Release Date: May 9th, 2006
Genre: Young Adult Comtemporary
For as long as Josephine Alibrandi can remember, it’s just been her, her mom, and her grandmother. Now it’s her final year at a wealthy Catholic high school. The nuns couldn’t be any stricter—but that doesn’t seem to stop all kinds of men from coming into her life.
Caught between the old-world values of her Italian grandmother, the nononsense wisdom of her mom, and the boys who continue to mystify her, Josephine is on the ride of her life. This will be the year she falls in love, the year she discovers the secrets of her family’s past—and the year she sets herself free.
Told with unmatched depth and humor, this novel—which swept the pool of Australian literary awards and became a major motion picture—is one to laugh through and cry with, to cherish and remember.
Melina Marchetta has a way with words. She also has a way with writing characters. I do believe that Looking For Alibrandi may have been her debut novel. This is also the second Marchetta I have read, the other being Saving Francesca. I liked that one, but for some reason I enjoyed this one a whole lot more. I spent a couple of days mulling over why, because before I commit myself to writing a review a certain way, I have to be absolutely sure. And I think the reason why is that I connected to the characters in Looking For Alibrandi more.
I loved Josie. Like loved her. At first, I was finding the book boring and wondering if I was going to be able to finish it. But after a few minutes inside Josie’s head, I was seriously hooked. And she isn’t the only character that I loved. I was strangely attached to Josie’s Nonna. And she was kind of a horrible person. Not always, but still. I think I cared for her a lot because I felt connected to the struggles she had gone through in her life. That and I think the author did a great job of writing in he Italian accent and her disconnect toward Australians.
If you decide to read Looking For Alibrandi, you won’t find a plot heavy novel. The story is definitely driven by the actions and thoughts of its characters. I find this to be highly unusual for a Young-Adult novel. But I liked it! I have another Marchetta sitting on my shelf and I hope to get to it soon! While she is not my favorite writer(that title goes to Maria V. Snyder and Sarah Addison Allen), she is definitely up there.
There’s a few things I would like to note before I close this review. This book was sad. Like I cried. And I wasn’t even having a particularly emotional day. I was also angry. For a good portion of the story, it’s not exactly light-hearted, but it’s not heavy either. And then out of nowhere, suddenly the tone of the book changes because of something that happens. It didn’t change my opinion of the book or anything, I still loved it, but I was shocked. And kind of devastated. I just thought it was important that you know that without me spoiling anything.
This is one of those books though that I almost wish was required reading for teenagers. If you decide to read it, you will understand why I say that.
Here is the link to Looking For Alibrandi on Amazon: Looking for Alibrandi.
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