In this novel (Looking for Alibrandi) Josephine Alibrandi is seen as an illegitimate 17-year-old girl who is self-centred, ignorant and sensitive about her illegitimacy and her reputation and what people say about her behind her back. She is also described as confused because she isn't sure where she stands in life, whether she is an Australian or and Italian, and is paranoid in thinking because she is of Italian background she is constantly being victimised and society wouldn't see her for who she is as an individual instead as an Italian or an Australian.
During her final year in High School, many events take place in her life that changed her attitudes towards both her self and others, those events ranged from the most life changing events like the discovering of Nonna Katia's secret, the reunification of herself and her long lost biological father and the tragic suicide of her best friend John Barton to the most least important events like the incident involving one of the 'beautiful people' Carly Bishop.
Firstly, the sudden and unexpected suicide of Josephine's best friend John Barton turns her life around, "The day John died was a nose-dive day and I hit the ground so hard that I feel as if every part of me hurts. I remembered when we spoke about our emancipation. The horror is that he had to die to achieve his. The beauty is that I'm living to achieve mine."
John Barton was one of the closest people to Josephine and they shared many things in common, she later realises how lucky she is to have to choose her own path and destiny and that some people like John Barton had their life planned out by others for them and they had no freedom over their future.