Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: August 26th 2008
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.