Published on October 5, 1992 by E-Penguin
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.So I finally gave in and read a Marchetta book, usually when I start reading a new author I try to read by publication year, from the oldest to the newest, I think this is a safe method because obviously authors grow and if I read their latest works there is a bigger chance that when I get to their first works it will be underwhelming. Anyways, about Looking for Alibrandi, so, this one was a mixed one for me.
Caught between the old-world values of her Italian grandmother, the nononsense wisdom of her mom, and the boys who continue to mystify her, Josephine is on the ride of her life. This will be the year she falls in love, the year she discovers the secrets of her family’s past—and the year she sets herself free.
Told with unmatched depth and humor, this novel—which swept the pool of Australian literary awards and became a major motion picture—is one to laugh through and cry with, to cherish and remember.
On one side I really get why people obsess over Marchetta, this is her first work and the writing is already so beautiful - I highlighted so many quotes on my Kobo! It has that way of just putting philosophical thoughts on life, growing up and finding yourself in such a natural way that is also very truthful which made me really emotional at some parts. It was incredible to get to know Jose and I was so proud of her on the end, like seriously this is a coming of age story where we actual see, REALLY see the main character change and grow so much.
But at the same time this book kind of... surprised me, maybe, I don't know, at times. Jose and her family and the characters of this book shout and cry and fight a lot, like they will be talking something completely ordinary and suddenly someone will start shouting and there is some big fight and I was like "what". I get that this was on purpose because Jose Italian family and stuff but still, I mean I know this happens, this happens on my family all the time, still, it was weird.
In the end I enjoyed this book more than got bothered by its explosions of feelings. I think that if you enjoy a funny but also meaningful story you will love this one, Jose kind of reminded me of Georgia Nicholson and Ruby Oliver so if you liked those main characters highly recommend this one too and of course to every lover of contemporary and coming of age fiction.