It can be argued that Looking for Alibrandi is very much a novel about change. After all, at its end Josie Alibrandi consents to becoming Josie Andretti. But there are many other things that change in her life. She loses a friend, John Barton, in tragic circumstances, but she also discovers her father. Mysteries about the actual identity of her mother's father are solved, and she develops a greater understanding and love for her grandmother. She constantly interacts with her Italian heritage both within herself and with others and comes to a deeper understanding of it. Her arch-enemy, Poison Ivy, becomes simply Ivy, but her relationship with Jacob ends. At the end of it all Josie feels stronger and more optimistic as a result of the changes.
Some of these changes seem to be serendipitous, that is, changes that occur simply through chance, but this is what life is often about.
For example, being spotted truanting on the evening TV news by Sister Louise might seem to be sheer bad luck. Yet the painful interview with her teacher reveals to Josie that she is a popular student at St Catherine's: popular enough to be voted school captain. Her perception of herself as an outsider because of her cultural and family background is simply not correct.
Again at the beginning of the novel Josie thinks that her relationship with her grandmother will never improve. The cultural and generation gaps seem too vast. Josie thinks her grandmother is an intolerant busybody who should have greater respect for her daughter and granddaughter's feelings. She both loves and dislikes her grandmother. However, a complete break occurs between them when Josie discovers her grandmother's affair with Marcus Sandford, in the distant past, and the back- ground to her mother's birth. However, this anger changes to...