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Everyone wants to discover life-changing things, whether they come in the form of events, people, paintings, or books. If you’re lucky, you will experience these encounters more than once.
I was lucky. I read JELLICOE ROAD. This extraordinary book changed my life, and maybe it will change yours, too.
To tell the truth, JELLICOE ROAD kind of ruins you temporarily for all other books. For several days after I finished this book, I wandered around in a daze. I picked up books, halfheartedly read the first few pages, then put them down and wandered away. Nothing seemed to match the magical dream-come-true that was genius author Melina Marchetta’s third novel.
It starts out confusingly. What’s going on? Why is there so much tension between all these people? Who are they, anyway? What do they want? Why are they so serious about their situation? But then, invariably, you’ll get sucked in. It’s probably a little like how the average person might fall in love: you can’t pinpoint exactly when someone became special to you, all you can say is that it happened, and you can’t even remember back to a time when they weren’t special to you.
The narration and plot progression of the book reads like a dream: choppy and distracted in a whimsical manner. Don’t expect a conventional story arc, or you’ll probably get really frustrated. Best if you just let it happen as it does.
JELLICOE ROAD reads like someone laughing through tears. I couldn’t help but smile as Taylor, Jonah, and the others endeared themselves to me even before I could figure out what was going on between them all, even as their painful discoveries about their tragic pasts tugged at my heartstrings.
A story this magnificent, this heartbreaking, shouldn’t have this much hope…but it does. That’s the beauty of this book. Melina Marchetta has written a book that is so much more than a simple story in words: it takes on a life of its own.
1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Reviewed by Tasha for TeensReadToo.com
Taylor Markam was abandoned by her mother at a 7-Eleven on Jellicoe Road when she was a mere eleven years old. Only moments later a woman by the name of Hannah picked her up and brought her to the Jellicoe School. Now she is seventeen and finds that Hannah is a rock in her inconsistent life. While she has Hannah, Taylor doesn't know much about her family except the horror stories she remembers of her mother.
She does find comfort, though, in a manuscript that Hannah has written about a group of five friends who met in the worst circumstances, but developed a remarkable friendship when they only had each other. When Hannah just up and leaves, Taylor doesn't understand what has happened and she becomes a wreck. Not only does she have to deal with Hannah's disappearance, but she has just been named the head of her House and the leader of the school kids in the annual territory wars against the "Townies" and "Cadets."
In the war, the three groups battle and negotiate, following an extensive set of rules that might as well be history. As the war wages on, Taylor learns to take an active role in her community, as well as develop relationships that she never thought possible. Especially with Jonah Griggs, the leader of the Cadets, whom she already has quite a history with.
This war will be like no other. It will not only be between the normal three parties, but among friends, hearts desires, and, most of all, Taylor herself.
From the title I was expecting a light and fun read. Wow, was I wrong! This book is filled with heartbreak, joy, laughter, and sorrow. It completely blew me away and surpassed every expectation I had, even though I was expecting something completely different.
Before I even get into the elements of the story I have to comment on how much talent the author has. Melina Marhetta's writing style is indescribable. It seemed that she was so comfortable writing the story and her words just flowed from page to page with great clarity. I loved how the author weaved many intricate details and mini-stories into one big story, making it like a puzzle that slowly comes together until those last couple of pieces just fall into place.
The only miff I had with this book is that it took me probably until the third chapter to actually understand what was going on. In the beginning, there were two stories and it was hard to wrap my head around everything that was happening. After that, though, it seemed the author settled into writing and the story took off.
Taylor, without a doubt, is one of the best characters that I think has ever been created. She has this true voice where you can hear and feel her emotions ring out. By the time the book had ended I felt like I knew Taylor like I know my best friends. While Taylor was the main character, the author did a fabulous job creating the other characters, too. Unlike many supporting characters in books, the characters in JELLICOE ROAD all had their own voices and became their own people, with real and likable personalities.
I highly recommend this book to readers everywhere. Whether you're a girl or a guy, you will treasure this novel and hold it near and dear to your heart for a long time to come. JELLICOE ROAD is a beautiful love story, a heart-wrenching story of loss, a poignant self-discovery, and, most of all, an unforgettable tale.
Pre-order this book NOW!! It hits stores August 26 and you don't want to miss out on this one-of-a-kind novel.