Saturday, January 8, 2011
Looking for Alibrandi- Melina Marchetta
"For as long as Josephine Alibrandi can remember, it's just been her, her mum, and her grandmother. Now it's her final year at a wealthy Catholic private girls' school where the nuns couldn't be any stricter. But that doesn't seem to stop all kinds of men from coming into Josie's life, including her father!
Caught between the old-world values of her Italian nonna Katia, the no-nonsense wisdom of her mother Cristina, and the boys who continue to mystify her, Josie 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."
Before I begin, I should start by saying that since reading Jellicoe Road, Melina Marchetta has been my favorite author in the universe. Probably because she's an Australian author and her books don't have the same amount of following here in the US as overseas, I didn't read her debut novel until now.
Looking for Alibrandi, like all of Marchetta's novels focuses on characters that are incredibly real. There is no deus ex machina endings in her stories. Josie Alibrandi deals with meeting her father for the first time, dealing with the challenges of being an Italian Australian and fitting in nowhere, racial slurs from classmates, and the attraction she feels to two boys, Jacob, the "bad boy" who really just appears that way, and John, her long-time crush whose recent personality changes have Josie a bit confused, not to mention the relationship with her mother and her grandmother that is often strained.
Josie is a character with a bold personality and a lot of spunk and she is very funny when she wants to be. I think that anyone reading this book will quickly become invested in the story and characters. While I think that Marchetta's books have only gotten better over the years (Jellicoe Road is tied with The Giver for my favorite book in the universe), her debut novel is absolutely wonderful as well.
Other recommended books:
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
Looking for Alaska by John Green
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart