When we meet seventeen-year-old Josephine Alibrandi, at the beginning of the text, our first impression of her is that she is very rebellious and cheeky. We know that she is rebellious because of the fact that she is reading a magazine during class. We also see this in the way that she speaks to and about Sister Gregory. "Religion class, first period Monday morning, is the place to try to pull the wool over the eyes of Sister Gregory." When she is caught with the magazine, she is able to skilfully talk her way out of trouble. "I brought this magazine in today, Sister, to speak to everyone about how insulted we are as teenagers and how important it is that we think for ourselves...". This reply also shows that she is intelligent, quick thinking and articulate. The reader is impressed and amused by Josephine's antics, but feels that she was slightly disrespectful.
As we read further through the novel we get to see some of Josephine's less attractive qualities. We learn that she tends to be very melodramatic. An example of this is "It's cancer isn't it.... I threw myself down on the bed". The reader is often frustrated with Josephine's melodrama, as are her friends. Lee tells her "Jacob is the only person I know who can put up with your melodrama." Some other unattractive qualities we witness are Josephine's impulsiveness, her quick temper and her occasionally violent tendencies.