By: Melina Marchetta
Narrated by: Rebecca Macauley
Francesca attends a former all-boy's school, St. Sebastians. Francesca doesn't fit in, and she isn't what her mom wants her to be. She just wants to go back to hanging with her old friends and knowing where she belongs. Her mother wants her to break out and be independent from her friends. When her mother refuses to get out of bed, stricken with depression, it's up to Francesca to keep her family together. And figure out herself along the way.
Audio Review: Rebecca MacCauley already had a lot going for her with her beautiful Australian accent. I thought her voice perfectly matched Francesca and the tone of the story. This is one I'd definitely recommend checking out on audio
Review: Despite seeing much fandom for Melina Marchetta in the blogging world, I didn't take the plunge until following Marchetta Madness on Chachic's Book Nook. I determined that so many readers and authors couldn't be wrong. And when I was offered the audio to review, I just couldn't pass it up.
When Francesca's mother stops getting out of bed, everything that was teetering on the edge for Francesca falls apart. For years she has been complaining about her mother's drive and the amount of pushing. And now she'd give anything to have that back. It paints a very real picture of depression and the very real pains of growing up.
What really shines in this novel is the ability that Marchetta has to make the secondary characters just as vibrant and interesting as the main characters. Francesca's schoolmates are a wonderful mix of funny, annoying (in Tom's case), loyal, and smart. And none of them are quite what they seemed.
While I was reading through Marchetta's guest post on Chachic's blog, she mentioned that Tom was only meant to be a bully to the new girls in his school. He ended up evolving into something much more than that. And it's characters like that that make this book ring so true. I remember as I was reading (err... listening to) Tom's character thinking, "Ohhh... I knew boys like this." They would do ANYTHING to get under your skin. But, some of those boys, once you got past the immaturity, were actually decent guys with stories of their own.
Oh, and then there is the romance. Ah, I loved it. There is a scene at the end with Francesca and her boy sitting on her porch that made me laugh out loud. But, it's not all easy, which makes it even more sweet in the end.
So, am I a Marchetta convert? I believe I am.