Monday, July 06, 2009

Jellicoe Road by Melinda Marchetta

So, this was supposed to be posted on Saturday. It's late... I will leave it at that! Here is my joint review with Heather from A High and Hidden Place.
"What do you want from me?" he asks. What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him. More.

Abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road when she was eleven, Taylor Markham, now seventeen, is finally being confronted with her past. But as the reluctant leader of her boarding school dorm, there isn't a lot of time for introspection. And while Hannah, the closest adult Taylor has to family, has disappeared, Jonah Griggs is back in town, moody stares and all.

In this absorbing story by Melina Marchetta, nothing is as it seems and every clue leads to more questions as Taylor tries to work out the connection between her mother dumping her, Hannah finding her then and her sudden departure now, a mysterious stranger who once whispered something in her ear, a boy in her dreams, five kids who lived on Jellicoe Road eighteen years ago, and the maddening and magnetic Jonah Griggs, who knows her better than she thinks he does. If Taylor can put together the pieces of her past, she might just be able to change her future.

What did you think of Taylor Markham? Did your opinion change as the novel progressed or stay the same?
In the beginning I was not very fond of Taylor. She was a bit whiny and annoying. I know she had a hard life, but it was no fun to read about her. She annoyed me so much in the beginning that I wasn't even sure if I was going to be able to read the book. She grew on me, though. Once you get to know her and see where she is coming from she is really not that bad. It took me a good part of the book to like her, though. She is a troubled youth, but it is her attitude towards other people that bothered me the most. She was justified in being angry with her parents, but she was taking it out on the world. My opinion changed as the book went along, so it was worth all the annoyance in the beginning.

What are your thoughts on the cover? Did it make sense for the book at all? Do you like it?
It's not that I don't like the cover, but we all know that as much as we shouldn't we judge a book by the cover. This cover doesn't really convey to me what the book is about. It doesn't tell me what to expect. I read it based on reviews by bloggers, though, so I can't say whether or not I would have picked it up based on the cover alone. I might have. It's an interesting cover that is different than most of the ones that you see on the shelf. I can't say I hate it, but I don't really love it, either.

What did you think of the juxtaposition of Taylor’s first-person narrative and Hannah’s third-person omniscient “novel” in the book?
This was my favourite part of the book. This is why I kept reading. In the beginning, I think I was a bit confused about what exactly was going on, but as the pieces started to fall into place I was captivated. I love stories in stories. I had some of the mysteries and secrets figured out, but I was still very impressed with how Melinda pulled things off. I liked how everything was connected, even if you didn't always know it at the time, and that by the end of the book all the mysteries are solved. In a world of series and trilogies, it was nice to get to the bottom of things in one book. I was left thinking 'wow' at the end, and not trying to figure on what just went on. I like that in a book.

Who was your favorite secondary character?
I loved the characters in the story that Hannah was telling. They were a great group of people. Hannah is a great character, too, but she is not in the book as much as you would expect. You just get to know her through her writing. Frankly, I can't think of a secondary character that I didn't like. They all brought something to the book in their own way and were wonderfully written. I think that Marchetta has great promise as a writer. I plan to read more from her!

I should point out that this book took me a few pages to get in to. It was not one of those books that grabbed me from the very first page. It was worth it, though. While this didn't make my top reads of the first part of the year, it does not mean that it is not one of my favourite books! Heather rated it a 4.5 out of 5, and if I still did ratings I would agree. It is definitely worth the little bit of extra work to get into it. It isn't that the beginning is bad, it is that there are things going on that you don't really understand in the beginning. By the end, though, you will be wiser and more appreciative of the story.

Also, this is a Printz winner, so I finally reviewed one of the Printz books I read. Yay!


  1. I started this one twice now and wasn't able to get into it. I know I need to read it one day, but I must not be in the right mood right now.

  2. Well I am glad to hear that it took you a little while to get into it! I bought the audiobook of this one and gave up on it. It was just too slow for me. But I think I'll try the written version of this one! Loved Y'alls review :)

  3. I checked this out from my library but time got away from me and I never read it. After your review I'm rethinking about requesting it again. Thanks for the heads up on the beginning!!

  4. I've not seen this book before but I would keep it in mind. Thanks for the review!

  5. You know I actually bought this book, but I have no idea why and I couldn't have told you a darn thing about it. Which means I may never have gotten around to actually reading it. ;) But now you've definitely left me wanting to go pull it off the thank you!

  6. Amanda: It took me a bit to get into it, but it was worth it in the end.

    Chris: I don't think this book would work as an audio, to be truthful...

    Staci: That happens to me all the time! It was really good, though. I hope you enjoy it.

    Alice: It is worth keeping in mind. :)

    Debi: To be truthful, I didn't remember what it was about when I went to read it, either! It was a surprise. lol I hope you enjoy it!

  7. Suey: Perfect comment. :)


Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

I am so sorry, but I turned anonymous commenting off. I have had it from the very beginning, but that is how the spam is getting by my spam filter at the moment. If it is a big deal I will turn it back on and moderate all comments. I also changed moderation from older than 14 days to older than 7.