Skip to main content

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Okay. We'll start with Jellicoe Road because it's the one I read first. I picked it up as a result of Trisha's glowing, cryptic in a good way review and the fact that it came away with the Printz Award this year. It is Australian Melina Marchetta's third book and the first of hers I've read. A fault that will have to be remedied quickly as I absolutely loved this knotty, painful, beautiful book. 

Taylor Markham is head of her house at the Jellicoe School--a backwoods boarding school located somewhere in Australia. Abandoned by her mother at a 7-Eleven on the Jellicoe Road, Taylor was taken in by a mysterious woman named Hannah and installed at the school. Now eighteen, Taylor is embroiled in turf wars between the Jellicoe students, the Townies, and the Cadets. But when Hannah up and leaves without a word, Taylor is convinced it has something to do with her mother and with a horrific accident that happened on the Jellicoe Road twenty-two years before. Past and present become harder to discern as the story unfolds. Simultaneously obsessed with and terrified of finding out what happened and just how closely it is tied to her own fragmented life, Taylor is forced to form alliances with the leaders of her rival gangs, including Cadet leader Jonah Griggs with whom she shares a confusing and painful history. 

This story grabbed me by the throat and shook me until I begged for mercy. Parts of it read almost stream of consciousness and you have to just let it wash over you as characters and histories distill and become clearer on the page and in your mind at about the same pace they do for Taylor herself. And by the time the wars really begin, you are so invested it's impossible to extricate yourself from the world Marchetta has created. Fortunately you don't want to. I was charmed by the dust and heat of the Australian summer, the layered language with its overtones of fear and longing, and the periodic chapters detailing the story of five children who were determined to survive after the world ended. This book will both stop your heart and then remind you how to breathe again. It's gorgeous and deserves every accolades it gets.

Comments

  1. I'm just reading this right now and I'm REALLY enjoying it. A little slow in the beginning, but it got better fast.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous1:38 PM

    I fell absolutely in love with this book. And definitely do read Marchetta's others - they're all wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Janssen, it gets SO good. Somehow it managed to make me feel like I was both creeping and rushing headlong toward the conclusion.

    Biblauragraphy, I picked up Saving Francesca at the library the other day and hope to get to it soon!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous3:46 PM

    I really liked Marchetta's first two novels Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca. I didn't know she had written more! I will definitely be picking this up.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hope you enjoy it, Emily. I'll be looking for those first two!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous5:37 PM

    I'm jealous. You managed to summarize the book concisely without giving too much away. Whereas I didn't mention plot at all because I couldn't figure out how to do the story justice while trying to convey that, no, really, my love for Jellicoe Road is not entirely irrational. HarperTeen should hire you to redo their cover copy for the book. :)
    Such a good way to put it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous5:39 PM

    Oops, I was referring to this part as being especially well-phrased:

    Parts of it read almost stream of consciousness and you have to just let it wash over you as characters and histories distill and become clearer on the page and in your mind at about the same pace they do for Taylor herself.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Trisha, *blush*. Thank you! Your review really did the trick, though, as I had to go out and get it despite knowing very little of what it was about. And I'm so glad I got to go into it with no preconceptions whatsoever. So thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Such a great review. I read this book in January (and just reviewed it at my blog) mostly because of your wonderful review, as I do not generally read YA contemporary.
    So, thank you thank you. I loved it so much.

    I should probably also thank you, because your wonderful blog gave me the inspiration to start my own :)

    I hope you have a wonderful day!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love your review! Here's mine if you don't mind: http://lorxiebookreviews.blogspot.com/2012/09/jellicoe-road-by-melina-marchetta.html

    Thanks and have a nice day! =D

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

You Might Also Like

Bibliocrack Review | The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

 Hi. Hey. Hello there. It's been a . . . well, you know what it's been. We're all still living this together. So I will simply skip to the fact that I couldn't not review this book here. Because reading it was something special. I knew nothing about Ali Hazelwood 's debut novel except that it involved women in STEM and that the cover made me smile. I decided to set it aside for myself as a reward. Work has been . . . punishing . . . for the last year, and I have been so exhausted every hour of every day. And so I determined to buy The Love Hypothesis  on release day knowing nothing about it. But when I went to the bookstore to get my copy, none were available. In fact, none were available anywhere for love nor money, in store or online. At first I was moderately disappointed. Then I told myself maybe it's not that great after all and I didn't necessarily need to feel this preemptive sense of loss. But it kept gnawing at me. The loss. And so I paused work an

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater, Review + Giveaway!

It seems a long time ago now that I first read Shiver -- the first book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. But looking back I started it on the plane ride to BEA and finished it there in the conference center, fingers gripping the cover tightly, while sitting on the floor in one of the many autograph lines. And now it's May again and BEA is right around the corner and I emerge from my recent and nasty reading slump stupor to find a copy of Linger sitting in my mailbox like a glove thrown down in the dirt. "I will be the one to pull you out," it whispers to me slyly. "Just open me up and take a sip. I promise--one sip is all it will take." And I look at it with fear and longing written all over my face. "You promise?" I ask  intently. "Because it's been a long walk in the cold and I'm not sure I can take another disappointment." "Just open me up," it says, confidence written all over its cover. And so I do. And everythin

The Colors of Madeleine Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway!

Today, I'm delighted to host a stop on the Colors of Madeleine Blog Tour, in support of Jaclyn Moriarty 's upcoming release A Corner of White . I read and loved Moriarty's Feeling Sorry for Celia and The Year of Secret Assignments back in the day and have been eager to return to her work ever since. In this novel of parallel worlds, I think I may have found my reentry point. This tour celebrates the colorful aspects of the novel, with two stops representing each of several colors. Along with Jess over at Gone With the Words , I'm representing the color white. Hence, the giveaway here is a prize pack of white items as well as a copy of the book! Jaclyn Moriarty is also here today introducing the character: Belle Pettifields Belle Pettifields grew up in Cambridge , England .  She is fifteen.  Her best friend is Jack Cagnetti.   She and Jack are home-schooled with newcomer, Madeleine Tully.  She has reservations about Madeleine. Belle can be vague, sharp, gri