C.G. Drews's Reviews > Looking for Alibrandi

Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
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really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, young-adult, aussie-authors

I think this is one of the books you NEED to read if you’re an Aussie and into contemporary YA. It’s like a building block to literate. That saying, I…um…only just read it. Guilty! I know. But I HAVE read it now and I loved it.

Well, technically, I didn’t read it. I listened to this as an audio book, read by Marcella Russo (who has the most amazing Italian accent…ever). I really enjoyed having it read out loud. I absorbed everything, instead of skimming the slower parts. There are a lot of, what I’d consider “slow” parts, that have the potential to get annoying and boring. Josie’s grandma does a lot of narration of her past, and it’s crucial to the plot, but at first I didn’t know why. It was always interesting, but I didn’t know why we listened to full chapters of backstory recount (narrated in dialogue and with that gorgeous Italian accent, of course). At the end it was ALL clear. But because I listened to this book, I really appreciated the slowness. It spans the HSC year of Josephine Alibrandi. I hate to label it as “slow”, but it just wasn’t “fast”.

You know the books that throw you off your chair with surprise at the ending? Yup, this was one of them. The ending hit me HARD. I mean, woah, where did that come from? I loved it. It was devastating and perfect and wrong, which is a marvelous feat for an author to pull off. Huge clap to Melina Marchetta!

Characters? Got to love the narrator, Josie. She’s one of those girls that always has something to say. She doesn’t mess around, but she makes lots of mistakes. She’s so far from perfect, but she doesn’t care. I loved her character! It was so well written. At the beginning she’s so feisty and uncontrollable, and then at the end, she’s mellowed into someone who listens and doesn’t let her life be ruled by what other people think she should do/act/say/be. I loved her journey throughout the story.

Now, what about, dear bucko boyfriend: Jacob Coot. My gosh, that kid needed a smack on the head with a wet noodle. He was SO set in his ways! Come to think of it, he was exactly like Josie. Grrr. I just wanted to sock him, because he could be so unfeeling towards cultures and feelings, and yet when he wanted to, he understood everything. Josie lived a world ruled by her Italian heritage. Plus, she was illegitimate, which meant everyone “talked” about her. She couldn’t just “do” what she wanted. She was tied! But Jacob never seemed to get that. He was so annoying, yet so perfect for Josie.

The story was really about growing up. It was sad, the ending killed me, but it was right. The thing that hit me most was how like REAL life it is. It’s not prettified and it doesn’t end like “it should”. It ends like it “would”. Which is awesome and so annoying all at once. Least to say, I loved this book!
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Reading Progress

September 4, 2013 – Started Reading
September 4, 2013 – Shelved
September 4, 2013 –
45.0% "I'm listening to this as an audio book. Looooving it."
September 10, 2013 –
85.0%
September 12, 2013 – Shelved as: contemporary
September 12, 2013 – Shelved as: young-adult
September 12, 2013 – Finished Reading
September 14, 2013 – Shelved as: aussie-authors

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