all ages, though teenage girls will probably appreciate it the most. Romance-wise, the farthest it gets is some kissing.…moreI think it's totally fine for all ages, though teenage girls will probably appreciate it the most. Romance-wise, the farthest it gets is some kissing. There is some swearing and boys referring to girl's "tits." I'd say 13 and up. (I'm 13 myself) (less)

Community Reviews

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Rating details
Sort: Default
May 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dbr, why-yes-i-ya
"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
Lola  Reviewer
For the first time in I don’t know how long, I got exactly what I expected from a book. For the first time, I find myself thinking that this book has a very, very accurate blurb.

Except for the last part, where it says that this is a ‘‘compelling story of romance,’’ because, although the romance is a big part of the story indeed, it isn’t entirely charming or swoon-worthy, but that’s definitely something subjective.

This is my first read of 2017, so yay to that. I’ve started close to eleven books
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
Jun 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of realistic YA fiction
Shelves: ya, 2010, favorites, aus-nz, 2012, 2016
Updated 6/29/2016
Nobody writes friendships and dialogue quite like Melina Marchetta.
Weird attitude towards anti-depressants though.

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 n
Emily May
Feb 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Kristin (KC)
May 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
:::4 Stars:::

*Wipes tears* This author gets me every time.

Okay, twice. She got me twice. I’ve read two of her books. But that only means there’s more of her brilliance to enjoy...
Oh, yeahhh

Saving Francesca is a very touching and gentle read that centers not only on common themes such as family, friendship, and love—but thoroughly explores the heartaches of depression and the toll it can take on a family as a whole.

I’ve read many books where the narrator/main protagonist suffers a mental disor
Chantal  (Every Word A Doorway)
4.5 stars

Just ask how I'm feeling, I want to say. Just ask and I may tell you.
But no one does.

Chantal read a YA contemporary? And she liked it?? *shocked face*

Melina Marchetta has become my queen of contemporary. First On the Jellicoe Road and now Saving Francesca. The woman can do no wrong. I still can’t fathom how she managed to make me this in love with characters in less than 250 pages. On the Jellicoe Road has a significantly higher rating on GR compared to Saving Francesca and I can see
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
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE)

My thoughts after reread : My WHAT? My THOUGHTS? Are you kidding me? Do I look like I'm able to think?

Francesca. Tara. Will. Jimmy. Luca. Mia. Bob the builder. Tom. You ruined me for life, you know that?

Dysfunctional. Hysterical. Bastards.
Endearing. Unforgettable. Real.

I didn't know anything about how fantastic realistic fiction could be before meeting these characters a year ago.

Saving Francesca is so... clever - nothing feels forced, and it becomes magical when I feel as if everything
Simona Bartolotta
"Why did I feel so grateful that people treated me well?"

Sometimes you stumble upon a story that is just too much like yourself.
This story is too much like myself.
That is why I don't know if I will ever write a review. I hope I will, but right now doing it would feel like carving the heart out of my chest.

'Am I making sense?'
'Weirdly enough, yes.'

While I struggle with myself, please, please, please. Go read this book.


Okay, so I had a few hours to get my act together and, while I am still so v
Maggie Stiefvater
Oct 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Vinaya by: Tatiana
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
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.

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
4 Stars!!

Melina Marchetta is a new author for me so I didn’t know what to expect reading this novel. I haven’t read many YA novels, but I can say “Saving Francesca” was very different from all the YA I’ve read so far. “Saving Francesca” is a moving story about family, friendship, love, growing-up, finding yourself and also about depression. The story is told entirely from Francesca’s POV, our 16 years old heroine, a girl who’s struggling with her ‘new reality’.

She’s one of the new 30 girls at S
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
Sep 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Because I just want to wrap this book up and frame it.

The thing with living in a country that's become rather Americanised is that you often forget the talent that's right under your nose. Like Marchetta. I remember reading 2 other books of hers back when I was young but despite it ironically being my most impressionable years, I was rather underwhelmed. Perhaps I just stared at words a
Jun 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
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
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
Nov 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Maureen, Cassi
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
Nina (Every Word A Doorway)
Saving Francesca was one of my favourite contemporaries growing up.

“Do something that scares you everyday.”

Marchetta's wonderfully written Saving Francesca offers a realistic, touching, and sensitive take on:

… what it’s like to have a mentally ill parent. Living and growing up with a mentally ill parent is hard, especially when you’re a teenager struggling with the obstacles of adolescence (ha, don’t we all miss those). Saving Francesca is an accurate portrayal of how a parent battling depre
Mar 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I loved the way that there were always people there caring for Francesca, friends, teachers and family, even when she did not always realise it. This is how real life goes. Teachers are not always evil, grown ups are not always enemies. Melina Marchetta writes a realistic story of a real teenager's life so different from many YA books. I enjoyed so many of the characters in this book and the tissues needed to be handy on several occasions. I am not surprised that this author w ...more
crni biser
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Već odavno se vrtim oko ove knjige i konačno je pre neki dan došla na red.Kad sam je sinoć završila, pomislila sam: "Gde si ti bila ceo moj život?Kako te ranije nisam otkrila?"
Fantastična knjiga bez da iko umire,bez da te tera na depresiju.

Glavni ženski lik Frančeska Spineli je fenomenalno odrađena. Šesnaestogodišnjakinja,koja bi trebala da uživa u životu,suočava se sa porodičnim problemima,novom školom,novom sredinom,nailazi na nerazumevanje i neprihvatanje.

Njen dan je uvek započinjao uz motiv
Jan 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Sue (Hollywood News Source)
I want to thank all of my friends who incessantly pushed this book towards me.

Once upon a time I read Saving Francesca and I abandoned it. I had this impression that was completely different from what the story is truly all about. And I wasn't sure if I'm going to like that idea I built. Now I'm so glad I gave it another chance. I love the family love, friendship goals and the portrayal of depression.
Sarah (Starry Night Reader)
This was unexpectedly amazing!!
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
"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?"

How do I describe Saving Francesca best? Raw. Honest. Authentic. And an instant favorite for me.
I still can't believe how much I loved this book and THAT I WAITED SO LONG TO READ IT FOR FUCK'S SAKE. I absolutely adored Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta and planned to read everything she's written immediately. And then I waited more than a year. So, yes, it
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
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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...
“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.” 978 likes
“Comfort zones are overrated. They make you lazy.” 460 likes
More quotes…