Looking for Alibrandi
Published 1999 (1992) by Orchard Books (Hachette)
This heartwarming tale of family and self features Josephine Alibrandi, an Italian-Australian student in her final year at a strict Catholic high school. Because of the circumstances of her birth, she and her mother are frequently the topic of disapproving discussion among the Italian community, and though Josie knows who her father is, she has no desire to meet him. But when he moves back home, she doesn't have much of a choice. Not that she'll go down without a fight, of course. But as she gets to know her father, as well as to see another side of her mother, Josie learns more about her family and her own life.
YA authors take note: this is what real teenage melodrama looks like. Josie is loud and dramatic, but it's charming rather than annoying. Because Marchetta is such a great writer, I found it easy to relate to Josie's problems and sympathized with her when she got angsty about them. More of her problems were related to family than boys, which was refreshingly normal.
There were definitely some emotional moments in this book. Marchetta does a great job with these scenes, making them seem real and touching. Basically, this book, like Marchetta's other works, seems very true, with realistic characters and situations. If you haven't read any of her books yet, you really should!
In the same aisle
If I Stay by Gayle Forman