Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Title: Jellicoe Road
Author: Melina Marchetta
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: March 9th, 2010
Genre(s): YA Contemporary
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 419
Source: Book Depository

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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.

Jellicoe Road is one of those books.

It's one of those books that seems ordinary, but is actually quite extraordinary.
It's one of those books that forces you to push through the tough times before you can enjoy the treasure.
It's one of those books that completely changes your outlook on something; insightful, thought-provoking and wonderful.

It's just one of those books.

Jellicoe Road tells the story of Taylor Markham. Her at present, her in the past, and her even when she was all but a promise to the future. It tells of her and her life at Jellicoe School, fighting Territory wars with the Cadets and the Townies, and dealing with the hardships she's been dealt when she was younger.
But what surprised me was, that it also told of Webb, and Tate, and Narnie, and Fitz and Jude, anything and everything they had going on with them, before Taylor's time.

I can see why some people would be disappointed, when it comes to this book. Getting used to Marchetta's writing and what she's writing about does take time. Sure, I read through the first hundred pages without an ounce of understanding of what was going on, but I realised that this had been purposely done. Marchetta intentionally keeps the readers at bay while she carefully sets the scene, but it's worth it when all the pieces start to come together.

At times the story felt a complete mess. But again, it all starts to make as the story goes on. And considering 'Jellicoe Road' is supposed to be a mystery novel, I think there was sense behind its nonsense.

The characters are what drive this story. Taylor, Griggs, Santangelo, Webb, Tate, Narnie, Jude, Fitz - they didn't just feel like characters in a novel. They felt real. Their personalities were realistic, and kept firm the whole way through the book. The way they acted and reacted, was undeniably convincing, and so, made for a convincing story.

As for the story itself, it's obvious Melina Marchetta took time in carefully constructing this book. With the throw-backs interspersed throughout the book at just the right times, and whatnot. As I said before; it seems ordinary. What I loved about it, however, was that it wasn't at all.
This is the only YA novel I know, to have properly dealt with the issue of dependency, both on other people and on drugs. And the best part was, it dealt with it in such a realistic and poignant way. I've never understood the topic, why people do such things and all that, but I do now, and I have 'Jellicoe Road' to thank for that.

Would highly recommend to everyone.

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