Despite Looking For Alibrandi being the most well known Melina Marchetta book, and the first of her books to find its way onto my bookshelf, it wasn’t actually the first one that I read. I am ashamed to say that I didn’t even purchase it, my ex boyfriend commandeered a copy from the school library (living up to the adage that it is the most stolen library book) and it somehow ended up at my place. I had seen the movie many years before hand, when my older sister had been studying it at school, and I enjoyed it, yet I never got the urge to read the book. It wasn’t until I read On The Jellicoe Road (and instantly fell in love) that I decided it was time to dust it off and give it a go. I must admit, I was a little hesitant because I had such high expectations, but I am pleased to report that Looking for Alibrandi was even better that I was hoping.
In a few simple dot points, these are some of the things I love about Looking for Alibrandi;
– It is so easy to relate to
– Josie has such a strong voice
– The intricacies of the relationships
– It has a hopeful ending rather than an ‘everything is perfect’ ending
– Jacob Coote.
Ah, Looking For Alibrandi. Where to start? Firstly, I guess I really do have to be thankful to the Victorian secondary school syllabus. Without it, I don’t know if I would have ever read Looking For Alibrandi. Unfortunately, the fact that I had to study it didn’t endear me to it and to be honest, I didn’t love it after reading it for the first time.
I’ve read it many times since year 9 and these days, it holds a special place in my heart because it was the first book of Melina Marchetta’s that I read. It’s such a relatable book and I think it’s an understated book, even though it’s generally said to be her most well known book. It’s definitely one of those books that you don’t realise how much you’ve enjoyed until you think back after you’ve finished it. AND it has Jacob Coote, the first of Melina’s many crushable characters.