2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Coming of age at its very best!
8 March, 2014
How do you write a review about a book that's about nothing in particular but rather, about everything? And of a book that you've connected with on such a deep level that you really, literally have no words?
Which is why this review is going to be a mini review! (because, seriously, this book is so freaking aborkinfrgdgn AH-MA-ZING that I know that if I attempt to write a full review, I will just be setting myself up for failure)
While filling out the book details, I noticed that Looking for Alibrandi was written in 1992. That makes it 21 years old this year, and yet it continues to remain a book that can be considered one of the best in it's genre, proving it's worth. And the fact that it is just as relevant today as it was when it was first published is a huge feat, considering how many books become dated in a matter of few years nowadays. I finished this book a really long time back (like, August), and have been hesitating to write a review ever since, wondering if I could do this book justice, capture the essence of it.
This is my third Marchetta book, but she had me at Saving Francesca (the first book by her that I read). There's something about Marchetta's protagonists. I dont know what, but there is something. They're not overtly emotional or angsty, or have some traumatic past that holding them back (I mean something like rape or abuse) or anything, like almost every other YA protagonist nowadays. Normal kids, just going about their business, facing everyday problems that could happen to any of us. Bu the thing is, they dont make their entire life about that little snag. The book is not about that snag. It's about so much, much more, and the 'snag' just happens to be... well, a snag that they find ways to deal with. Did I get my point across? I hope I did.
Josie is someone that I could relate to on a level heretofore unprecedented with a fictional character. And I know that sounds so cliched, the world 'relate', but it's not one that I use very often, so I have no qualms about doing so now. Josie is frank, brutally honest and unabashedly female, but there's also a side to her that's just a little girl who tries to see the world through her mother's eyes, to understand her feeling, even when she's not so sure about her own, and sometimes, she just breaks your heart. You cant help but root for her right from the start.
There are so many aspects of both our lives that are very similar (know what? Maybe she can be my book sister! Like book boyfriend? Book sister? Anyone?), like the fact that there are cultural values that she has to adhere to, even if she sometimes doesn't want to, and the pressure to maintain an 'image' to name a few. Also,
So not being able to go out a lot is one of my many problems.
I feel you, girl. Totally.
Looking for Alibrandi is not your average young adult book. It explores ideas, concepts and relationships with depth that is thought provoking and interestingly delivered. It was beautiful to see how Nonna's, Christina's (Josie's mum), and Josie's characters grew through the book, each facing her own trials, both with her own life and with relation to the other two (they're all women of strong character, with very set ideas), and how they all come together as one at the end, and find that they're not all that different from each other after all.
One last word, and then I'll leave, otherwise this will no longer be a 'mini-review'.
Bottomline: A book that will leave you wondering how exactly did you go about life without reading this beautiful piece of literature that provides endless food for thought while at the same time, remains true to the spirit of teenage life. Looking for Alibrandi is a must read. Period.
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