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Jellicoe Road Hardcover – August 26, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up—For years, three factions—Townies, Cadets (city kids doing a six-week outdoor education program), and Jellicoe School students—have engaged in teen war games in the Australian countryside, defending territorial borders, negotiating for assets, and even taking hostages. Taylor Markham, a 17-year-old who was abandoned years ago by her mother, takes on leadership of the boarding school's six Houses. Plagued with doubts about being boss, she's not sure she can handle her Cadet counterpart, Jonah Griggs, whom she met several years before while running away to find her mother. When Hannah, a sort of house mother who has taken Taylor under her wing, disappears, Taylor puzzles over the book manuscript the woman left behind. Hannah's tale involves a tragic car accident on the Jellicoe Road more than 20 years earlier. Only three children survived, and Taylor discovers that this trio, plus a Cadet and a Townie, developed an epic friendship that was the foundation of the many mysteries in her life and identity, as well as of the war games. While the novel might put off casual readers, patient, thoughtful teens will remain to extract clues from the interwoven scraps of Hannah's narrative, just as Taylor does, all the while seeing the collapse of the barriers erected among the three groups over the years. Elegiac passages and a complex structure create a somewhat dense, melancholic narrative with elements of romance, mystery, and realistic fiction.—Suzanne Gordon, Peachtree Ridge High School, Suwanee, GA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Taylor Markham isn’t just one of the new student leaders of her boarding school, she’s also the heir to the Underground Community, one of three battling school factions in her small Australian community (the others being the Cadets and the Townies). For a generation, these three camps have fought “the territory wars,” a deadly serious negotiation of land and property rife with surprise attacks, diplomatic immunities, and physical violence. Only this year, it’s complicated: Taylor might just have a thing for Cadet leader Jonah, and Jonah might just be the key to unlocking the secret identity of Taylor’s mother, who abandoned her when she was 11. In fact, nearly every relationship in Taylor’s life has unexpected ties to her past, and the continual series of revelations is both the book’s strength and weakness; the melodrama can be trying, but when Marchetta isn’t forcing epiphanies, she has a knack for nuanced characterizations and punchy dialogue. The complexity of the backstory will be offputting to younger readers, but those who stick it out will find rewards in the heartbreaking twists of Marchetta’s saga. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus
Top customer reviews
-- “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.
“A home to come back to every day of their lives.
Where they would all belong or long to be.
A place on the Jellicoe Road.”
This is foremost a book about characters AND THEY ARE ALL SO AMAZING! Quite frankly idk who I love more, because they're all so squishy and lovable and broken but you can't help but root for them and then you want them to all have the world and oh god I'm getting extra, aren't I? Alright. Um. Um. Ummmmmmm even though the book is mostly character-driven, plot doesn't lack one bit. It keeps you on the edge of your seat and there are so many twists and turns and there are OMFG kind of happenings and everything. There is quite a bit of fooling around (in every possible sense of this term) and I loved following all of these dorks during the Territory wars. The book itself has two narratives. One where our MC Taylor leads us through the "now part" and one another set of characters. But really! I can't tell you anything more, because oopsy daisy! I wouldn't want to spoil youuuu. So is it finally proper time to speak about my feels since I can't talk about anything else?
OK SO THE SHIPS??? I AM BROKEN IN PIECES BUT PUT TOGETHER ALL THE SAME. THIS BOOK IS SO AMAZING ON THE ROMANCE FRONT BUT DON'T LET MY SCREAMING FOOL YOU; JELLICOE IS PAIN! I DON'T REMEMBER WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME I CRIED SO MUCH WHEN IT WASN'T A KRISTA AND BECCA BOOK? MAYBE DURING FIXING DELILAH?? ANYHOW, THIS BOOK BROKE ME IN A THOUSAND TINY PIECES AND AFTER THE BOOK WAS DONE I WAS A SOBBING MESS. I TEXTED KATIE AND ERI THAT I COULDN'T STOP CRYING AND I JUST CRIED AND CRIED AND CRIED. THIS WHOLE BOOK IS SO EMOTIONAL [and quite honestly a tad bit messed up] AND I'M GETTING SO EMO JUST THINKING ABOUT IT ;___________; THIS BOOK IS MAGIC AND YOU SHOULD ALL READ IT IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY. YOU. ARE. MISSING. OUT. KKKK.
This is the place where I apologize and bow down to Tanja and Rashika who have been pestering me for years to read this book. I was stubborn and resisted, because most of Aussie writers' books I've read haven't suited me that much. The books I've read all have this distinct style of writing where words and scenes are cropped and rushed. While Marchetta does have that in her prose, it's very minimal and I never really turn much attention to it, because her books do what very few books are able to: these books suck you in and consume my mind, heart and soul. As Lisa likes to say: READ THE MARCHETTA!
[Pssst! Thank you to Nick for gifting a gift card for my birthday last year with what I purchased this gem for my Kindle and massive thanks to Jasprit who gifted the paperback for my birthday this year; you're golden Jazzy! ;*]
Overall rating: 5.0 out of 5.0
Most recent customer reviews
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