Saving Francesca - Melina Marchetta Based on the blurb, I wrongly expected another The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. Instead of providing a feminist critique of modern high school culture, Saving Francesca explores identity, depression, and friendship.Overall, it's a good contemporary novel, but I know it won't stick with me for long. Although Marchetta examines the scope of the aforementioned issues with dexterity, there is just not much here to ponder afterwards. As is the case with so many YA novels, its other weakness is the inadequate and unrealistic love story. While significantly better than insta-love scenarios found in books like Twilight, I still found myself in disbelief of Francesca and Will's relationship. I believe their crush and I believe their confusing hookups, but I do not believe them imagining long-term, potential marriage futures together when they seem to rarely converse! I understand that with limited page counts in books it is difficult to show the entire unfolding of a relationship and I also understand that many teens fall in love based less on getting to know each other and more on getting it on with each other; however, people need to talk and know each other to use the L-word to describe their relationship. Love doesn't just happen. Love requires hours and hours of talking about anything and everything, and Will and Francesca speak very little throughout the novel.Despite committing this common failing of YA novels, Saving Francesca does many things well. Its take on depression, for instance, is true to real life. In particular, I enjoyed seeing how the sadness of one person affected the entire family dynamic. I found it refreshing that the depression was rather out-of-nowhere and inexplicable because that is often how it is; everything seems perfect, but somehow it's not. Though the storyline on mental illness is dark, as a whole the book is quite funny. Francesca's friends Thomas, Jimmy, and Tara are absolutely hilarious and made me want to go back to high school, move to Australia, and befriend them. Like she did in Looking for Alibrandi, Marchetta once again excels at writing about identity crises and discoveries. Francis Francesca Spinelli has no idea who she is. Is she who her old friends think she is? Is she who her mother wants her to be? Subtly and brilliantly, Marchetta has characters call Francesca by many names, some feminine, some masculine, and some silly--Francis, Frankie, Francesca, Bitch Spice/Butch Spice/Slutty Spice/Stupid Spice--which emphasizes her confusion of who she is and who others think she is; her identity is so lost that people don't know what to call her. I found this to be rather deep and wish that Marchetta could apply this profundity more often in the novel, which would allow it to surpass its designation as a good but rather standard contemporary YA novel.