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Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
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Looking for Alibrandi (original 1992; edition 2006)

by Melina Marchetta

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1,1174711,801 (3.85)32
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.
Member:Cfraser
Title:Looking for Alibrandi
Authors:Melina Marchetta
Info:Knopf Books for Young Readers (2006), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

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Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta (1992)

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» See also 32 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
This is Marchetta's first novel, but I read it last. Marchetta is one of those author's who are "home" to me. I begin reading and it's like a warm blanket, or a good cup of tea...comforting and lovely. In this novel, published in 1992, Marchetta deals more directly with Italian/Australian relations than she did in other novels. I don't know much about racism in Australia and it was interesting and unsettling reading the novel and not completely understanding the background.
Josie Alibrandi has spent her life surrounded by her protective mother and hovering grandmother. A child born to a child, Josie deals with the stigma of being illegitimate in a subculture that prides itself on strong families and tradition. Her grandmother spends so much time worrying about what others think that Josie feels ready to explode.
Through the course of her final year in high school Josie learns more than she ever imagined--why her grandmother worries, who her father is and what he's like, how lucky she is to be loved by two strong women, what it's like to be loved by a boy, and most of all, that the culture that stifles her can also set her free.
I graduated high school in 1992, approximately when Josie would have. My subculture in Pennsylvania was also quite conservative and insular. I recognized a lot of Josie's struggles as my own, even while recognizing that the struggles look different now. The book might seem a bit dated to today's teens--or at least innocent--but it's well-written, with a thoughtful protagonist,and should be read by all Marchetta fans. ( )
  VanChocStrawberry | Apr 2, 2018 |
The story of a 17-year-old Italian Australian girl coming to terms with her illegitimacy, having a boyfriend, and life after high school.
It can't be called a coming-of-age story, because I'm not convinced that the main character did much maturing, really. This, along with the mediocre writing, merits a meh from me. ( )
  electrascaife | Aug 31, 2017 |
I loved this book the first time I read it and I'm looking forward to enjoying it again with my students.
  Heather_McGeorge | Mar 23, 2017 |
I read this book in high school for English, and I thought it was a pretty readable book.

I thought Alibrandi was a nice enough character but the plot felt... almost a little bit antiquated? I don't know. There was a lot of angst but I feel like it was a little bit vague. I don't know. The plot fell a little bit flat for me and it just didn't carry through the whole of the novel.

I know this is more or less a classic book and a really popular Young Adult Australian novel, but Young Adult and I have a complicated relationship. It's a favourite for a lot of people but not for me, personally. I think studying it really changes your relationship with the book as well, and it just made it worse for me.

There were some interesting back stories but I just wish they'd been explored a bit more. The whole novel felt like not-quite-enough.

However, it is super popular so if you think it's your thing, check it out. ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
I can't really say I 'liked' or 'enjoyed' this book. Mainly because I didn't like or identify with or empathize with the characters. But gosh I learned about a lot about what it means to feel bound by one's culture and class. And that is something I've always wondered about, because my basic 'rule' is simply 'be kind.' None of these people were kind. Most were at least slightly insane... because they felt like they had choose abuse over love, god over offspring, etc.

But I did have to work for that understanding, even. The reason I persisted is because I've enjoyed other works by the author - but as other reviewers have said, this is her debut, and it is a bit clumsy compared to her later works. If a reader can identify with, empathize with, the characters, s/he'll probably give it five stars, because it is, after all, a wonderful book. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Melina Marchettaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Russo, MarcellaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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