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Looking for Alibrandi Paperback – May 9, 2006
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Seventeen-year-old Josephine Alibrandi is no stranger to conflict. If she's not caught between her strict single mom and her even stricter grandmother, then she's trying to choose between wealthy good boy John Barton and working-class bad boy Joseph Coote. Josephine is always in trouble with the nuns at her Catholic school (who everyone calls "penguins because of them wearing wimples and all that Sound of Music gear") because she fights with native Australian kids over her mixed Australian/Italian heritage. Just when she thinks her situation couldn't possibly get more complicated, her mysterious, long-lost biological father comes back and Josephine must decide if it's worth getting to know this person who abandoned her and her mother. But through it all--including a startling revelation from her grandmother and the suicide of a close friend--Josephine manages to hold on to her sense of humor, as in this reflective moment: "I could have been a model for Hot Pants. Except that when I finally put my glasses on, reality set in. Hot Pants would have to wait."
Award-winning Australian author Melina Marchetta has created a strong and sassy role model in Josephine, whom girls with growing pains on both sides of the Pacific will love. With its accurate and insightful portrayal of a young woman's coming of age, Looking for Alibrandi will have female teens waiting eagerly for Marchetta's next novel. (Ages 12 and older) --Jennifer Hubert --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Although this involving novel is set in the author's native Australia, American readers will feel right at home, thanks to the charismatic, outspoken narrator, 17-year-old Josephine Alibrandi. A scholarship student at a tony Catholic girls' school, Josie is aware that she is different from her affluent "Aussie" classmates: she's illegitimate, and she's closely tied to her Italian immigrant community. She feels periodically rebellious against her classmates' snobbishness, against the nuns' authority at school, against her community's mores. Even so, Josie clearly regards the women in her lifeAher single mother, her grandmother and even some of the nunsAwith affection as well as exasperation. Josie has less experience dealing with guys until senior year, when three members of the opposite sex complicate her world. Her father, who has not previously known of her existence, arrives on the scene unexpectedly, and she can't help feeling drawn to him. She also becomes involved with two boys her own age: the upper-class but desperately unhappy John Barton and the wilder, iconoclastic Jacob Coote. The casting or plot may sound clich?ed, but the characterizations are unusually insightful and persuasive. In articulate, passionate prose, Marchetta weaves the intricate web of Josephine's relationships, juxtaposing her revelations about her family history against current crises (these include John's suicide). If the author loses momentum at the end, straining for tidy closure, she does, simultaneously, leave open new doorways for her heroine. Ages 14-up.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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And then her father comes back into her life.
Josephine is a wonderfully real teen, full of both worries and courage, as she unexpectedly comes to connect with both her dad and other teens.
Josephine and her big, smart mouth. She's feisty and not a pushover. That along with her big mouth often gets her into trouble. Yet, she's cares about others.
Jacob Coote: So passionate and straightforward. He's not afraid to say what's on his mind. Loved this quote from him: "I've grown accustomed to you," he said. "You're just not what I'm used to." "And you've got the biggest mouth I've ever met." Josie: "Lovely. Why am I lying on the beach with a boy who's insulting me."?" Jacob: "Because you're attracted to me sexually." The romance between him and Josie is a nice blend of sweet and ornery at the same time. These two are ready to smack each other one minute, and then kiss until their lips are bruised, the next.
The old-world Italian family: Christina, Josie's mom, who gave up so much to raise Josie on her own. Nonna Katia, the hysterics and drama always surrounding her. In the beginning you find her just as irritating as Josie. But as Josie gets her history, you feel for her just as Josie does. Nonna Katia's story ends up being quite interesting and sad at the same time. And then there's Michael, the father who comes back into the Alibrandi's life. The developing relationship was heart-warming.
Here are some of my favorite quotes/scenes:
Josie: "We don't even love each other." Jacob: "I do a bit, you know." Josie: "You do what a bit?" Jacob: "You know. Like you...whatever...love you a bit." Josie: "I think I kind of love you too."
Jacob: "Didn't I once squash two eggs against your glasses?" Josie: "I'm flattered you remembered."
Josie: "He's not my type." Lee: "Why?" Josie: "He cracked two eggs on my glasses once." Lee: "Out of twelve girls in that alley, he picked you to do that to. I think he likes you."
Sister Gregory is famous for nostril-flaring. Once I commented to someone that she must have been a horse in another life. She overheard and scolded me, saying that, as a Catholic, I shouldn't believe in reincarnation.
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Quotes I like from this book:
"It's an embarrassing contradiction when your mother gets pregnant out of wedlock because her Catholic upbringing...Read more