Saturday, April 10, 2010

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Published: 2006
Pages: 419
Genre: YA fiction
Taylor was eleven when her mother abandoned her. Now seventeen, she's the leader of her house at the Jellicoe school and is struggling to find her mother and uncover her past. The only adult figure Taylor has in her life is Hannah, the woman who rescued her six years earlier. But when she suddenly disappears, Taylor decides to find her mother, save Hannah, and unravel the mystery of five kids that are somehow connected to her in a very personal way.
Jellicoe Road was certainly and strange yet unique reading experience. I'm struggling to write a decent review of this book because, honestly, I almost feel as though I need to read it a second time to be able to articulate exactly why I loved it so much! This is one of those books that you fall if love with without reason. Well, not exactly - there's an endless list of reasons why I liked this book, but they don't seem to translate into words very well. Jellicoe aims straight for your heart and inner emotions.

In terms of reading, I found this book to be a tad difficult. Not because of the vocabulary (which, might I add, was lyrical and deep yet wonderfully simplistic), but because of how the story was structured. Jellicoe road is like a big puzzle, and all the pieces are coming straight at you in a seemingly random and messy order. At times I found it overwhelming and confusing, but that's because there are essentially two stories happening at the same time. The amazing thing is that they are both related to each other in a heart wrenching and emotional way. And you only discover the tragic details later on.

Something else that is great about Jellicoe Road is how well the characters work with each other. There's so much history between them, so many secrets, so many lies. I still can't get over how Marchetta thought up these characters and this plot in her head! Everything is so complex, yet seamlessly fits together to provide us with the perfect ending. But I don't mean perfect as in "girls gets boy, finds her mother, makes up with her mother, and lives happily ever after". No! Not at all! I mean perfect as in painfully emotional and raw. It's an ending that leaves you with tears in your eyes.

Recommendation: Because of the sometimes confusing plot, I wouldn't recommend this for very young readers. Other than that, I can picture everyone liking this book. It's by far one of my favourites this year, purely because of its uniqueness and amazing story. This is a must read!

8 comments:

Audrey; (AyC) said...

yay! I'm so happy you enjoyed it, it is up there with my favourite novels of all time. And I've reread it tons of times, each time I pick up on something like a clue that I had missed before :)
nice review!

Emidy said...

Thanks, Audrey! It was amazing. I need to read it again, because I'm sure a lot of stuff would make more sense.

Nymeth said...

I'm glad to hear you loved this - I've been meaning to get my hands on it ever since it won the Printz! The Printz is one of those rare awards for which I try to read all the winners, because they tend to be absolutely amazing. It sounds like this is no exception.

Emidy said...

Nymeth - Cool, I didn't know it won that prize, and I'm not surprised at all! I can picture you reading and loving this book. You must get it!

Aths said...

I had never heard of this book but it sounds interesting! I'm keen to check it out.

Elle said...

This looks really interesting! I love it when reading a book the second time is so much sweeter than the first. I'll have to check it out. :)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great review. Thanks for the heads up about the confusing plot.

Anna said...

I completely agree with you about the insanely complicated plot--for a while I had a very difficult time keeping track of everything. But it was amazing once everything got going.