Friday, June 19, 2009

Looking For Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

Title: Looking For Alibrandi
Author: Melina Marchetta
Publisher: Orchard Books
Reading Level: Young Adult, 14+
Publication Date: April 1999
Pages: 256
My Edition: Hardcover, library book
Amazon Page

Rating: B
Plot - 15/20
Characters - 19/20
Writing - 20/20
Originality - 15/20
Entertainment - 9/10
Recommendation - 8/10
Total: 86/100

"Eat, Jozzie, eat. Oh, Jozzie, Jozzie. Look at your hair. Why, Jozzie? Why can you not look tidy?"

My grandmother says that to me every afternoon. She says it with a painful cry in her voice as if she is dying. I'm not sure if anyone has ever died of the fact that their granddaughter looks untidy, but I'm sure my grandmother will one day because she'll strain her voice so much she'll choke.

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.

I read Melina's other two books and loved them, so I was sure this book would be a good read, and it was. Melina, after writing three books I have loved, is now one of my favorite authors.

In Looking For Alibrandi, the writing and the characters are the high point in this novel. The writing is of course fantastic. The characters are brilliantly created. The story was told with ease and determination from the amazingly developed characters. I don't think Melina's writing and characters could be bad. She is definitely up there with Sarah Dessen and Elizabeth Scott in some areas.

The plot and originality is the downfall of the novel. The plot doesn't have much too it so it was kind of a tame read. It was also very unoriginal in the time that I read it, but this was written in the nineties so maybe it was a pretty new story in that time?

Melina is a great writing and I for sure recommend this one for a tame novel of one girl coming of age and her first romance.


  1. It was released just after you were born here in Australia. It was definitely something impressive back then but I think other people write similarly now. I do think she's one of the most talented authors in characterisation that I have seen.
    Thanks - glad you love one of my faves :)

  2. Oops forgot to add that I think the plot that's extremely family centric and the ongoing theme of identity is fantastic. Reading how the Alibrandi fortunes and secrets unfurl is fascinating...but that could just be me (and many other Aussies).

  3. I love this book. it just blew me away. It was very fun to find out that Looking For Alibrandi is only 2 years younger than me. Melina Marchetta has such great skills she always make me feel in love with the characters, really in love.


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