Saturday, August 20, 2005

Looking for Alibrandi, by Melina Marchetta

Josie Alibrandi lives alone with her mother and attends a Catholic school in Adelaide. She's different from the other girls for a number of reasons: she's attending on a scholarship, she doesn't have a father, and she's Italian - a "wog." And in her last year of high school, as she prepares for law school, she juggles a boyfriend from the wrong side of the tracks (Jacob), the pristine John, and the return of her father.

This novel grabbed my attention because (as the jacket explains) "it won every major award for young adult literature in Australia and is on the Higher School Certificate [the Aussie SATs] reading list." So, apparently, they think it's a good book.

What a disappontment. It has been a long time since I was so bored by a novel. The story is hard to follow, poorly written (dialog sequences where you can't tell who is talking because they all sound alike), and dull. By the end, I was just beginning to care a little about the revealing of family secrets and thought the story might be becoming interesting, when she dumped in some very unnecessary melodrama that just made my skin crawl. This is an absolutely HIDDEOUSLY written book. And if it is the best that Australia can produce, they have a long way to go. A waste of time.

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