Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Genre: YA Contemporary
Read: 12/3/2012 — 12/6/2012
In Six Words: I need more Melina Marchetta now!
In this lyrical, absorbing, award-winning novel, nothing is as it seems, and every clue leads to more questions.
At age eleven, Taylor Markham was abandoned by her mother. At fourteen, she ran away from boarding school, only to be tracked down and brought back by a mysterious stranger. Now seventeen, Taylor’s the reluctant leader of her school’s underground community, whose annual territory war with the Townies and visiting Cadets has just begun. This year, though, the Cadets are led by Jonah Griggs, and Taylor can’t avoid his intense gaze for long. To make matters worse, Hannah, the one adult Taylor trusts, has disappeared. But if Taylor can piece together the clues Hannah left behind, the truth she uncovers might not just settle her past, but also change her future.
Why I Started Reading This Book and Final Verdict
Melina Marchetta is a well-loved author in many parts of the blogosphere. I decided to try out one of her books, and I chose Jellicoe Road to start with. I think maybe because Alissa (The Grammarian’s Reviews) recommended it to me. I definitely enjoyed Jellicoe Road, and I need more Melina Marchetta now. (I will take Melina Marchetta recommendations if there are any.)
Though it took me a while to get into, Jellicoe Road eventually sucked me in and kept me up far past my bed time and wishing I could read all night. I don’t stay up late at night to read much anymore, so you know that if a book makes me want to, it has to be good. Part of the reason why it took me some time to get settled into the story is that you’re thrown in the Taylor’s world without much explanation. It takes a bit to stretch out and find a comfortable spot, but once you do, you don’t want to move until you absolutely have to. (You know, like until the end of the book.)
I loved the alternating stories of the past and present. I was able to piece together some of the mysteries pretty easily, but that didn’t take away my enjoyment at all. Melina Marchetta weaves a very nuanced story with layers and depth. I loved how the story (stories) unfolded. There is just so much here. An supposedly abandoned child learning to make it on her own. Taylor is both a tragic and strong figure, trying to find her way. And Jonah! And Taylor’s friends! Jessa! The Cadets and Townies and Houses.
And despite its heavy subject matter, Jellicoe Road retains a sense of subtle humor. Just enough to keep your lips curled up in amusement. There’s a bit of mystery. A bit of romance. And a whole lot of coming of age. I can very easily see why Melina Marchetta and her books are loved as much as they are. And I have a feeling that I am well on my way to joining that fan club.