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Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
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Looking for Alibrandi (1992)

by Melina Marchetta

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It was a long time ago that I was a teenager but reading this book brings it all back to me. The wild mood swings, the fights with your parents, the worrying about what to be when you grow up. I would never want to be a teenager again but it is kind of fun to read about it.

Josephine Alibrandi is 17 and she makes a reference to At Seventeen by Janis Ian which could be an anthem for the book. She is in the final year of high school at a private Catholic school in Sydney, Australia. She is bright and funny and opinionated and thinks she will never fit in or fall in love. She has been called a wog and a bastard and these names wound her deeply. As the final year of high school progresses she learns a great deal about herself and her family and love and friendship.

At times I was fed up with Josie's fixation on her ethnicity but I guess I can't know what it is like to be called names based upon my heritage. I am a WASP through and through and, quite frankly, I wish I could claim some more interesting heritage. You always want what you don't have, don't you.

The book was written in the 1990's so I wonder if a new generation has transcended the ethnic barriers or if there are still cultural divides in Australia. I have certainly noticed a difference in Canada with people of aboriginal heritage since then. When I was growing up and even into the 80s and 90s people very seldom mentioned if they had aboriginal blood because they would be (had been) treated badly probably. Now people are proud to proclaim this. ( )
  gypsysmom | Feb 1, 2015 |
My first book by this author, and I am not disappointed.

Review to come. ( )
  Summer_Missfictional | May 23, 2014 |
I loved this book. This is what got me started on the hunt for other Australian authors. I really liked the characters in this book. ( )
  jaeinsa | Feb 5, 2014 |
Well, as usual it was a great book with a message that I want our girls to have but could you PLEASE watch the language.

Josie is an Italian born and raised in Australia and just like in many other countries in the world, she experiences prejudice because of this. "You're not Australian because you parents aren't" one day, "You're Australian because you were born here" the next. This is her friends point of view.

She is also illegitimate which of course pegs her as a "bad girl" since it will be like mother like daughter.

She is also a smart little gal who is, as her teacher tells her, a sheep. She could be a leader but thanks to not having to courage to go against her friend Sera who is always coming up with wild things to get into trouble.

All in all, she is every high school girl struggling with friendships, grades, family and yes Sex. But even that was handled in a way that I could have endorsed if it hadn't been for the constant swearing. Come On People! Don't you have any sense of professionalism? Do you really think that Every person on God's Green Earth has to use the F word at least once a day?

Wish it had been better--it easily could have been. ( )
  carolvanbrocklin | Oct 13, 2013 |
I didn't find [b:Looking for Alibrandi|82436|Looking for Alibrandi|Melina Marchetta|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1320410197s/82436.jpg|1149644] to be exceptional in any way, but that does not mean it is a bad book. Indeed, it is a good book, simply unremarkable.

We follow Josephine Alibrandi, a senior in high school torn between two cultural heritages, two boys, and two ways of life. These are issues that any thinking teenager faces--how do I fit in yet maintain my sense of self? What do I want to be when I grow up? What if who I am is in opposition to who my boyfriend is? Marchetta explores these questions deftly, but for me, there wasn't anything extra, no oomph-factor to push this book above so many others that discuss the same things.

Also, I've only just turned 21, but it amazes me how angsty YA heroines can be and how I was probably (and woefully) just like them a few years ago. And I think that ties into [b:Looking for Alibrandi|82436|Looking for Alibrandi|Melina Marchetta|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1320410197s/82436.jpg|1149644]'s main message--slowly and imperceptibly we grow up and understand . Understand our parents, our friends, our problems, our world. Interestingly, reading and laughing about Josephine's insanely melodramatic statements showed me that I have finally left that behind and achieved the same emancipation she does at the book's end.

(Or at least for the most part. I think an angsty teen will always live on within me; I just notice it now.) ( )
  IAmChrysanthemum | Jun 8, 2013 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Mummy and Daddy
Marisa and Daniela -
Life is good because of you
Also for my grandparents
Salvatore, Carmela and Maria
In memory of
Giovanni Marchetta, 1910-1991
Nonno, when are we ever going to
stop missing you?
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375836942, Paperback)

Seventeen-year-old Josephine Alibrandi is no stranger to conflict. If she's not caught between her strict single mom and her even stricter grandmother, then she's trying to choose between wealthy good boy John Barton and working-class bad boy Joseph Coote. Josephine is always in trouble with the nuns at her Catholic school (who everyone calls "penguins because of them wearing wimples and all that Sound of Music gear") because she fights with native Australian kids over her mixed Australian/Italian heritage. Just when she thinks her situation couldn't possibly get more complicated, her mysterious, long-lost biological father comes back and Josephine must decide if it's worth getting to know this person who abandoned her and her mother. But through it all--including a startling revelation from her grandmother and the suicide of a close friend--Josephine manages to hold on to her sense of humor, as in this reflective moment: "I could have been a model for Hot Pants. Except that when I finally put my glasses on, reality set in. Hot Pants would have to wait."

Award-winning Australian author Melina Marchetta has created a strong and sassy role model in Josephine, whom girls with growing pains on both sides of the Pacific will love. With its accurate and insightful portrayal of a young woman's coming of age, Looking for Alibrandi will have female teens waiting eagerly for Marchetta's next novel. (Ages 12 and older) --Jennifer Hubert

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:04 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

During her senior year in a Catholic school in Sydney, Australia, seventeen-year-old Josie meets and must contend with the father she has never known.

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