Skip to main content

Saving Francesca

Review

Saving Francesca

Francesca Spinelli goes to St. Sebastian’s, a former boys-only school that recently opened its doors to females. Unfortunately, none of Francesca’s friends from St. Stella’s, her old school, are going there. So she has to hang out with the Sebastian boys, Thomas Mackee and Will Trombal, and the "psycho girls" ---Tara Finke, Siobhan Sullivan and Justine Kalinsky. Francesca begs her parents to let her go to Pius, where all the other ex-Stella girls go, but this is to no avail.

One day, Francesca’s mother Mia won’t get out of bed. Francesca, her brother Luca, and her father aren’t sure what to do when she remains in bed day after day, suffering from acute depression. Francesca finds herself dealing with her problems without guidance from her once vivacious mother.

As Francesca finds unlikely friends in the Sebastian boys and "psycho girls," she learns more about herself and her mother. She and the new Sebastian girls stage protests and write petitions to the teachers asking for more girl-boy equality. She also finds an unlikely friend (or maybe more!) in the annoying Will Trombal.

The supporting cast is full of charm, and you’ll find members of your own high school in this group of fictional Australian students. Everyone knows Justine Kalinsky, the sweet but dorky accordionist who has a crush on a boy on her bus, known only as Tuba Boy. We’ve all met a Will Trombal, who seems to be a horrible cad until we really get to know him. All the characters are completely loveable and fun.

SAVING FRANCESCA is a great novel. Personally, I think it is better than Melina Marchetta’s first novel, LOOKING FOR ALIBRANDI. Filled with funny and rich characters, and just enough romance, SAVING FRANCESCA is a real winner.

   -

Reviewed by Hannah Gomez on October 18, 2011

Saving Francesca
by Melina Marchetta

  • Publication Date: September 28, 2004
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0375829822
  • ISBN-13: 9780375829826