#AWW2021 #LoveOzYA“Simple dreams are the hardest to come true” // Book Review: “Looking for Alibrandi” by Melina Marchetta

1Title: Looking for Alibrandi
Author: Melina Marchetta
Genre: Contemporary
Intended audience: YA
Date Read: 01/03/2021 – 05/03/2021
Rating: 
★★★★

Review: 

This is one of those YA books I really wish I had read when I was actually a young adult. By the time I was in high-school it was already firmly established as an Australian Classic, but it was never on my curriculum and somehow I never got around to it on my own time before now.

Melina Marchetta beautifully explores what it is like growing up caught between two identities, and how that can affect family and friend relationships. It’s hard to explain exactly what it is, but there’s something really Australian about the tone and voice of this book.

Josie is sometimes a difficult character to sympathise with but at the same time, she is a self-aware of a lot of her faults. While we see the other characters through Josie’s eyes, they do become their own fully formed characters. I especially loved how the relationship between Josie and her Nonna developed, and how it was nearly torn apart towards the end when certain revelations came to light.

One of my colleagues saw me reading this in the lunch room and said that Melina Marchetta is one of her favourite authors, and that she always returns to her books “when she needs a good cry”. I definitely found myself getting teary at the end. It wraps up perfectly, even as it goes to show that life will always be messy and you can only do your best to follow the path you want.


This review is part of my 2021 Australian Women Writers Challenge. Click here for more information.

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#WIPpet Wednesday and #WWW Wednesday – 18 November, 2015

So I’m pretty sure I fixed the WIPpet Wednesday linky so it’ll all be all right. The advantage of living where I do is that I’ll probably be the first one to try using it, so I should know if anything goes wrong.

I officially declared the first draft of Operation: Sugarplum completed on Monday. It’s actually not entirely finished, but I was getting sick of trying to join up the bits of the ending that I had written, so I’m going to fix it later. I’m still going to use it for the next couple of WIPpets though, as I’m actually… planning my next WIP. I know, I know. Calm yourselves. I started out using the Snowflake Method, though I’m only up to Step 4 and have already broken some of the rules. It’s fine, though. It’s more planning than I’ve ever done before. Which is good. You have actually read a couple of bits from it under this category, but those two bits don’t actually exist anymore.

wednesdaybannerAnyway. You’ll hear more of that in coming weeks. For WIPpet Wednesday this week, I have added the 1 and the 8 of the 18th together and have 9 paragraphs. This is not long after last week’s excerpt; Max is persuading Clara she needs to go back to her house. The house that is full of Creelans. For extra context, Creela and Max’s country, Thelidon, have been at war for years, and Max, as the magical heir to the throne, is expected to deal with them .

“They’re not going to go away of their own free will. I’m going to have to deal with them somehow.” He looked over at Clara. “I could use your help.”

Clara shrugged. “Okay, fine.”

Max turned into a side street and used someone’s driveway to turn around. He started heading back towards Clara’s house. Clara felt her stomach knotting up the closer they got. Max parked the car around the corner from the house, and then turned to Clara again.

“Don’t do anything crazy. Try to keep the King distracted, at least, while I get inside.”

“Once you start killing off his minions, he’s not going to listen to me for much longer.”

“I know. But we’ll cross that bridge when it comes.”

“I love a man with a plan,” said Clara sarcastically.

“You’ll be fine. Just be careful.” Max leaned over and gave her a quick kiss. “Okay, go. I’ll follow in a few minutes.”

Clara sighed, and got out of the car. She gave Max a small wave and then turned to walk towards her street. A few minutes later, she found herself approaching her house with a growing sense of dread for the second time that night.

To join in on WIPpet Wednesday, simply post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date, and then join up with us via the linky at the top-right of my blog.

Next up is WWW Wednesday, which is hosted by Sam over at A World of Words. You can join in over there by leaving a link to your own WWW Wednesday on today’s post. All you need to do is answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

  • What are you currently reading?

The Beast’s Garden by Kate Forsyth. This is historical fiction, set in Nazi Germany, but also a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast variation, The Singing Springing Lark. I’m only a few chapters in, but I have high hopes.

I’m also listening to Looking for Alibrandi, which is a classic Australian YA that I never read as a teenager. It’s very 90s, but I’m not minding that. I am enjoying that the narrator ends half her sentences with an upper inflection. It makes her sound like such an Australian teen. (Adam Hills has an amusing routine about how we go up at the ends of our sentences).

  • What did you recently finish reading?

I finished Winter and the damn book made me cry. I loved seeing the final journey for these characters, though it always hard to let a series go when you’ve been enjoying it. I would really like for Marissa Meyer to write a new series that is about Cress and Thorne having galactic adventures, and Thorne forgetting he’s gone straight half the time, and Cress reminding him. I guess I’ll have to make do with whatever fanfiction exists. (I am blaming this book for the fact that the new story I’m planning went from “and the Princess confronts her father about his treatment of her and the people” to “and the Princess leads the people in a revolution” during early plotting stages).

And then I followed this up with another book that made me cry, A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness. This was a very beautiful book, and I listened to the audio, which was read by Jason Isaacs (if you don’t know him from anywhere else, he played Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies). His voice was perfection.

Also, two reviews went up in the past week, for Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth and  A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I also have The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth from the library, so that will be next, followed by some books I picked up at a St Vincent de Paul warehouse sale recently.

That’s it from me. I have my final astronomy class tonight, so I’ve got to head out for that soon. I’ll see you on your blogs later!

~ Emily