Friday, April 13, 2012

Review of Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Jellicoe Road
In this lyrical, absorbing, award-winning novel, nothing is as it seems, and every clue leads to more questions.

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 a book that people either adore or hate, and by December of last year, I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to know why people were constantly raving about Melina Marchetta and her books, especially this one. I knew Jellicoe Road was good as soon as I closed it, and as I sit here trying to write this review I’m only just now realizing how good it is.

Where do I even start with this review? Because let me tell you, Marchetta is a master of her craft. Should I start with the flawlessly plotted albeit sometimes confusing storyline? Or perhaps the fact that Marchetta could send a swell of emotions crashing into me with about two lines of dialogue?

If you look at it from a pragmatic standpoint (great plot, great writing), Jellicoe Road is a masterpiece. But let’s be honest--it’s the characters that make this story. I loved that Taylor was badass but just a little bit broken. I loved how sometimes the various characters’ affection for each other came across as begrudging, but you knew that their emotions ran so much deeper than that. And even though Marchetta’s story about these characters might seem unrealistic at first, when I thought about it, I realized it could take place anywhere.

I’m not sure that this review is particularly coherent anymore, and I won’t guarantee that you are going to love Jellicoe Road. Even if you’re not sure, I’d give it a shot. For me, all the confusion I felt trying to read this book was worth it in the end.


  1. I love that 'Master of her craft' phrase because it is so, so true. Marchetta is just genius at characters and getting emotion across. I just adore Jellicoe so so much. <3

  2. *flails*


    Seriously. The love I feel for this book... It is ENDLESS. And you understand now! Melina Marchetta is GENUIS!! :D:D

    For realz Liz.

    "badass but just a little bit broken" <-- Yes. Although, I think it applies to more than just Taylor.

    Sigh. SO HAPPY.

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

    Thanks and have a nice day! =D



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