Saving Francesca

“I can’t believe I’ve said it out loud. The truth doesn’t set you free, you know.  It makes you feel awkward and embarrassed and defenceless and red in the face and horrified and petrified and vulnerable. But free? I don’t feel free. I feel like shit.”

Francesca is at the beginning of her school term in Year Eleven at an all boys’ school that has just started accepting girls.  She still misses her old friends, and, to make things worse, her mother has had a breakdown and can barely move from her bed.

But Francesca had not counted on the fierce loyalty of her new friends, or falling in love, or finding that it’s within her power to bring her family back together.

“Sparkling dialogue and engaging characters…Francesca’s messy, credible array of emotions and problems will keep readers absorbed to the last, satisfying line.”

Kirkus Reviews, Starred


‘”What makes Saving Francesca an exceptional standout in a vast field of mediocre teen chick lit is Frankie’s painfully nuanced characterization. It has been ten years since high school teacher Marchetta’s break out hit, Looking for Alibrandi, came out in her native Australia, and the care and precision she took in getting Francesca’s voice just right is evident. As a result, there isn’t a girl alive that wouldn’t feel right at home in Francesca’s skin. Her frank observations about boys, with their hygienically-challenged habits and their ineptitude in dealing with the opposite sex, are dead-on and riotously funny. Marchetta deftly balances Francesca’s humor with a sympathetic depiction of Mia’s struggle with clinical depression, creating a well-rounded novel that will prompt both laughter and tears. Fans can only hope that they won’t have to wait another decade for Marchetta to gift them with another of honest and moving story.”

Jennifer Huber,


“Readers will applaud the realistic complexity in the relationships here, the genuine love between the characters, as well as Francesca’s ultimate decision to save herself.”

Publisher’s Weekly