Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Publication Date: March 9th 2010 (reprint with Printz sticker)
Buy it from: Book Depository (free shipping worldwide!)
Gold star (4.85/5 stars)
Synopsis: “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.
Review: If a book could make me feel anger towards the characters and still cause my heart to melt and my knees turn jelly, this novel would do it. I expected a lot from this book after reading this, this, and and this. I started this book thinking that I would be very confused after seeing multiple reviews mentioning that the beginning of the book was confusing. Personally, it was not very confusing for me and I read the story, feeling appreciative of Marchetta’s compelling writing and true-to-life characters.
The emotional tone of the story conveyed a depth of honesty, realism, and warmth that is very rare. The characters, both primary and secondary, have strong traits and personalities and are a pleasure to read about. I found Jonah Griggs the most striking character from the beginning with his past with Taylor and his aura of mystery. He’s not perfect, he’s flawed and yet he is on my fave literary guy list with Sam from Shiver. In fact, Jonah is tied with Sam for first place. This deserves a totally different blog entry on it’s own. LOOK OUT FOR IT SOON. 😛 Of course I will have to mention Ben and Raffaela as well. Although they do not have big roles in the book, they are still multifaceted characters that give this story warmth and humor.
I loved the romance that blossomed between Jonah and Taylor and, as cliche as it sounds, it’s impossible to not root for them to be together. Some where in the book, Jonah made a heartbreaking confession and I almost cried like a baby. The tears refused to come up but I immediately went on Twitter and started ranting about it. Jonah and Taylor’s love is not something that you’d expect immediately, but it grows throughout the book. Their witty and sometimes sarcastic banter always left a smile on my face. My favorite scene would be when their subtle friendship in the beginning changed to something more, also known as Taylor and Jonah’s first kiss.
Jellicoe Road may take a while to hook you but trust me, it is the ultimate must read and I would love to reread it over and over again and maybe cry while reading. You will need to read Jellicoe Road for yourself to discover the magnetic power of her dense, descriptive prose. Take my advice and pick up Jellicoe Road the next time you’re at the bookstore. This is a book that will tug at your heartstrings and not let go. Marchetta is an author who will be staying on my radar and Jellicoe Road has definitely earned a spot on my favorites list. I plan on
kidnapping my friend until she reads Jellicoe Road gently persuading my friend to read this amazing novel. Highly recommended.