Title: Jellicoe Road
Author: Melina Marchetta
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I'm dreaming of the boy in the tree. I tell him stories. About the Jellicoe School and the Townies and the Cadets from a school in Sydney. I tell him about the war between us for territory. And I tell him about Hannah, who lives in the unfinished house by the river. Hannah, who is too young to be hiding away from the world. Hannah, who found me on the Jellicoe Road six years ago.
Taylor is leader of the boarders at the Jellicoe School. She has to keep the upper hand in the territory wars and deal with Jonah Griggs - the enigmatic leader of the cadets, and someone she thought she would never see again.
And now Hannah, the person Taylor had come to rely on, has disappeared. Taylor's only clue is a manuscript about five kids who lived in Jellicoe eighteen years ago. She needs to find out more, but this means confronting her own story, making sense of her strange, recurring dream, and finding her mother - who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road.
I had been told before I started that it is one of those books that you have to stick with. Although I would have anyway, because I wanted to know what was going on, I am glad I was told that. Because this book does require a little bit of faith. It isn't bad in the beginning, not at all. It's just complex and confusing. But those are my favorite types of stories.
The story is told from the point of view of Taylor, a resident boarder at the Jellicoe School. She was abandoned by her mother on the Jellicoe Road, and taken in by Hannah, who is a bit of a mystery. She is the leader of her House, and is in charge of the territory wars--fought between the boarders, the Townies (the kids who live in the town), and the Cadets (a group of kids who come every year for the summer). But there are also parts of a different story weaved in, a story that will become part of Taylor's story (was that cheesy? sorry).
Taylor as a character wasn't anything special. There was definitely a depth and emotion to her character, even if sometimes I did feel a bit disconnected. I think sometimes the biggest issue I had with the characters is the fact that I wasn't quite sure what was going on. The territory wars were never really explained, her running away with Jonah wasn't quite explained. Of course, all of these things come to light at the end, when everything slowly begins to be revealed, but until then, it was just a lot of confusion.
And that's actually most of the book. There were a lot of events that were mentioned, or alluded to, but never really explained until the end. I don't know about you, but I am impatient with my books. I want to know what's going on now. But, that was part of this book's overall effect. It was a complex, intricate story made up of so many parts, that somehow just worked.
But this is just truly a beautiful book. It definitely is filled with emotion (and y'all know I never get emotional over my books). It is such a carefully weaved story, that at the end will leave you sitting there, thinking "What. What just happened."
So yes, I encourage you to read it. I definitely think you should give this a chance. Yes, you might be confused in the beginning, but it definitely redeems itself. That's the beauty of this book.
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