My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I want to be an adjective again.
But I’m a noun.
A nothing. A nobody. A no one.
I have read Melina Marchetta’s On The Jellicoe Road and Finnikin of the Rock and I absolutely loved those two books. In fact, On The Jellicoe Road is one of the best young adult book for me. That is why I expected this book to blow me away like the two books I have mentioned. But then, all throughout Saving Francesca, I keep feeling like there is something missing.
Saving Francesca is obviously about Francesca, a girl whose mother insisted that she go to St. Sebastian’s which is actually a boy’s school that claims it’s coed. This makes her ‘stuck’ with people she’d never hang out with in her previous school. But that’s not really her problem. One day, her mother did not get out of bed. Suddenly, her lively mother does not even want to leave her own room. This book is more than just about a girl trying to survive high school, it’s about a girl trying to find the strength to handle her mother’s acute depression.
The concept for me is very striking. Let’s face it- a lot of people do not understand depression. The book also has a lot of lessons about family and friendship. That is why I can’t seem to understand why I feel like this book could be something more but it has not achieved it’s full potential. Maybe it’s about I’m expecting something similar to the narrative Marchetta used in On The Jellicoe Road and Finnikin of the Rock. In this book, it’s somehow different. Saving Francesca is actually a lot ‘easier’ to read and I gues somehow it reduced the book’s impact to me. The characters are strong, though. Every character is different and interesting but I think that they don’t blend together quite much. I would also like to point out that this book is not romance! Sure, there’s teenage love here but that is not the center of this book.
I also feel like the ending is quite rushed. I know that Marchetta seems to like open-endings but this book was more of cut short.
All in all, I think this book is good. I have read in goodreads reviews on how people loved it. But for me, this book has no impact. All throughout I feel like I’m trying to reach something that is not there. There is a huge possibility that my disappointments are because of my expectations though.