Author: Melina Marchetta
Published December 18th 2007 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
I am so in love with Melina Marchetta’s On The Jellicoe Road, which is perfect; and Saving Francesca, which is not perfect but it’s as amazing. So I was super excited to start Looking for Alibrandi, it started off great, from the first line I was like “yes, this girl could be me” and then she surprises me by being way more awesome than me, and I can’t stop laughing because Josephine Alibrandi is one heck of an amazing teenager. This book turned out to be so great that it’s a bit difficult to believe it is as old as me, that’s right, it was first published in 1992, making it 19 YEARS OLD!, but it doesn’t read old at all, it’s very timeless.
Looking for Alibrandi has more of a serious undertone than her other books, even though Jellicoe had a super sad old story and Francesca was about major depression, Alibrandi was about a world’s old conflict, lack of respect and tolerance between races, discrimination. I never thought such a thing existed in Australia, where I live, in the American country, everyone from all of Latin America wants to go and try to live the American dream at the US, but some people there don’t seem like it very much. We look different, we sound different, we believe in different things therefore we should not be trusted, or at least that’s how their mind works.
Josephine suffers discrimination, for being an Italian girl, an “ethnic” as they call them there. She can’t understand why people can’t give her a chance, even though she’s pretty and super smart and popular, no matter how hard she tries people would always expect her to fail, she would be nothing more than an ethnic. And she hates it, she fights it, and she would never accept it.
And if it’s not enough to be an Italian in the Australian land, she also doesn’t have a dad, she is what mean people would refer to as a “bastard”. So Italians doesn’t like her either, so what’s a girl to do but hang out with the town’s outcasts.
|they couldn't have picked an uglier dude to play Jacob in the movie :/|
But this is the year of change for Josephine. She meets her dad, who she thought she hated but it’s so good to have a dad, especially one who is a respected lawyer. She gets to know her grandmother to a deeper level, and discovers shocking secrets about her family. She falls in love for the first time, and with an Australian boy nonetheless, Jacob Coote, who drives a motorcycle and goes to the “hick” school in town, Jacob Coote who is the smartest and most passionate guy she’s ever met.
And let's not forget about John Barton, the other part of the "love triangle", whose story made me cry like a baby, and I still cry when I watch the scene in the movie, it's so heartbreaking.
For being Marchetta’s debut book, I was truly impressed. It was funny and intense, fast-paced and full of wit with likable characters. And although I didn’t love it as much as the other ones, I still love it. I was amazed at the mature and classy way Marchetta’s took on suchs difficult topics. And I am so glad she has the guts to do it, it’s a breath of fresh air to read about important stuff and not only the boy on the football team or the hot guy next door.