Looking for Alibrandi: Review #LoveOzYA
I haven’t been active on this blog since April this year and I’ve decided to come back to reviewing books and reading more during these summer holidays. 2020 has been crazy and I have not been reading much (I’ve read an embarrassing number of 15 books this year so far 😞). How has your reading been going this year?
Today I am reviewing ‘Looking For Alibrandi’ by Melina Marchetta. Read on for a no-spoiler review! (There is also a film adaptation for this book and I highly recommend it!)
Overall Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5
One-sentence summary: A heartfelt story of a 17-year-old Italian girl navigating Year 12, first love, complex family relationships, and discovering her own identity in 1990s Australia.
Plot summary: Josie Alibrandi is in her last year of high school at an all-girls Catholic private school. At home, it’s always been her, her mother and grandmother, but suddenly her father, who she has never met before, arrives and wants her in his life. At the same time, she is falling in love with the most unexpected guy and trying to understand what to expect from her future out of school.
What I liked: Mostly everything. I loved the plot, the characters, the romance and the cultural elements. While Josie was a refreshing and memorable character who was not afraid to speak out and always had a witty comeback, sometimes she was quite obnoxious and said some nasty things – although it is understandable that she is 17 and has a lot going on in her life (and many emotions running through her). It was great seeing how she realised some of her faults and thought through them, and overcame her stubbornness to apologise. The storyline also kept you guessing and there were unexpected moments throughout until the very end.
What I didn’t like: I am quite happy with this read.
Trigger Warning: there is heavy content in this book, including discrimination, death, suicide, mental health issues (depression) and abusive relationships.
Book or movie? I enjoyed both. The book definitely shed more light on the characters and their backstory and expanded a lot more on the relationships between different characters. The film was great too though and stuck quite close to the original plot and story events. The cast was amazing too and had great chemistry.
Will I recommend it? If yes, to who? I will recommend this book (and movie) to older teens. It is a great story, well-written from a (somewhat) relatable perspective and makes you consider and questions some aspects of life, identity and relationships. The movie has an awesome cast and is enjoyable to watch.