Looking for Alibrandi raises many important issues found in most teenagers' lives. Expectations and other people's opinion are extremely important and affect the way we act and the image we try to portray. Melina Marchetta tries to reach audiences by writing about issues she and those close to her have had to deal with. Issues such as peer pressure, suicide and trying to fit in with societies expectations make this a powerful insight into the teenage life.
"We grew up in the midst of the snobs at St Martha's and discovered that somehow brains didn't count that much. Money, prestige and what you father did for a living counted. If your hair wasn't in a bob or if your mother didn't drive a Volvo you were a nobody." (Pg 21) Society today has many downsides, if you don't act and think a certain way people will ridicule you. Teenagers now more than ever have to face the enormous pressure put on them by their peers, being forced to go out and buy the coolest clothes, shoes, makeup and accessories that they can afford, just to be treated with civility. Those students who are in expensive private schools are often cast out if their parents don't make enough money for them to go out and buy the new most popular item or buy a whole wardrobe of the latest trendy clothes. The most popular teenagers are often not those who are nice to everyone, but those who look good and have a lot of money, and as those usually come hand-in-hand the poorer students often have no friends.
"They spat out my mothers name in disgust repeatedly, and all I remember hearing was 'they don't even know who he is' in Italian, over and over again. I didn't understand what it all meant at the time. Until a bully called Greg Simons, who lived next door to us when I was ten, called me a bastard.
"There's always something that shouldn't be said or done. There are always jobs I have to learn because all good Italian girls know how to do them and one day I'll need them to look after my chauvinistic husband.