Review: Marco Impossible

Marco Impossible

Author: Hannah Moskowitz
Published: March 19th 2013 by Roaring Brook Press
Purchase: Book Depository | Amazon
Best friends Stephen and Marco attempt a go-for-broke heist to break into the high school prom and get Marco onstage to confess his love for (and hopefully steal the heart of) Benji, the adorable exchange student and bass player of the prom band. Of course, things don’t always go according to plan, and every heist comes with its fair share of hijinks.

I read Teeth, I loved it and I now knew I needed all of Hannah Moskowitz’s books in my life. I braced myself for the unexpected, I didn’t know which direction Marco Impossible would go, should I prepare myself for utter soul wrenching angst or heart exploding happiness? (My emotions tend to be one extreme or the other for Hannah Moskowtiz). I found a charming, wonderfully fun book with an undercurrent darkness following endearing, complex characters that didn’t completely ruin me and had me smiling throughout (mostly).

It’s a quick read but Marco and Stephen’s friendship lingers long after completing the book. Marco is loud, bold and witty, his personality is just so grand that it was sometimes overwhelming and annoying. Stephen is much more relaxed, he sort of fades in the presence of Marco and for much of the book he questions their relationship. His insecurities are very relatable but despite his misgivings he’d do anything for his friend. I adored the way their friendship was written.

The hijinks in their heist was so much fun to read, there was this lovely innocence in all the effort Marco and Stephen put int Marco having his moment. Of course, there was also hurt and anger and this looming worry for Marco’s safety. Secrets come to light and Marco’s vulnerabilities are revealed and it kicks you right in the feels. I loved the way everything unfolded throughout the book. I was much more invested in the friendship between Marco and Stephen to really care about the either of their love interests and Marco’s absent family and that subplot was unmemorable.

All in all this was an enjoyable read and I can’t wait for more of Hannah Moskowitz’s works. Her books just make me feel so much.
3.5 Stars

Review: Saving Francesca

Saving Francesca

Title: Saving Francesca
Author: Melina Marchetta
Published: Published May 9th 2006 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published March 31st 2003)
Purchase: Book Depository | Amazon
Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastians – 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 a dorky accordion player.

The boys are no better, from Thomas who specialises in musical burping to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can’t help thinking about.

Then there’s Francesca’s mother, who always thinks she knows what’s best for Francesca. Mum is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, alone, and without an inkling who she really is.

I didn’t realize when I ordered this book how important it’d become to me, how much meaning these characters would hold, how much I’d fall in love with Melina Marchetta’s writing. She’s a goddess. Purchasing it on a whim due to my interest in The Piper’s Son, I devoured this short, impactful book in one sitting desperately hoping for more. I was fascinated by how real the characters felt, how natural and genuine their relationships were, how I now knew that no contemporary could live up to Saving Francesca.

Everything about it was refreshing, from the flawed and realistically written characters, to the somewhat awkward, not really realizing when you’d started liking that person romance and the friendships that made you think “when did this become a thing? When did we become a group?”

I liked the diversity of personalities in this book, one guy slightly awkward, the other an asshole with biting remarks, another completely comfortable and perceptive who knew just what needed to be said, a girl wild and free and sometimes confused, one who was fiery and passionate and a bit exhausting. another who was quietly fierce and compassionate. Then there’s Franscesca, holding it together with her family falling apart, adapting to an all boy’s school, tamping down her loudness, trying to find her identity. There’s just this perfect balance of friendship, family, love and conflict wittily written with a rawness that’s rare to find.

Saving Francesca redefined what I searched for in YA and after rereading it this year it was solidified as my all time favourite book. Francesca, her friends and family burrowed themselves deeply in my heart and it was the book that introduced me to the queen of YA, to my favourite author, Melina Marchetta.