Saturday, August 7, 2010

Review by Alex- Jellicoe Road

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
"What do you want from me?" he asks. What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him. More.

Abandoned by her mother on Jellic...more "What do you want from me?" he asks. What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him. More.

Abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road when she was eleven, Taylor Markham, now seventeen, is finally being confronted with her past. But as the reluctant leader of her boarding school dorm, there isn't a lot of time for introspection. And while Hannah, the closest adult Taylor has to family, has disappeared, Jonah Griggs is back in town, moody stares and all.

In this absorbing story by Melina Marchetta, nothing is as it seems and every clue leads to more questions as Taylor tries to work out the connection between her mother dumping her, Hannah finding her then and her sudden departure now, a mysterious stranger who once whispered something in her ear, a boy in her dreams, five kids who lived on Jellicoe Road eighteen years ago, and the maddening and magnetic Jonah Griggs, who knows her better than she thinks he does. If Taylor can put together the pieces of her past, she might just be able to change her future.

First Impressions: Well, this is a reread, so I already knew I loved Jellicoe Road and Melina Marchetta. All of her books have impressed me and left a mark, Jellicoe Road especially. So when I happened to make a trip and spot Jellicoe Road, well I just had to pick it up.

Jellicoe Road has everything. No, it IS everything. If there was ever to be a book with a soul, this would be it. It has a raw power to it. It makes me smile, it makes me cry - a lot - but most of all, it makes me believe in something beautiful. I really do believe that it's one of those rare and special books.

It's one of those that are better as a reread than the first time reading, if possible. The clues fit in better. At my library, it's labelled as a mystery, but it's so much more. It's a love story, a coming of age. Two stories of growing up and making lasting friendships. It's filled with passion and confusion and glorious fun and hope.

Now, it is confusing at first. Two very different stories are related, and it's hard to tell what's going on. You're kind of dropped into a story of a war- a war over territory, between 3 sides, and it's hard to tell what exactly is happening. But it's worth sticking with because all is understood after a couple chapters, about the current situation. But that doesn't mean other secrets are revealed- some wait until the very end, and you have to race to get there, because it's impossible not to.

Jellicoe Road is complicated and heartbreaking. It's filled with little beautiful things, like times when Taylor has fun with her House. Huge beautiful things like the relationship between Taylor and a boy. And that secretive past- the story of 5 teenagers who are all connected to each other, whether through tragic accident, coincidence, or luck.

Everything from the intertwining stories, to the characters thrown together who, at first are enemies but grow into something much, more more, to the histories and pasts of the characters, to the characters themselves who are alive and passionate and for the most part, filled with life- they're all so gorgeously drawn. So well done, so amazing.

Final Impressions: No words can do justice for Jellicoe Road. It was completely different from anything I'd ever read last year, the first time I read it, and it's still completely different. It's astonishing, and breathtaking, and tearjerking, and gloriously beautiful. Jellicoe Road is really something you have to read to fully understand the amazing wonderfullness of it all. Melina Marchetta may very well be my idol.


  1. I agree with every word Alex. There's nothing else for me to say!

  2. The first 100 pages of this novel really confused me. But beyond that, it was absolutely amazing. Great review.

  3. I think Jellicoe Road was one of the hardest YA books for me to get "into". I know it won a ton of awards but a book shouldn't require that the reader read over 100 pages before they determine to finish it. I ended up liking it but, boy, was it hard work to get there. But now that I've read your review I should reread it to look for more clues since I won't be so confused.

    By the way I have just awarded you the versatile blogger award. Take a look here and enjoy!


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