Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Published: May 9th, 2006
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Rating: YA 13+
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed from Library

Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastian's, a boys' school that 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, alone, 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.

This was my first Melina Marchetta book, after hearing various things about this one and Jellicoe Road. I decided to give this one a try and I was pleasantly surprised at the soft humor and the emotion in this book. Friendship, family and love– this book's a perfect example of the perfect contemporary.
I was intrigued to find out more, about what happens, because you just gotta know what happens when there's only a few girls in an all-boys (recently changed coed) school. Aussie boys, something behind the depression of her mother, and trying to cope with everyone around her, Francesca's story becomes one to remember.

I found the language to understand (likewise with British books) but nontheless, it was fun to look at the difference in the school system and setting from what I'm used to. I think this is the first Aussie book I've ever read to be honest. I definitely need to find more!
The only problem I had with this book is that it was pretty slow moving. I guess, this is one just to read for fun– nothing very seriously significant happens in this book. It's a series of different events during Francesca's first year at the new school. Definitely enjoyable though. Just a book to read on a sunny day, when you have time to spend.
I also got slightly confused as to who was who, but that may be because I didn't really pay attention to the friends of Francesca, as I mainly focused on the MAIN characters, which play most part in the book.

Francesca was a strong main character. I actually have no idea how she does it all– tries to keep a normal appearance, although so many things are going wrong in her life. I really admire her for that. I know I'd fall apart if something was wrong despite trying to hide it to the best of my ability. I didn't get Will's appeal though, I just thought he was quite desperate and quite a player. Just didn't really get him at all. I found Thomas Mackee hilarious though! I seriously think he's the best character in this novel. He's a total attention hog, but he's so worth it :)

Saving Francesca is a sweet story about growing up and learning the ups and downs to life. With laughs and serious moments, this novel's definitely worthy of all the praise and awards it's received. Cute and delightful, this one is the one novel you should definitely pick up when you have the chance. Can't wait to get my hands on the companion novel, The Piper's Son, which features Thomas Mackee as the main character!
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(Other Languages)

[(top) left to right: German, Indonesian, German; (bottom) l to r: German, Italian]

Cover Alert (10)

OMGG!! It's here! I just found it today:

THE LAST ECHO by Kimberly Derting!!

Isn't it absolutely GORGEOUS?!

Publication: April 17th, 2012

Violet kept her morbid ability to sense dead bodies a secret from everyone except her family and her childhood-best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Jay Heaton. That is until forensic psychologist Sara Priest discovered Violet’s talent and invited her to use her gift to track down murderers. Now, as she works with an eclectic group of individuals—including mysterious and dangerously attractive Rafe—it’s Violet’s job to help those who have been murdered by bringing their killers to justice. When Violet discovers the body of a college girl killed by “the girlfriend collector” she is determined to solve the case. But now the serial killer is on the lookout for a new “relationship” and Violet may have caught his eye...

Love, Love, LOVE this series– can't wait for this one! In the meantime...I really should get Book 1 AND 2's reviews up soon :S AHH well. Are you excited for this one as I am?!

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Published: June 28th, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: YA 15+
Format: eGalley
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.
**This Review is based on an ARC (Advanced Reader's Copy). The final text/cover may be different.**

There's only one word which comes into my mind right after reading this: WOW. Honestly, I don't think there's anything else to describe it. It was seriously the most emotionally-scarring book I've ever read. Like, I NEVER cry when it comes to books and movies. And when I finished reading this book, I was so close to letting it flood. I had to quickly move my mind onto something else–but I still can't stop thinking about it. 
This is a very difficult topic to portray, 'cause honestly who in the right mind would want to write a book about siblings falling in love? But you gotta admit, this stuff DOES exist in our world today, and has for centuries. Hopefully, this book will be an eye-opener to the topic of incest and bring some interesting opinions on it. It's quite a heavy book I'm telling you, so prepare yourself if you DO cry for movies and books, because in some other reviews of this book people say that they had to go through quite a lot of tissue after reading this.

I love how the novel switches between two perspectives: Lochan and Maya. I felt so sorry for them at the beginning, having to live with an alcoholic mom and take care of three younger siblings: cute Willa, soccer-maniac Tiffin and angry teenager, Kit. They need to cook and clean, and ontop of that go to school, and Lochan has to apply for uni...all because the mom spends too much time drinking, smoking and going on dates with her boyfriend Dave. I feel so bad for their situation, and seriously knew that this book was going to be a "heavy" one right from the beginning.
I love Lochan– you can't help but feel sorry for him. He has a problem around people, he's too shy. I feel that he takes on the whole burden of looking after everyone and their problems etc. and has to do everything. Maya is the opposite: she's more talkative, more open, yet she's always there for her siblings. I found Lochan's perspective a bit more interesting as he goes through much more emotion than Maya does, and it's interesting to see how things turn out.

The conclusion to this story was SO shocking, like what the blurb says. I think I lost it then. I felt the instant urge to cry, it was so sad! Only if things had been different, if something hadn't happened or the timing was different...I dunno. It's kinda like Romeo & Juliet with the whole fate and timing thing. Ughhh, I still feel terrible about it! :(
This book has been beautifully written though. Everything: emotions, characters, setting, EVERYTHING has been described so well, it creates a strong picture in my mind (some parts a little too much though :S) but it does make it hard for the imagery still stays with the horrifying ending.

Forbidden is exactly what the title states. Forbidden love, forbidden wishes...a forbidden life. It's pretty serious and a HUGE emotional roller coaster, so a warning to those who might start the tears easily. It gives a different perspective on life, and definitely has evoked that little emotion monster who's been hiding in me to come out for a while. Evocatively written, which leads to a dramatic and tear-jerking conclusion, you won't be able to forget this one. Captivating and devastating, Tabitha Suzuma has written a life changing novel which will effect everyone in one way or another.
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[left: English, right: German]

Waiting on Wednesday – Week 21

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. It's to spotlight upcoming reads which I'm DYING to get my hands on!

A Book I can't wait for is...

Dead To You
by Lisa McMann
Publication Date: February 7th, 2011

Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family. It's a miracle... at first. Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn't going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he'd be able to put the pieces back together. But there's something that's keeping his memory blocked. Something unspeakable...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Lisa McMann's Wake Trilogy. Her paranormal series is so different than others and more darker and mysterious. This one definitely sounds like another amazing one by her. I haven't gotten the chance to get Cryer's Cross but I've heard amazing things about it!

That was my WoW for the week! What are you waiting on? Leave a link/comment!

WWW Wednesdays - Week 18

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Just answer the following three questions to participate:

1) What are you currently reading?
2) What did you recently finish reading?
3) What do you think you'll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I'm currently reading Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz and Moonglass by Jessi Kirby. I need to hurry reading both, because Spellbound was released yesterday (HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY!) and Moonglass is going to only be available till the end of this month (...which is in one day :S) on PulseIt. GAHH. Need to speed read!
What did you recently finish reading?

I finished reading Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma around 2 days ago, but I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. SO emotionally life-changing. I don't think I'll be able to let go of this book. I've never been the type to cry about a book (I've never cried for a book OR movie) and I was so close to with this book. Review coming soon!
What do you think you'll read next?

I've got High School Heroes by James Mascia for review, and I plan to read and review this by the end of tomorrow. YUP, but it sounds very interesting and Reading Teen has written a fab review of it, so definitely think that this one's going to be really good!
That's it for this week's WWW Wednesday. Can't believe it's also (nearly) the end of June...WOW. Half of 2011 gone! Anyway, what are you currently reading? Leave a link/comment!

The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

Published: June 28th, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: YA 13+
Format: eGalley
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab

Amber’s life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself. Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell he’s also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets.

The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she’s drawn to him. And the more she’s troubled by his darkness. Because Cade’s not just living in the now—he’s living each moment like it’s his last.

**This Review is based on an ARC (Advanced Reader's Copy). The final text/cover may be different.**

"This is the last day
of my before.
The day before it all changes.

This is my day."

The Day Before was a short quick read, but SO good. It's written in lyrical verses (such as the one above) and I read it in one sitting. This is my first time reading Lisa Schroeder, and now I know for sure, that this will definitely not be the last.
The "chapters" or verses alternate between the past and the present. This gives insight to why Amber's doing on that one day where she needs to get away from everyone, and how her life's changed so much and what's going to happen. Cade's story however, is much more mysterious, as Amber can't seem to read Cade's emotions too much–except for the fact that something's making him sad.

I really found the verses easy to understand (unlike poetry) and I really loved this one especially: "My eyes close/for a moment/and my heart wishes/I could throw it all/to the tide,/like a bottle/with a scribbled note inside." I just loved that one so much– it really got to me so badly, that I had to write it down to stick it on my wall. The other verses are just as beautiful and some even more. The verses all make sense, and I love how some words have a fun way of expressing themselves, such as "g*l*i*t*t*e*r*" I wont tell you how that comes into the story, but it sure is special :)

It is, however, hard to learn about the characters personalities, as it's all written in verse, and this isn't as descriptive. You really need to look deeper into the meaning of the words. I found Amber's character really cool (I love P!nk too!) and she's just someone who wants to figure out things for herself. Love Cade, he's really someone charming, deep, and wants others to be happy. I immediately fell in love with him...who can't? He's just got that 'feel' about him that makes everything seem okay and there's no worries, even though he has something bothering him.
I love how there's so many precious moments in this novel, the events that you can't forget from this book. Cade and Amber are having their day of fun, and some of the stuff really makes you think, 'life isn't so bad' and that you should live every moment of it. A simple message seems to come from the book, like "live life as it would never end– and when something comes along, think of the best result and don't dwell on the worst."

The Day Before is a sweet, quick story about blooming love and that things may turn out to be quite different than what you expected. Since I'm full of quotes today, here's one: When Life gives you Lemons, make Lemonade. Make the most of life. Live happy, live free. Lisa Schroeder has written a story which has amazing lyrical flow and one which doesn't need many words to captivate readers. Engrossing and wonderful, you won't be able to put this book down.

"Close your eyes and trust it, just trust it
Have you ever thrown a fist full of glitter in the air?
Have you ever looked fear in the face and said I just don't care?"
–"Glitter in the Air" by P!nk
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