Sunday, September 8, 2013

Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

RATING : 4.95 Stars

Looking for Alibrandi is the best Australian contemporary I have ever read. Melina Marchetta has an incredible flair for writing a beautiful contemporary in a fresh voice. I never knew it's Marchetta's debut novel until I finished this book. It would be an understatement to say I liked this book. If given a chance, I would meet Marchetta and ask her if it's her personal novel. It feels more like that to me. It's worth the money and time investing in this book. My rating is pretty close to perfect that's because I can't decide where to place this book, it was beautiful and poignant. I might even bump it up to 5 stars. Looking for Alibrandi goes to top tier of my favorites. I'm craving more of Marchetta's works. Most of the contemporaries which I read has a cliched plot-line and I was in a stage of giving up contemporaries for a while. It was that time I read, Looking for Alibrandi and I was utterly flabbergasted that a contemporary novel could be so wonderful. Marchetta, I'm in love with with your writing. Looking for Alibrandi is more of a self-discovery novel which captures the essence of Italian immigrants in Australia.

To start off let me introduce the characters. We have our protagonist Josephine Alibrandi, her mother Christina Alibrandi. Katia Alibrandi- Grandmother of Josephine and mother of Christina. Sera, Anna, Lee- Josephine's friends, Jacob Coote-Josephine's boyfriend.

The story starts with Josephine Alibrandi in her final year of school with bittersweet feeling and  it is the year everything in Jose's(Josephine) life is going to take a turn. It is the year she meets her father, Micheal Andretti who has not acknowledged her existence for seventeen years. Furthermore Josephine's grandmother is conservative and wants Jose to follow her words, and Jose is caught up between old-values and modern society. To add to all this mess, Jose develops feelings for Jacob Coote and her long time crush John Barton becomes her friend. With all these Jose has to survive her high school with a good score. Eventually Jose figures out what she wants in her life and how to survive in the world. 

Jose is loud-mouthed and obnoxious yet smart and funny. Jose is a person you would love to be friends with. Quite frankly Jose reminded of me when I was her age at least in some moments. Jose and her mother's relationship was totally awesome. They fight over petty issues and get cuddled up within minutes of their fight. This is exactly what me and my mom do every time. If my mom reads this book she would be the first to come over to me and say the same. Looking for Alibrandi personally affected me in a good way, just because Marchetta got something incredibly real incidents into light. Josephine's voice is witty, unique and yet thoughtful. Jose faces tiffs with her friends, teachers, and her family members mainly her grandmother. Jose's grandmother's past is really heartbreaking and her narration to Jose was written beautifully. Reading this book reminds me of my grandmother. I have moments fighting with her exactly like Jose, may be that's why I rant a lot about this book. 

When it comes to relationship, I adored Jose and her father. Micheal Andretti comes to town and was surprised that he has a daughter. Jose at first gets angry since she was with her mother all her life. But slowly she moves closer to Micheal, and their bond is awesome. Eventually Micheal understands her daughter. Looking for Alibrandi is the only novel which gave importance to the secondary characters. I enjoyed Sera's character. In a nutshell, Looking for Alibrandi is a novel about father understanding her daughter and mother understanding her daughter's past life, granddaughter understanding her grandmother and family traditions and most importantly finding what you want with life. I ended this book with a bittersweet feeling. The ending was just perfect. Marchetta, this is a masterpiece. I would recommend every one of you reading this post to get your hands on Looking for Alibrandi. Melina Marchetta is one of the few YA authors whom you'll instantly fall for her works. I couldn't give 5 stars only because Jacob Coote didn't turn the way I wanted. Maybe only I felt like that way, otherwise I totally loved Looking for Alibrandi.

I would also recommend for you to see the movie version of the book. I'm not always a fan of book-to-movie adaption. I definitely have issues even with Harry potter movies, but Looking for Alibrandi movie has all the important elements from the book. Pia Miranda plays Jose's role and I couldn't think of anyone other than Pia in that role. All in all the movie is equally good as the book. 


  1. Great review, Ini! I've seen this one around and I enjoy Marchetta's books. I'll definitely have to read this one soon! I didn't know that there was a movie. Thanks for the heads up.:)

    1. Thanks Sarah. If you like Marchetta's books I'm sure you'll love this book.hope you enjoy the movie as well.. :)

  2. Hi Iniya

    I hope you don't mind I've nominated you for the Liebster award, my post on it is here:


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