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Jellicoe Road Paperback – March 9, 2010
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
“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
Everything seems to happen on or near Jellicoe Road. It is a constant point in this book. Taylor Marham was eleven when she was abandoned, on Jellicoe Road, by her mother. She's now 17 and lives / attends a boarding school, also on Jellicoe Road. She's just been elected the leader of her house / all the houses in a "war game" played with the Townies and the Cadets (who travel to Jellicoe Road ever year for training). The war games have been going on for a few decades and it's very intricate with rules, territories, and boundaries. This year, however, the games get overshadowed by the relationships formed between the different factions. Personally, Taylor has been struggling with her identity since the day she was left by her mother (and maybe even before) and this is only made worse when her guardian leaves without word. Add to the mix the boy (Cadet) that Taylor ran away with three years prior and you've got a nice healthy mix of teen angst.
Usually I'm not fond of teen angst. Many authors go too far with it and I get frustrated. Marchetta actually does a good job of balancing out the angst / anger that Taylor feels at not knowing her own life with the mystery of finding out who she is / where she comes from.
Marchetta does a good job of presenting the reader with little bits and pieces and slowly, over the course of the book, giving a little bit more until the whole story is beautifully woven together. She did this in such a way that I wasn't even interested in trying to predict the path the story would take I just followed it wherever it would lead. I'm glad I did. I think this is definitely a book to go into without knowing too much about it. I'll admit it started a little tangled for me in the beginning and I wondered if I would be able to get into the book at all. It didn't take long for me to be fully immersed in the story.
Jellicoe Road is considered YA but it is a book that adults can enjoy as well. I think this is because the young characters are dealing with issues beyond their years. They have been through things that some adults haven't even experienced. That's why it has such a broad appeal. Marchetta deals with the relationships between the characters in such a beautiful way. I'm not just talking about romantic relationships, but friendships and familial relationships are all represented as well. This is what forms the make-up of the book, obviously, because Taylor is looking for that family connection somewhere.
Even though Taylor is the main character Marchetta gives all the secondary characters their due as well. We get to know the people in Taylor's life, their stories and histories. Sometimes she does this the straightforward way and sometimes it's round-about, but it's all woven seemlessly into the story as a whole.
I really can't say enough good things about this book, but I don't want to give too much away. Like I said this is a book that needs to be experienced with as little knowledge of the plot as possible. It's well worth it. I'm really interested in reading more from Melina Marchetta.