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."
Title: Jellicoe Road
Author: Melina Marchetta
Release Date: August 26, 2008 (US)
Publisher: Harper Teen (US)
Pages: 419, Hardcover
"A home to come back to every day of their lives. Where they would all belong or long to be. A place on the Jellicoe Road."-pg. 419, Jellicoe Road
Poignant. Beautiful. Lyrical. Amazing. Gorgeous.
These are all things that I had heard prior to reading Jellicoe Road. I would ask myself, "How could a book be THIS fabulous?" It was unfathomable. This book was being tossed around the blogosphere so often that I decided that I finally had to give it a try (with some extra persuasion from Willa, along with some other bloggers). I told myself to not give too high of a standards for this one, JUST in case it disappointed me in the end. But in the end, there was no need. Because I was not disappointed. In fact, Jellicoe Road outshined my assumptions. By far.
But. It was the first half of the book that was so, so extremely difficult and frustrating to get through. Nothing was happening. Everything was so confusing and I was puzzled more than half of the time. The territory wars? What is THAT? What is this other story about five kids? Who are they? Why do they matter? Who is Taylor Markham? My questions were answered, however, right after the halfway point of the story. Everything just EXPLODES and UNRAVELS in your face and you can't help but realize, wow, this is an outstanding book.
For me, it was definitely more like a mystery. At first, I just thought Hannah and Taylor were the main characters, and all of the other people in the Cadets, Townies, and students in the Houses were all side characters. But, after completing the book, not only did I fall in love with every character, I realized that they all played a very significant role throughout the entire book. They were all main characters. It just kind of blew my mind thinking about it. The creativity of the two storylines in the beginning woven into one story in the end was just ingenious, and I honestly don't think Melina Marchetta could have done a better job.
There was a lot of meaning to this book. In some parts, I really had to go back a couple of pages, just to reread it and make sense of it. Even now I think I'm still a little curious about what happened, which is why this book is a must-reread. Some things were so symbolic and although it did confuse me at times, the meaning of some of the phrases do reveal itself, leaving me very satisfied. Melina Marchetta is a beautiful writer. Honestly, it's golden. Often times throughout the book, I felt like I was in a dream.
In a nutshell, Jellicoe Road showers the reader with a powerful, sentimental story that leaves the reader with more to think about at night. Jellicoe Road is a must read for anyone and everyone. I know for myself that I will be reading this one countless more times.