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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too
Taylor Markam was abandoned by her mother at a 7-Eleven on Jellicoe Road when she was a mere eleven years old. Only moments later a woman by the name of Hannah picked her up and brought her to the Jellicoe School. Now she is seventeen and finds that Hannah is a rock in her inconsistent life. While she has Hannah, Taylor doesn't know much about her family except the...
Published on August 26, 2008 by TeensReadToo

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
Taylor Markham was abandoned on the Jellicoe Road when she was eleven. At seventeen she attends the Jellicoe School, where 10% of the students are also wards of the state, like her. It's convenient for Taylor, whose caretaker, Hannah, lives right outside school property. At the beginning of her senior year, she finds herself elected not only leader of her dorm, but leader...
Published on December 23, 2011 by E. Kristin Anderson


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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, August 26, 2008
This review is from: Jellicoe Road (Hardcover)
Taylor Markam was abandoned by her mother at a 7-Eleven on Jellicoe Road when she was a mere eleven years old. Only moments later a woman by the name of Hannah picked her up and brought her to the Jellicoe School. Now she is seventeen and finds that Hannah is a rock in her inconsistent life. While she has Hannah, Taylor doesn't know much about her family except the horror stories she remembers of her mother.

She does find comfort, though, in a manuscript that Hannah has written about a group of five friends who met in the worst circumstances, but developed a remarkable friendship when they only had each other. When Hannah just up and leaves, Taylor doesn't understand what has happened and she becomes a wreck. Not only does she have to deal with Hannah's disappearance, but she has just been named the head of her House and the leader of the school kids in the annual territory wars against the "Townies" and "Cadets."

In the war, the three groups battle and negotiate, following an extensive set of rules that might as well be history. As the war wages on, Taylor learns to take an active role in her community, as well as develop relationships that she never thought possible. Especially with Jonah Griggs, the leader of the Cadets, whom she already has quite a history with.

This war will be like no other. It will not only be between the normal three parties, but among friends, hearts desires, and, most of all, Taylor herself.

From the title I was expecting a light and fun read. Wow, was I wrong! This book is filled with heartbreak, joy, laughter, and sorrow. It completely blew me away and surpassed every expectation I had, even though I was expecting something completely different.

Before I even get into the elements of the story I have to comment on how much talent the author has. Melina Marhetta's writing style is indescribable. It seemed that she was so comfortable writing the story and her words just flowed from page to page with great clarity. I loved how the author weaved many intricate details and mini-stories into one big story, making it like a puzzle that slowly comes together until those last couple of pieces just fall into place.

The only miff I had with this book is that it took me probably until the third chapter to actually understand what was going on. In the beginning, there were two stories and it was hard to wrap my head around everything that was happening. After that, though, it seemed the author settled into writing and the story took off.

Taylor, without a doubt, is one of the best characters that I think has ever been created. She has this true voice where you can hear and feel her emotions ring out. By the time the book had ended I felt like I knew Taylor like I know my best friends. While Taylor was the main character, the author did a fabulous job creating the other characters, too. Unlike many supporting characters in books, the characters in JELLICOE ROAD all had their own voices and became their own people, with real and likable personalities.

I highly recommend this book to readers everywhere. Whether you're a girl or a guy, you will treasure this novel and hold it near and dear to your heart for a long time to come. JELLICOE ROAD is a beautiful love story, a heart-wrenching story of loss, a poignant self-discovery, and, most of all, an unforgettable tale.

Pre-order this book NOW!! It hits stores August 26 and you don't want to miss out on this one-of-a-kind novel.

Reviewed by: Tasha
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, December 23, 2011
This review is from: Jellicoe Road (Hardcover)
Taylor Markham was abandoned on the Jellicoe Road when she was eleven. At seventeen she attends the Jellicoe School, where 10% of the students are also wards of the state, like her. It's convenient for Taylor, whose caretaker, Hannah, lives right outside school property. At the beginning of her senior year, she finds herself elected not only leader of her dorm, but leader of all the Jellicoe dorms in the Territory Wars in which her school, the Townies and the Cadets (who camp in the local bushland every year) participate. The rules have been passed down year after year in a purple notebook, and Taylor is under pressure to make sure things go smoothly for Jellicoe. However, just as things are getting underway, Hannah leaves without notice, and Taylor's life is in turmoil. She discovers that the manuscript of Hannah's that she's been reading over the years might be more than just a story, and she discovers that the Cadet she claims to have no history with might be more than just a one-time acquaintance. As the leaders of the various groups get closer through the War, they find that there is more to their game than they ever thought, and Taylor discovers that her family history is more complicated and bittersweet than she'd ever imagined.

Marchetta's book is beautiful, but stricken with slow pacing that may not catch the attention of many readers. While the snippets of Hannah's manuscript and the peeks at romance certainly make things interesting, the plot doesn't pick up until at least half way through the book, and the Territory Wars are confusing at best until the very end. This is a book that I would certainly recommend to teen readers, but not without the caveat that they really need to stick with it to get to the good parts.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jellicoe Road: Slow-Moving but Extraordinary, October 11, 2009
This review is from: Jellicoe Road (Hardcover)
I'll admit it, I amost gave up on this novel. I put it off for weeks, after reading only 30 pages, because it just wasn't grabbing me. Yet, I continued to hear how incredible it was, and after a few weeks I promised myself I'd just jump in and finish it before I moved onto another book.

I'm so glad I did continue and gave JELLICOE ROAD another chance. I've read so many YA books, and I've never been one for having favorite anythings, but this novel is seriously close to topping the charts of all books that I've read. The beginning is slow-moving and it does not make much sense, but as the story continues, the magic happens. I learned more about Taylor Markham's life, the mysteries wrapped around her, and the "wars" she participated in. I don't want to say much about the plot because I'd hate to ruin the magic of the story, but this book was extraordinary and so much more than I expected it to be. I'd highly recommend it.

HIGHLIGHTS: Weaving the stories from the past into Hannah's manuscript, I loved learning everything with Taylor. There was always more to keep me curious, keep me turning the pages. I also loved the "wars", because they were so entertaining at times. Jonah's backstory was a blow to me, and I wasn't expecting what he says to Taylor about the day at the train station. It was an interesting shock, and I'm rarely surprised when reading.

LOWLIGHTS: It was incredibly hard to get into at first, but as I got to chapter 3, or 4, I was was hooked. I didn't want it to end.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book, January 7, 2009
This review is from: Jellicoe Road (Hardcover)
I can honestly say, this is one of the best books i've ever read. It's my favourite, along with Saving Francesca. My sister got our first edition from her friend in Australia. While she was reading it I was not interested in it until she forced me to read it. I couldn't put it down.
Taylor Markham is an abandoned child in Jellicoe School. She lives in a boarding school. Her care taker is a girl called Hannah, whom Taylor is very close to. Taylor strives to find the truth about who she is. Along with her friends Ben Cassidy, Raffaela, and Santangelo she finds that friendship is the closest thing she can have to a family. Along the way she falls in love with the enemy, unearth secrets about her past, and is the leader in a war she does not want to happen.
This book made me laugh, and from a specific point onwards I cry non-stop, despite having read it over ten times. Easy read and catchy plot, Melina Marchetta does not fail you!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lyrical but frustrating read, March 29, 2013
This review is from: Jellicoe Road (Hardcover)
Jellicoe Road is an engaging read, and I flew through it, but upon reflection I have several qualms. The first is that the book begins so confusingly. Yes, there is pay off for the obscurantist beginning, but it was far from the most engaging way to begin the book. I found the flashback storyline that starts in the prologue is told in a (possibly deliberately) confusing and difficult to follow way. However, I did unravel the book's mystery about halfway though, long before Taylor, the protagonist, ever did, and she had a lot more information than I did. Made me wonder why a character depicted as so sharp was so dense when it came to this matter. Marchetta gives her selective amnesia about her past, but I found that rather ham handed and contrived.

My main issue with the book, then, was all the secrets. Why not level with Taylor about her family? Why keep the kid in the dark about who her father is and how he died, who her aunt is, just exactly what her mother is up to, and who the Brigadier is? She was obviously tormented by the mystery, but instead of telling her, her beloved Hannah just disappears, nary a word. Her mother had also abandoned her, and no one tells her anything. These adults, who we are to believe love her and each other so much, lie to her for years through omission despite her burning need to know, so deep that she ran away to try to get some answers when she was 14. None were forthcoming. Do people really treat children they love this way? And to what end? She knows that everyone around her has more information than she does, and they just dole it out in little dribbles, surely a technique that it meant to serve the plot more than it is to serve as realistic character development.

I felt like, in the end, Marchetta created and perpetuated a mystery for the sake of a big, dramatic reveal-- and it was, and it was moving, but as I often find with YA lit and movies, the adults behave badly, keep secrets for no good reason, all for the sake of the author's darling, the big cathartic ending. At least Jonah Griggs has the decency to hate Hannah for her deceit.

I could also mention that every single childhood trauma imaginable is thrown into this plot (dead, unknown parents, absent guardian, child molestation, kiddie porn, child abuse, patricide, cat drowning, child abandonment, teen suicide, a child witnessing a suicide, a huge fire, a junkie prostitute mother, etc)... Yeah. And it still got 3 stars from me, so go figure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, March 13, 2011
By 
Roonil Wazlib (Fort Collins, CO United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Jellicoe Road (Hardcover)
I read a lot of YA books, even though I am 26. However, I usually prefer paranormal or fantasy type YA, because more realistic teen fiction tends to bore me since I can't relate to general high school drama. This was NOT the case with Jellicoe Road. This book is fantastic and very well written. I checked it out from the library and didn't want to give it back when I was done. The plots are quite intricate and you do need to pay close attention as you are reading. The first part of the book is slightly confusing because it is hard to tell what is going on. However, that just makes it all the more satisfying when you finally figure out how everything is connected. Once you get to the middle of the book, it is hard to stop reading. I am definitely buying this book, it is one that I will want to read again and again. The characters are believable and likable, the language is great, the emotions are real. Do yourself a favor and read it! You won't be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jellicoe Road, May 4, 2010
This review is from: Jellicoe Road (Paperback)
Jellicoe Road is incredible. I have no idea how Melina Marchetta wrote it, nor do I know how she managed to weave such an intricate tale spanning over 22 years. It's one of those books that refuses to let you go until you've reached the end, and it's a story that really does stay in your head for days. I loved it so much, I'm seriously considering reading it again.

The first 100-120 pages are pretty confusing. The past keeps appearing, people and places are alluded to, and nothing makes a lot of sense. After that, everything slowly starts slotting together, in what is possibly the best depiction of friendship I've ever come across. I can't really say anything else without giving something away, but here's a tip: read the prologue a couple of times, and read it carefully.

Marchetta talks about the Jellicoe Road like it's a character in itself, and it's just brilliant. If I could zap myself to that road right now, I would. I want to experience the Australian beauty she describes in such detail, and whether it's a real road or not, I want to go there. As you've probably guessed, the novel is primarily character-driven, and that's why I loved it so much. I haven't liked a group of people so much in ages, and their realism astounded me. The original 5 - Webb, Narnie, Tate, Jude and Fitz - are off-the-chart awesome, and their friendship is so inspiring. It's how every friendship should be and, although the circumstances in which they meet aren't favourable, it's the catalyst for a bond that will last a lifetime.

In the present, Taylor Markham and Jonah Griggs are the main protagonists, along with Santangelo, Raffy, a mysterious Brigadier and numerous other classmates. They're all in the middle of a turf war between the boarders, the townies and the cadets, which is a tradition that has been taking place for years. The turf war is a fantastic plot, and that alone would have made this book amazing. I could talk for hours and hours about these characters, so I'll just say that Taylor is one heck of a leading lady, and Jonah Griggs is now one of my top YA boys. *swoon*

The way Jellicoe Road unfolds is nothing short of genius, and it's a book that is guaranteed to leave you in tears. I know this review explains nothing, and doesn't tell you why it's an absolute must-read, but if I said anything else, it would ruin it. You need to approach it knowing nothing more than the summary, then you too can experience all the OMG moments that I did. Fellow YA fans, you NEED to read this book. You'll fall in love with it, I promise.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching, October 8, 2009
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This review is from: Jellicoe Road (Hardcover)
I loved this book. The dialogue is witty and engaging. The plot is compelling. But the character development is where the story is. It is a coming-of-age story as well as a love story. Very enjoyable.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A dissenting vote, May 27, 2010
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This review is from: Jellicoe Road (Hardcover)
I don't know if it's because I am not the target age of the book, or if I just didn't care for the many twists and turns, but I did not like this book. I didn't care for the odd way the mystery was solved, the way the drama was solved, the way the loose ends were tucked, or any of it. As an English teacher, I knew where all of the elements had come from: there's a bit of classic (T.S. Elliot's influence in the title, some A Separate Peace in the war games/Peace Tree, etc.)

I could definitely tell I was reading a book written for modern teens, but there were times I felt the book was too disjointed and too outrageous--I have experienced the death of my brother and I know it's completely devastating. That's believable. But having a "serial killer" and all the people she's connected to? How many coincidences needed to line up for this story to work? There's too, too much. The boyfriend was shattered & suicidal. The main character was broken & drowned a cat. The aunt was "dead" to the world. The mother was a drug addict. Fitz was crazy. She thought her uncle was a homicidal maniac. No one was normal. Everyone was way, way too nuts.

I am not recommending this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING says it all, January 10, 2014
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This review is from: Jellicoe Road (Kindle Edition)
It amazes me the way the Malina Marchette can build and intertwine the lives of the people in her story. Every character is rich and three-dimensional, she makes you care about all of them. Not one of them is perfect, each is flawed and they seem so real that it is hard to remember sometimes you are just in the middle of a story. They all have pasts, presents and futures that are never simple, each is rich and you feel like you know them and that maybe you will carry those people around with you forever.

-- “We were playing Rock, Paper, Scissors," she told him once. "I was paper and she was rock so I lived and she died.”

Sometimes it is as simple as that, one tiny everyday thing will change your life forever. Sometimes one event will bind you to someone or a group of people for the rest of your lives. Jellicoe Road is the story of two such groups of people.

The story is told in two parts and although I was a little confused at the beginning it all flushes out beautifully so just ride with it. First there is the story of Webb, Narnie, Tate, Jude and Fitz and how they met and became friends all on the Jellicoe Road. The Second is about Taylor whose mother left her at a 7-11 on the Jellicoe Road seven years ago. Taylor goes to the Jellicoe school and every year for 6 weeks there is a turf war between the Jellicoe School, Town Kids and some Cadets. As the story is revealed little by little you see how everything is connected and you take the journey with Taylor from a girl who was once abandoned, to a girl who finds a home, friends and her place in the world.

The writing of the book is so beautiful that I believe I have more marks and highlights in this book than any other I’ve ever read. The story of the 5 kids who met on the Jellicoe road is disastrously beautiful tying in with Taylor’s story

-- “Instinct tells me to go to Hannah's, but she doesn't live there anymore and that's when I realize the major difference between my mother and Hannah. My mother deserted me at the 7-Eleven, hundred of kilometers away from home.
Hannah, however, did the unforgivable.
She deserted me in our own backyard.”

Taylor feels so abandoned and alone, she keeps everyone at a distance because when people get too close that is when she gets hurt the most. That is the lesson her mother taught her. She is so prickly but you honestly want to just protect her character because already at 17 she has been through more than most people go through in a lifetime. As the turf war starts with the Cadet’s and Townies we get to meet a few other characters. Griggs and Taylor have a past of sorts and it seems their journey together might not be over yet. Griggs in a way was just as broken as Taylor, but she helped him in a way she doesn’t even know in a way that will bind them forever.

-- “He stops and looks at me. 'I'm here because of you. You're my priority. Your happiness, in some messed up way, is tuned in to mine. Get that through your thick skull. Would I like it any other way? Hell, yes, but I don't think that will be happening in my lifetime.”

Every character burns so bright and they all have fantastic dialogue that seems so natural. I love Griggs back story and how he and Taylor originally met. I couldn’t stop reading and even though I flushed out how parts of the stories intertwined together there are still plenty of surprises that I did not see coming. I wanted to wrap Taylor and Griggs together in bubble wrap and protect them from the world. I hoped for many of the other characters and their story lines.

I was emotional and even characters that I didn’t think I would forgive for the parts they played in the story Marchetta was able to give me a different view and when you see the whole picture I found empathy and understanding for them. This is a book that the words and the characters will really stick with you. That when not if you read it again you will see all the beauty and hope that lives even through tragedy

-- “When it was over, she gathered him in her arms. And told him the terrible irony of her life.
That she had wanted to be dead all those years while her brother had been alive. That had been her sin.
And this was her penance.
Wanting to live when everyone else seemed dead.”

Marchetta is a master at what many authors try to do but most don’t accomplish. She makes you live the story. She doesn’t tell you what happens, she shows you everything, makes you feel it along with the characters. She is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors of all time.
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Jellicoe Road
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (Hardcover - August 26, 2008)
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