Monday, April 16, 2012

Review: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

"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 alot 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. Nothing is as it seems and every clue leads to morequestions 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." (GoodReads)

THIS BOOK. Amazing. Did you already know that? Probably. But I have just stumbled into the YA world of Melina Marchetta. And it is glorious.

I am not sure I am as much in lust with Griggs as the rest of the YA-reading world (see here). I’m sorry! I don’t mean to let anyone down! He is hunky and all, but he couldn’t compete for my attention with the beautiful story Hannah is writing, and how it intersects with Taylor’s life. Both stories are about friend’s saving each other but also coming to terms with letting go. Cue the tears!

Jellicoe Road snuck up on me. I got on the train, headed home for Easter, and the ending hit me like a ton of bricks. Books don't usually make me cry, usually its things like Legends of the Fall and the Olympics. ButI cried. In public. For the last thirty pages. The writing is gorgeous and the story all comes together in such an intricate and heart breaking way. I didn't want the book to end, and tried to move on to start Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (I clearly travel with multiple library books-- a girl has to be prepared) but my mind was just not ready, and that’s saying something because I was dying to get to Pandemonium. Instead I had to sit and think about Taylor and Narnie and Fitz and Webb and how beautiful Jellico Road must be.
  • Originality: 10. Mostly because I know literally nothing about Australia (except that they really don’t drink Fosters there). So this was all new to me. On a more legitimate reason for the 10, these characters feel very real.
  • Absurdity: Negative 1,000. Who knew I could buy contemporary fiction this much!?
  • Level of Paranormal Romance: 6. Don’t get me wrong, Griggs is dreamy. But he did not steal the top spot on my swoon-worthy chart of YA boys (that chart may or may not exist….yet…)
  • Level of Harry Potter-ness.10. Guys, the writing here--it’s incredible. I was on the fence about Marchetta after Finnikin of the Rock, but boy, can she write contemporary fiction. I would throw elbows at MERYL STREEP to get to this book. And I love Meryl—I want to be her daughter and drink wine with her in her house from Its Complicated.


  1. I'm so glad you liked this one. I've been meaning to read it for too long!

  2. Melina Marchetta writes pretty much the only contemporary YA books that I actually like. So glad you enjoyed this one - I love it when a book makes you stop and just think for a while!

  3. Your review really made me laugh. We just reviewed the same novel on ours: I'm a new follower and I'm going to add you to our site's favorite blogs! I didn't quite get what "level of Harry Potterness meant". Are you saying that this book is like HP in some way or that you like it the same amount?

    1. Hi! Thanks for the shout out! Harry- P-ness invokes either awesome world building and story telling or levels of magic, depending in our moods :-)

  4. Hi! I came across your blog because as an avid reader I am always looking for new book recommendations. I loved, loved, loved this book! I'm so glad you enjoyed it also. I felt the same way as you did when I finished it - I had to spend the night thinking about it and letting it sink in. Have you read Saving Francesca or the sequel/related book The Piper's Son yet? If not, I would add them to your TBR pile. Both great, but Piper's Son was amazing!

  5. I love your review! Here's mine if you don't mind:

    Thanks and have a nice day! =D


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