15 July, 2010

Book Review: Looking for Alibrandi

Title: Looking for Alibrandi
Author: Melina Marchetta
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Page Count: 250
Rating: 4 out of 5*
Cover Rating: 4 out of 5. I like the girl, and the grainy-ness of the image. The brown and blue is okay, but not the best, although it does capture the mood of the book.

Inside flap:

There had never been a man in Josephine Alibrandi's life. But now, in her senior year at high school, there are three.

Josephine's father, who left Sydney when Christina, Josephine's mother, was an unwed pregnant teenager, is back in town and increasingly involved in his daughter's life. John Barton, polished and rich and bound for law school, is romantically interested in Josephine. And so is Jacob Coote, a working-class boy, easy on the eyes, who moves Josephine in ways she never thought possible.

Set against the background of Sydney, Australia, and its vibrant Australian community, this emotionally charged novel follows a feisty heroine's struggle to balance the pressures of school, family, and friends--while, at the same time, coming to understand herself.

The good: There are books that make you satisfied in the "OMG the bad guys are dead and hero prevailed!" and there are books that make you satisfied in the "That was so REAL" way. This book is real. Melina Marchetta should stick to realism, since I really liked this book, and I really didn't like Finnikin of the Rock.

I liked Josephine Alibrandi, the main character. She's strong, and can stand up for herself. She's sassy, sensible, and has her aspirations. She wants to go to law school, and she's serious about most of the things she does.

Jacob Coote is also a good character. He's no sparkly, stony vampire. He's real. He's a normal guy, with problems, and with feelings. He's defiant and doesn't always understand the way Josie thinks, but I like that. Their relationship is lifelike, and not the desperate love that many paranormal books present. (Although, a good heartbreaking story can be good once in a while. :)

I also liked the family dynamics. They're also real, and the problems that her grandmother experienced were real; immigrants from Italy having to deal with a new language, people, etc. And there's the representation of the way Italian women were treated by their husbands.

The bad: Nothing. :) The only reason I didn't rate this a 5 out of 5 was that I don't normally read realistic fiction, and it's not my usual cup of tea.

*Warning: some language/violence. It's in Australia, so there are a few terms that Americans wouldn't be familiar with. They're insulting things based on racism.*

Do I recommend this book? YES!

*About my ratings: I've noticed that a lot of people put their rating at the end of their book reviews, whereas I put mine at the top. I like knowing what the blog author thinks before I read the whole post, but if you'd prefer I put my ratings at the bottom, I can do that. What do you guys prefer?

-----The Golden Eagle

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Anonymous said...

I like (and put) my rating at the end. That way, the reader can see what I rated the book after I told all about it, and then make their own judgment.

But that's just me...I love the review by the way! I really want to read it! I love anything that takes place in Australia. :)

Memzie said...

I really want to read it! It sounds like it might inspire me and my book.

I like putting my rating at the top too.

The Words Crafter said...

I don't read too much realism, either, but the review sounded good. As for ratings, I just blather on about how much I loved it or hated it. If it's somewhere in between, I usually explain. Hmmm, should I start rating them?

Shelley said...

Great reveiw! Sounds like it is worth reading! I will have to check it out! ;)


Blueicegal ♥ said...

glad that you enjoyed it haven't head of it before but sounds interesting ;)

The Golden Eagle said...

Shaynie: Hmmm. That's a good point.

Glad you like the review! I haven't read many books that take place in Australia, except for Evil Genius/Genius Squad. :P

Memzie: Really? I hope you get around to reading it, then. :)

The Words Crafter: I suppose it depends on the book. I guess ratings aren't all that important since they're rather subjective, but I like ratings since they give a concise way of presenting the reader's opinion.

Shelly: Do! Obviously, I like it. :)

Blueicegal: It is.

Audrey; (AyC) said...

awhh i love MM! your totally right about how the real-ness is like a kick in the gut for this book, josie is such a great character :) awesome review!

i put ratings at the bottom cuz i dunno... :P

The Golden Eagle said...

Glad you like the review! :)