I took a brief detour back to one of my favourite books as a teenager. Saving Francesa is definitely a book all Australian young adult readers should experience. If you haven’t read it or Looking For Alibrandi or On The Jelicoe Road, read them. Read them all. Each and everyone of those books are heartwarming beautiful books that will stay with you long after you finish the pages. But lets concentrate, Saving Francesca is the story of, you guessed it, Francesca. She has just started year 11 at Saint Sebastians, a boys school that has just started opening it’s doors to female students. She is separated from her friends, who attend another school and has navigate a new social situation while always butting heads with her exuberant wrong-willed mother. That is until her mother disappears into her bedroom and won’t come out. Francesca is left to pick up their pieces with her father, brother and extended family.
This book is definitely my favourite over the more popular Looking For Alibrandi, which was also made into a movie. The main character is flawed, of course, but I find Francesa’s flaws much more relatable to the average teenager over Josie’s. The themes of growing up and finding where you fit in are all too common in everyone’s life as a teenager and Marchetti has a knack for writing about them, clearly experience from her teaching days. The whole range of supporting characters are vivid, unique and I dare you not to fall in love with them just like Francesca does. I could introduce someone them but there are too many favourites to choose from. Instead, go meet them yourself.
This book is a short and easy read. I completed it in only a couple of hours (Probably because I already know it inside out) but it is incredibly easy to read and flows really well. I can’t recommend it enough for young adult readers who love a little angst. Definitely pick it up. I give Saving Francesca four music notes for all of her love for musicals.