Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on May 9th 2006
Genres: Young Adult
Format: Kindle Edition
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 perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can't seem to stop thinking about.
Then there's Francesca's mother, who always thinks she knows what's best for Francesca—until she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, alone, and without an inkling of who she really is. Simultaneously humorous, poignant, and impossible to put down, this is the story of a girl who must summon the strength to save her family, her social life and—hardest of all—herself.
A compelling story of romance, family, and friendship with humor and heart, perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Lauren Myracle.
I do a monthly buddy reading with two of my Instagram buddies Aria and Melissa. We choose a monthly book based on the color of the rainbow. This month our color was orange and our book of the month was Saving Francesca.
When I first saw the title I was left wondering what would Francesca need saving from?
Francesca is our main character (obviously). She’s in year eleven at St. Sebastian’s an all boy school that just recently opened its doors to girls. She hates school because her friends attend another school leaving her alone at St. Sebastian’s with girls she hardly spoke to because she’d become a social outcast if she did.
When we first meet Francesca we find out something is wrong with her mom. Her mom is upbeat, wants Francesca to be true to herself instead of her following the crowd. Her mom rarely relaxes nor does she take a break…then one day she just won’t get our of bed and life as Francesca knows it no longer exists. She has no idea what is going on and no one will explain. Her father tries to help but he’s struggling with things too.
I won’t lie there were times I wanted to put the book down because I hated Francesca. She literally only cared about herself and I hated her so much. But she evolves she starts speaking her mind, finding herself, and making friends – real friends. Deep down she’s confused because she doesn’t know why her mom won’t get out of bed and isn’t herself. She doesn’t want to tell anyone in fear they’ll make fun of her like her old friends from school would have. Instead her friends Tara, Justine, Siobhan, Thomas, and Jimmy are non-judgmental and help her through the worst times. Then there’s will who she has a crush on, he has a crush on her but it’s complicated. TEENAGE BOYS of course.
The book shows depression does not only affect just the person but those around them. I personally don’t know what I would have done if I was in the same position as Francesca, I probably would’ve snapped. It was so good to see evolve throughout the book she went from self-centered and caring what others thought to a young lady who cared about others and shared what bothered her. There were times when the book made me angry, for instance Francesca’s family not explain to her nor her brother what is happening with their mother. Her dad picking and choosing when Francesca was old enough to handle stuff for example she was old enough to call the university her mom worked at and explain she wouldn’t be returning due to her mental breakdown but when she asked questions about her mother’s health she was a child who wouldn’t understand. Then I would laugh or catch myself smiling at my kindle because some of the situations were funny.
“That’s not true. Because teenage girls who steal boyfriends today will be stealing husbands in ten years time. I’m a home wrecker in training!”
Then there were times, my heart would break:
“Tutto a posto; everything in its place. But my family is split into three and no one is in their place.”
Despite the rocky star to the book, I loved seeing the character development. I really loved how the story focused on the family issues instead of the romance. The romance was a very small part of the story but the whole idea of the story was dealing with the family issues. It showed how by not talking about them could hurt you much more then talking about them. Overall, I would recommend this book.