The Compulsive Reader: Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

Monday, November 10, 2014

Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

Josephine Alibrandi is both proud to be of Italian descent and frustrated that her heritage separates her from the rest of her “Australian” classmates. But she’s got a plan to become a lawyer and free herself from the expectations of her overbearing family. When the father she’s never met walks into her life during her final year of school, Josie is challenged to re-examine everything she knows about her family and her plans for the future.

Looking for Alibrandi “swept the pool of literary awards for young adult fiction” when it was first published twenty-two years ago in Australia, and I can certainly see why. It has a certain timeless quality that makes it instantly accessible and Josephine is the kind of brash, imperfect, engaging, and lovable character who doesn’t cease to exist after the final page. The scenes between Josephine and her father are perhaps the most entertaining, and his appearance in Josie’s life gives the novel a bit of cohesion to cling to, as Marchetta covers a lot of ground in Josephine’s life throughout the course of the book. A number of chapters end with Josphine’s opinions and questions about society, which are interesting and do a great job of giving her life and experiences a wider context. The tragedy, family secrets, intense emotion, lack of a traditional happy ending and Josie’s emotional growth make this book deeply satisfying and memorable.

Cover Comments: I am not a fan of this American cover. The colors are weird, the way they cut off the girl's face is weird, the font is okay...sigh. I hate when amazing books get less than stellar covers. It's almost as bad as the American Saving Francesca cover.

Book purchased from my indie.

1 comment:

LinWash said...

I also am not a fan of the American cover. But I love Melina's books. If you haven't yet read Saving Francesca or the follow-up, The Piper's Son, I highly recommend both!