Monday, August 04, 2014

Review: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

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Review: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Jellicoe Road
Melina Marchetta
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: August 26th 2008
by HarperTeen

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I'm dreaming of the boy in the tree. I tell him stories. About the Jellicoe School and the Townies and the Cadets from a school in Sydney. I tell him about the war between us for territory. And I tell him about Hannah, who lives in the unfinished house by the river. Hannah, who is too young to be hiding away from the world. Hannah, who found me on the Jellicoe Road six years ago.

Taylor is leader of the boarders at the Jellicoe School. She has to keep the upper hand in the territory wars and deal with Jonah Griggs - the enigmatic leader of the cadets, and someone she thought she would never see again.

And now Hannah, the person Taylor had come to rely on, has disappeared. Taylor's only clue is a manuscript about five kids who lived in Jellicoe eighteen years ago. She needs to find out more, but this means confronting her own story, making sense of her strange, recurring dream, and finding her mother - who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road.

The moving, joyous and brilliantly compelling new novel from the best-selling, multi-award-winning author of Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca.

When I think about what I want to say about Jellicoe Road all that comes to mind is that I can’t believe that this amazing novel was sitting under my nose for so long. It’s really making me think about ARC requesting and prompting me to look at my overflowing TBR shelf and wonder what other gems are in there.

This novel came into my life a while ago in a gift from my lovely co-blogger and it sat on my shelf all lonely and cold for far too long. Upon tweeting about a slump that I was in Bekka of Great Imaginations told me to finally pick it up and I am so happy that she did. From the very beginning I was wrapped up in the writing and I met some amazing characters with bonds that I will not soon forget. That’s what really gets you with this story, the connections. The way that they are revealed feels almost magical and you aren’t too sure what to think for the first quarter of the novel. I admit, I was confused as hell for the first 125 pages but as you ease into the story and really immerse yourself into the world everything becomes clear and the story is just so well thought out.

Taylor was a fantastic MC. I loved her voice and watching her eyes be opened to a history that she never knew she had any part in. She slowly unravels her history and that of her family as she reads through her den mother, Hannah’s, manuscript that she has been working on for years. I really don’t want to say too much about the tale she reads and how it works into her life because that is what is so great about this story, watching all the loose threads that had you confused in the beginning come together to make one amazing picture.

What I can say about this is that it is the story of Taylor Markham, a girl who was abandoned at a 7-11 when she was 7 years old and picked up by Hannah. We meet her as she is going to a boarding school by Jellicoe Road and get immersed in a war that goes on there every year. The war is between the Houses (the school), the Cadets (who camp in the woods every year) and the townies. This is a turf war and there are many rules that were written down years ago in a purple book that all players must abide by. It’s the story of Taylor falling in love with Jonah Griggs who is the leader of the cadets and it’s the story of her finding out where she came from. At the same time, it’s the story of Jude, Narnie, Tate, Webb and Fitz, of lives that took place years before Taylor was born in the very same area she lives now. And I can tell you that the way that these two tales come together is breathtaking and heartbreaking in equal measure.

I think everyone needs to meet Jonah Griggs and have him in their life for just a snapshot of time. Who am I kidding, as much as I fell head over heels in love with Griggs every single character in this novel is so wonderfully written and they will all weave their way into your heart. Please don’t hold off on reading this book like I did, read it, read it now.

5 Stars
5 Hot Espressos

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Hi! I’m Jenni and I am a book-a-holic. I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and more than anything, I love reading. I mostly read within the YA genre though I do venture into middle grade and adult from time to time. I was big into reading in high school but then when I had my children I stepped away from it for a bit. Now that my brats are a bit older and I have more time on my hands I have jumped back into it head on.
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23 Responses to “Review: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta”

  1. Soma Rostam

    Wow. This is the first time I read a review of this book
    But it sounds so GOOD, and the blurb is so mysterious. A raging war? And romance?
    And you gave it FIVE STARS (which doesn’t happen very often, as I am an old follower) of you and Giselle
    GREAT review, Jenni
    Your reader,
    Soma
    Soma Rostam recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #1My Profile

  2. Dea S.

    This is one of my all-time favorites and I’m so so glad you loved it! I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read it and the story never lose its charm each time. And this – “I think everyone needs to meet Jonah Griggs and have him in their life for just a snapshot of time.” YASSSSS Awesome review, Jenni!
    Dea S. recently posted…Review: Puddle Jumping by Amber L. JohnsonMy Profile

  3. Paula M. @ Her Book Thoughts!

    I am so glad you loved it, Jenni. Like you, I waited ages before reading it and when I finally picked it up, we have the same reaction when I finish it. Marchetta is one of my favorite authors, her characters and her writing is incredible! :)

    Lovely review!

  4. Sarah P.

    Ah, Jellicoe Road… I can’t seem to think about this book without feeling an ache in my heart and sighing wistfully. I’m glad I wasn’t alone with being confused with the story when I started but I’m so happy I stuck with it because it paid off big time. Lovely review, Jenni! Jonah Griggs is like woah. :)
    Sarah P. recently posted…Review: Half A King by Joe AbercrombieMy Profile

  5. Sam @ Realm of Fiction

    YES! Everyone really does need to meet Jonah Griggs. He is one of my favourites of Melina’s characters. So glad you loved this, Jenni! I think most people find the beginning confusing (I know I did), but like you said, once you ease into the rest, the story really does become brilliant. Wonderful review. :)
    Sam @ Realm of Fiction recently posted…Review: Shimmer by Paula WestonMy Profile

  6. Rashika

    I have tears in my eyes just reading your review, Jenni. It’s like I cannot even THINK about this book without getting emotional. It’s THAT powerful of a read. You know what’s weird though? I know a lot of people have had problems getting into the book in the beginning but when I read it for the first time, I never did. I was confused… but.. I was still thoroughly engrossed.

    I am SOOO glad to see you enjoyed this one, Jenni and I hope it helped you get out of that book slump :)

    Gorgeous review!
    Rashika recently posted…ARC Review: Magnolia by Kristi CookMy Profile

  7. jazmen

    I actually have this book because it was so highly recommended. Great review. Hopefully I’ll feel as good about it :)

  8. Lola

    I bought this after hearing so many great things about this book, even though I still have no idea where it’s about it and that most people say that’s a good thing. I really hope I have time to read it soon, but I have so many other books to read as well. Great review Jenni!
    Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #85My Profile

  9. Kimber

    I read this book a few weeks ago and absolutely fell in love with it. I’m so glad you finally decided to read it, because it is so amazing. I agree it was a bit hard to get into at first, because the beginning is a little confusing but it was so hard to put down after a while.

    Great review!!

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