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Saving Francesca

Saving Francesca - Melina Marchetta This book really surprised me. The writing was simple, sparse, and very easy to follow, but it was littered with all these wonderful gems that just put a smile on my face. What I loved most of all about was the humanity in it; every character is real and distinct, and so wonderfully different. I loved how well boys were depicted here--their immaturity and love for fart jokes really made them come to life. I enjoyed how the author didn't shy away from portraying teenage boys as they really are, instead of presenting these stereotypical brooding bad-boys or whatever.
Another thing I really enjoyed about this book was how a lot of first impressions were altered. Francesca's initial critical and presumptuous view on the people she spent time with and the ones she later on got to know, the way it was all altered and the natural way in which her opinion of people shifted was such an enjoyable thing to read. The reader gets to discover her friends right alongside her, and their beautiful human-ness made me smile.
The writing is sparse and relies a lot on dialogue, but this isn't a problem. I think it added to the story, even providing some laugh-out-loud moments. I loved the honesty and strength in Francesca, and especially the fact that she isn't your typical, damsel-in-distress main character, waiting for the guy to save her. She is a strong, individual, real person, with her own weaknesses and fears and faults, and she felt very, very alive to me. I absolutely enjoyed being in her head.

The only thing knocking off a star from my rating was the fact that sometimes the characters were a bit too perfect, and some things were resolved too quickly. But other than that this story surprised me, exceeded my expectations and left a smile on my face--which is a great thing, in my book.