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Looking For Alibrandi
Melina Marchetta
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Looking For Alibrandi

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  14,065 ratings  ·  999 reviews
For as long as Josephine Alibrandi can remember, it’s just been her, her mom, and her grandmother. Now it’s her final year at a wealthy Catholic high school. The nuns couldn’t be any stricter—but that doesn’t seem to stop all kinds of men from coming into her life.

Caught between the old-world values of her Italian grandmother, the nononsense wisdom of her mom, and the boys
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Published (first published October 5th 1992)
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this book is like a dragon egg. it is somewhat unusual compared to others of its kind, and it is pretty, but you know that when it hatches it is going to let loose some magnificent beast beyond human reckoning.

marchetta is a magnificent dragon.

and this book is good, and you can see the beginnings of what she will become, but it is definitely a first novel, before she understood her own power.

i reluctantly love josie alibrandi (although we are not friends, so i must call her josephine) she is a c
When I was in school, we routinely had to complete projects about our heritage. People asked (and still ask) “what are you?” meaning what is your nationality. A lot of these projects ended up with discussions about why third or fourth generation Americans still call themselves Irish, Italian, Korean, Filipino, Greek, etc. instead of saying they are American first. My blood is pretty watered down at this point—Irish, Swedish, German, Spanish…but it really doesn’t matter. I’m sure kids in other pr ...more
5 "Cloaked by Reminiscence" Stars.


The seventeen Janis Ian sang about where one learns the truth. But what she failed to mention is hat you keep learning truths after seventeen, and I want to keep on learning truths till I die.

Oh yes, again.

Melina Marchetta, I'm telling you, people are going to think I write repetitive reviews for your books because I'm in a severe dearth of adjectives now.

Amazing ?

Lovely ?

Beautiful ?

I ended up in the thesaurus looking for synonyms but well, I coul
Enjoyed Melina Marchetta's debut novel very much, even though it was not as strong and heartbreaking as her Printz-winning Jellicoe Road.

Looking for Alibrandi is a simple coming-of-age story (oh, how I hate this expression!). Josephine is a 17-year old Australian of Italian descend. She is in her last year of school and it's a time in her life when she needs to face many important things - what does she want to be? how should she deal with her newly acquired father who appears after being MIA fo
The first Marchetta. The only one I hadn't read. It was as precious to me as a last born in Charyn and I kept it hidden away for as long as I could. And then Carla declared that it was time to break the emergency glass on this book.

Josephine Alibrandi had me from the beginning. I knew I was dealing with a kindred spirit when on page 5 she says,
"Believe me, I could write a book about problems. Yet my mother says that as long as we have a roof over our head we have nothing to worry about. Her naiv
Loved it!

Quotes I like from this book:

"It's an embarrassing contradiction when your mother gets pregnant out of wedlock because her Catholic upbringing prohibits contraception."

Lovable yet complex characters reveal a good portrait of the culture of 1950's Australia.

Australia was still so young and naive .... so ignorant and brash, like a pubescent teenager fumbling towards a maturity it doesn't yet comprehend.
The influx of immigrants bringing with them a confusion of fascination and fear. Thei
I knew it. I just knew that my complete love for Melina Marchetta was clouded only by her 3rd person POV. And this book is the proof that I was right! I'm relieved I got that out of my system.

I loved this book. Loved it. It's up there with Saving Francesca and Jellicoe Road. But possibly, I loved this book even more than the others. Now I'm going to tell you why.

In 1956, my grand-uncle was 16 when he kissed his mum and dad goodbye, jumped on a boat and took off for Australia in search of fortun
Sue (YAHollywood)
“You know something, Jacob, I'd hate to be as smart as John. I mean he was really, really smart, and to be that smart means you know all the answers, and when you know all the answers there's no room for dreaming.”

To me, there are three different kinds of books, one where the book is simply unsatisfactory. Second where it is only appropriate for its certain era. And third where I just knew this book has made a lasting impression on me.

Looking for Alibrandi falls to the third category. From th
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

I have nothing new to say about Looking for Alibrandi; my review is just going to be an echo of everyone else’s thoughts. I don’t know why I took such a prolonged time to start reading Melina Marchetta novels, but I certainly regret that I didn’t start sooner. In fact, I probably should have listened to my mum when she recommended it to me last year--it was the first book she ever read in English when she first came to Australia. She is still in love with it
Looking for Alibrandi is Melina Marchetta’s debut – and after the emotional rollercoaster that were Saving Francesca, Jellicoe Road and The Piper’s Son, I have to admit that I am a little underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong, compared to a lot of other debuts, this one is still excellent, but on the Melina-Marchetta scale it is probably my least favourite (This sounds bad here, but except Finnikin, all her other novels are among my absolute all-time favourites).

Why? Simply because it didn’t tug on
5 big s
I loved this, and reading it shortly after reading The Getting of Wisdom and Behind the Sun made an interesting contrast.

Josephine Alibrandi is telling her own story at the age of 18 about her last year of high school, her background, and her pals. She’s an out-of-place wog on scholarship who has a few good friends amid the snobs.

The Getting of Wisdom is a story told by Laura, describing her early years at a private school, her background, and her pals in the late 1800s. She’s an impover
*Fangirl warning*

How do you review your favourite book in the universe? Well I was going to say you can't and just continue leaving this unreviewed. Instead what follows is some insane gushing and personal Trin facts.

When I was 15 I received a copy of Looking for Alibrandi for Christmas, I had never heard of it, though at 15 I'd never really heard of much besides the Backstreet Boys. I remember looking at the cover and being skeptical. It had been years since I'd really read anything that wasn't

“I’ll run one day. Run for my life. To be free and think for myself. Not as an Australian and not as an Italian and not as an in-between. I’ll run to be emancipated. If my society will let me.”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
I honestly think the world will stop turning the day I read a MM book I do not like.

High Points.
Strong females. Josie. Nuns. Religion. Family. The past. Jacob. The future. FBA. Identity. Culture. Fast food first jobs. Stories. Catching me off guard with the sadness (which I d
Mar 06, 2011 Arlene rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Arlene by: TBR Reduction Challenge #5 - Nomes
Rating Clarification: 4.5 Stars

I only wish we could have been the best or the worst in the class. Not just somewhere in between… Purgatory... I hate it so much that when I die, and if God sends me there, I’ll beg him to send me to hell instead.

What can I say about Melina Marchetta that I haven’t said before? I love her character driven novels, I wish I could meet each and everyone one of them, and if I could define novel honesty fused with passion, I’d stamp a Marchetta book cover as an example.
Aly (Fantasy4eva)
I'm good at the reviewing part. The thoughts come and I just jot them down, but damn I must have tried to write this one for at least 3 times now. And frankly I'm getting pissed off. So let me try this one more time.

It's the weakest Marchetta novel I've read to date. It doesn't pull on your heart-strings. And whereas her books are so character driven, I felt no connection to any character this time around (apart perhaps a little to John.) I did find how Josie dealt with not feeling accepted and
I think it would be an understatement to say I loved this book. Although Looking for Alibrandi is by no means my favorite Marchetta novel, it's definitely tied with The Piper's Son for third. (In case you were wondering, Saving Francesca is my favorite followed closely by Jellicoe Road. ) In many ways, I feel as if Looking for Alibrandi is Marchetta's most personal novel - I felt as if I could feel parts of her within it. Although authors pour a part of their soul into every work of fic ...more
In spite of my reservations I actually really enjoyed reading this book, although I couldn't help feeling that I probably should have read it in my teens. Except that it wasn't written when I was a teenager!!!! I loved Josephine and I enjoyed her spunk and thought she was very funny and clever. I also enjoyed seeing her relationship with both her Nonna and her father evolve. Although initially I thought that this might just be a teen book I realised that it was so much more with very serious the ...more
I can definitely see why this novel won a whole bunch of awards. There's a lot of layers to this book, just like all of the other Marchetta novels I've read. This is the story of a girl dealing with all of the complexities of having two nationalities, while not really fitting in to either one. It's also about three generations of Italian women who broke the rules. Throw in a coming of age story with first love and all of that good stuff, and you still don't have half of what this book is about. ...more
I think if I had read Looking for Alibrandi first, I would have given it five stars. Of course, then Goodreads would have had to come up with an additional star rating for her other books! Melina Marchetta works her trademark magic in her very first book, holding onto you until the very last page. Looking for Alibrandi has all the components of an amazing young adult book - emotionally gripping, introspective and witty. But somehow, it lacks the punch her later books have. It doesn't grab you by ...more
Aug 24, 2011 Milly rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Melina Marchetta and of young-adult contemporary fiction
Recommended to Milly by: Street Corner bookers
**Audible Review**
Aussie Reading Challenge #5

I was initially hesitant to read Looking for Alibrandi in the audible version because I was fearful I would miss all of Merlina Marchetta’s noteworthy and notable quotes. I’ve read 3 of her books and there were definitely several quotable lines in each one so I was sure this was no different. But, it was there staring at me at the library’s book shelf waiting for me to take it home. How could anyone resist Marchetta, right? Well, thankfully I did beca
I have never come across an author whose work I swore by. I've read many great pieces of literature but they stand alone, they are individual. A writer's first novel might leave me uninspired but his second novel might break my heart. Its like music, not every song by a musician is going to be a hit. Until Melina Marchetta. I wasn't even worried when I picked up Looking for Alibrandi because I knew it would be good. And it was. I feel like all of her books are on par with each other, except for ...more
Tamsien West
Required reading for young teens, Looking for Alabrandi is a beautifully realised tale of growing-up, fitting in, and discovering who you are.

Marchetta explores the experience of growing up as a 'third-culture-kid' in Sydney during the 1990's. There are so many issues/themes explored in this book; cultural identity, class division, bullying, suicide, virginity, single parenthood, and relationships with parents/grandparents, but readers won't feel like they are being lectured to. The issues are
I can't believe this was a debut novel. Melina Marchetta has a brilliant way of writing real and relatable characters that you feel an immediate connection to. This was an amazing story that had me laughing hysterically in many parts. I've been having a hard time trying to think of what to say in this review so I'm just going to list the things I love about this book:

Josephine and her big, smart mouth. She's feisty and not a pushover. That along with her big mouth often gets her into trouble. Ye
Sarah ♢November hiatus♢
Sep 30, 2015 Sarah ♢November hiatus♢ rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Probably not Marchetta lovers..
Recommended to Sarah ♢November hiatus♢ by: The ridiculously naive Marchetta fanatic inside me.
’’There’s no denying that Melina Marchetta is a literary goddess, but Looking for Alibrandi just isn’t that good.
- Every Marchetta fan who read her debut novel after being blown away by her other book(s).
This book was nowhere near as amazing as the author's other works, but I didn't expect it to be either. Marchetta's writing and characterization has gotten a lot better over the years, and gone from average to stunning.

Family relationships: B
I really liked the relationships in the Alibrandi f
All through the reading of this book, I felt like the author hadn't been able to decide quite what she was writing; is this a teen's journal or is it a first-person narration book? Every chapter seemed to address some subject of the main character's life, and mostly they seemed really disconnected. I didn't think the writing was smooth at all, though it wasn't because it was trying to imitate a teen's voice. I liked some of the concepts, but overall it just seemed like there was a pattern of "st ...more
Living is the challenge. Not dying. Dying is so easy. Sometimes it only takes ten seconds to die. But living? That can take you eighty years and you do something in that time.

There are a few minor spoilers in this review. I think I've hidden the major ones, but beware if you haven't read the book.

Looking for Alibrandi is the first Marchetta novel that actually made me cry (it's a surprise for me, too). If I had to rate her books in order of preference, I would put it third on the list (after J
Jun 10, 2011 Alyssa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who believes in the power of making your own freedom.
Recommended to Alyssa by: A bunch of Goodreaders. Thanks, guys!
Melina Marchetta is a goddamn genius. Really, she is. She so easily captivated me with her debut, LOOKING FOR ALIBRANDI, when I haven’t really been able to finish anything in the last month.

I am almost completely deprived on new material by Miss Melina. I was trying to save this little, tiny thing for a rainy day, the kind where you really need something to hold you to place. When I finally picked up this book, it was because I truly needed something guaranteed to be good to keep me hanging on
Mary Drake
I love it. Couldn't put it down. Although I grew up in the 70s, as an Irish Catholic girl that didn't fit the mainstream, I found the voice absolutely authentic. The problems and perils and joys were similar though. The only sticking point is that the parents are SO perfect. I laughed out loud and cried. What more could you ask for in a book? Thanks to my Aussie readers book group for pushing me to work on my To Be Read list. I've just had a delightful day with this book.
I remember when this book came out while I was at school and decided it wasn’t really my thing at the time so I didn’t read it then, but am now catching up with some of Melina Marchetta’s work. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as Saving Francesca - I think because I found Josephine Alibrandi a more difficult character to relate to than Francesca. Josephine, although a school vice-captain, does things that I would never have dreamed of doing at her age and is consequently regularly in trouble! She ...more
Will be edited later, it's late and I know I rambled on a bit...

I like that I happen to read Marchetta's books out of publishing order, it really strikes me that even though this is is her first novel I sit here thinking to myself of all the stories that she has woven for us all and I love her more for it. To know this was the first one... the first of many great ones is astounding.

If I were to sit and write a novel, through many, many - MANY rewrite get something completed it would be no where
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Aussie Readers: Looking For Alibrandi buddy read 28 28 Sep 19, 2015 07:22PM  
Who else enjoyed this book? 1 9 Jan 05, 2015 09:06PM  
Gaps and Silences 7 33 Apr 16, 2014 04:49AM  
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Melina Marchetta was born in Sydney Australia. Her first novel, Looking For Alibrandi was awarded the Children's Book Council of Australia award in 1993 and her second novel, Saving Francesca won the same award in 2004. Looking For Alibrandi was made into a major film in 2000 and won the Australian Film Institute Award for best Film and best adapted screen play, also written by the author. On the ...more
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“Living is the challenge. Not dying. Dying is so easy. Sometimes it only takes ten seconds to die. But living? That can take you eighty years and you do something in that time.” 152 likes
“Promise me you'll never stop dreaming.” 125 likes
More quotes…