Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastians, a boys' school that's pretends it's coed by giving the girls their own bathroom. Her only female companions are an ultra-feminist, a rumored slut, and an an impossibly dorky accordion player. The boys are no better, from Thomas who specializes in musical burping to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can't seem to stop thinking about.
Then there's Francesca's mother, who always thinks she knows what's best for Francesca—until she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, along, and without an inkling who she really is. Simultaneously humorous, poignant, and impossible to put down, this is the story of a girl who must summon the strength to save her family, her social life and—hardest of all—herself.
Review: Now, granted, this is only the second book of Melina's that I've read, but in my eyes she can do know wrong when it comes to writing. That being said, it's safe to say that I adored this book.
All of the characters, even if they weren't the main ones, had personalities and were amazingly written. I felt like I could go to an Australian Catholic school and meet all of these people. It's amazing how Melina's characters can have a perfect balance. They can go form laughing and having fun to being put in a serious position and it all seems natural. None of it comes across as forced or fake.
Along with the characters being balanced, the plot was also nicely balanced. There was enough romance, but no too much, as well as a good amount of family intrigue. The emotions in this book were also wonderfully written. Let's just say that they definitely fit the situations. And no I didn't cry, but I did come close.
Overall this is yet another astounding novel from Melina Marchetta and if, for some reason, you still have not read her work you need to go and do so immediately.
Source: Local library
Published: May 9, 2006 by Knopf Books for Young Readers