Thursday, November 11, 2010

Book review: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

My summary:
Jellicoe Road starts out with a tragic incident that happened 22 years before the story of the main character begins. An incident which is instrumental for our main character and as the story unfolds the reader will understand how the puzzle fits together.

Taylor Markham was left by her mother in a store on Jellicoe Road when she was only eleven years old. A young woman named Hannah finds Taylor and takes her home to her place. Now Taylor is 17 years old and she's attending the boarding school just off Jellicoe Road. Taylor is so scared to let people come to close to her; she doesn’t want to interact with other people. Taylor has suffered a great betrayal and naturally she is colored by that experience. The cadets led by Jonah Griggs has arrived in town and the everlasting territorial war between the boarders, townies and the cadets are about to begin. It’s a bit of a shock for Taylor when she is chosen by the boarders’ last leader to lead them in the battle this year.
There is so much I would like to say about this novel but I think that Jellicoe Road is a novel that should be experienced without knowing too much in advance.

My thoughts:
For me Jellicoe Road was an absolutely amazing read, this is a book I will treasure and the characters will stay with me for a long, long time. I don't read much realistic fiction but this book gave me a taste for more. I can honestly say that I will re-read this book again (but first I'm going persuade my younger sister to read it), I seldom re-read anything so that says a lot about how much I loved this book.

The first 100 pages or so could be really confusing, but for me it was a positive kind of confusing, not the irritating one, that made me curious and made me want to discover what this was all about. If you just sit back and relax and accept that there is a mystery in the beginning of this book that will be revealed for you bit by bit throughout the novel you're in for a real treat.

We join Taylor Markham for a few weeks in August/September for a few weeks of her life and parallel to this we are introduced to a story about five teens. The two stories are separated by the use of italic on the five’s story. It works out really well in this novel, although it was a bit confusing at first when I tried figuring out how these two stories fit together.

Reading Jellicoe Road has been such an emotional rollercoaster. I feel head over heels for Marchetta’s characters, each and every one of them. Marchetta writes in a way that makes even the least important characters memorable and living and you will feel their emotions. I’ve been sad, happy, I’ve laughed and I’ve shed a ocean of tears(so many that the puppy I’m babysitting jumped up into my lap to try and comfort me). 

Our main character, Taylor, is a cold person, well at first anyway, but it’s only realistic that you’re afraid of connecting with people when your own mother didn’t want anything to do with you. Throughout the story Taylor changes very much and it just feels so realistic. I must add that there will be some romance in this book and the kissing scenes might very well steal your breath away!

Melina Marchetta officially got a new fan; I want to read all here books. If they’re anywhere near as good as Jellicoe Road then I have much to look forward to.

The cover:
I think it is beautiful and the flowers on the cover play a very important part in the novel.

My rating of this book:
5 stars out of 5.
Want to know more?
Visit Melina Marchetta's homepage
Add Jellicoe Road to your shelf on Goodreads.

Full disclosure: Won

This book can be purchased from a number of local retailers and on-line book stores such as Amazon or The Book Depository(I'm not an affiliate of either). The latter store does by the way have free shipping to about 100 countries.