Monday, October 26, 2015

Book Review: "Saving Francesca" by Melina Marchetta

Sixteen year old Francesca's life is being turned upside down in nearly every way possible.  First of all, she and a handful of girls are the very first girls to attend St. Sebastian's school....  and neither the boys or the staff are all too thrilled with this change in the student population.  But for Francesca this is doubly hard because pretty much all of her friends from her previous school are attending a different school - together.  Then Francesca's mother is no longer able to leave her room.  She enters a major depression which affects everyone in the house.  Francesca feels like she's drowning in her own uncertainty...  but who will save her?

I remember this book getting a little buzz when it first came out, but it slipped off my radar before I read it.  Now, it is the November book for the teen book group at the library and since our teen librarian will be away at a conference - I get to lead the group this month!  I'm so excited because this group is what I miss most about being the teen librarian.  Granted, a good many of the members graduated last year - but I'm looking forward to meeting the newest members.

So, right, the book.  It is a little older now, and a little dated.  I am going to hope (and pray) that teens today will still get the Buffy mentions, but I'm not so sure about Alanis.  This is also set in Australia, so I hope that the local dialect and cultural references will still hold up as well.  The heart of the story is timeless though.  A girl thrust into an unknown world, with her comfort zone stripped away and needing to stand up for herself.  She needs to figure herself out anyway, figure out what makes her happy.  She finds herself in the rag tag group of friends whom I really enjoyed.  They were all so different!  Some bordered on cliche, but the dialogue was excellent and funny and thoughtful. I hope the teens liked it too!

*****
Saving Francesca
by Melina Marchetta
Knopf, 2003
243 pages
Source:  Library
*****

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