Jellicoe Road, this year's Printz winner, was definitely better than its predecessor, The White Darkness. The first chapter left me awestruck- it was...moreJellicoe Road, this year's Printz winner, was definitely better than its predecessor, The White Darkness. The first chapter left me awestruck- it was an incredible beginning. However, the next 100 pages are comprised of two stories that swirl around one main character who frankly, is less than likable in the beginning. After the 200 page mark, it is apparent that the structure emulates the main character's confusion- the reader is already beginning to piece together what the main character is beginning to suspect. It is tedious work, but the payoff is worth it- once the story picks up and the characters begin to interact, the story is quite enjoyable.
I took off one star for two reasons. One is due to editing. I felt that structurally, the reader could relate to the main story of Jellicoe Road, but the reader never really relates to the secondary story. With as many pages and development allocated by the writer, there should have been more development or in my opinion, less of the secondary story except in the development of the main story (I'm trying to write this without spoiling anything here). There are also some basic mistakes, as noted in other reviews- the ethnicity of one character contradicts itself, there are unexplained lapses in time during scenes, and so on.
Finally, this is supposed to be an award-winning book, with an emphasis on literary achievement. While Jellicoe Road does not lack this, I personally see this book as having a rather limited teen audience. I work in a public library, and there is a certain type of teen who would be willing to put in the effort to navigate the complexities of this novel- a novel that is sometimes overly complex and at times somewhat inaccessible. I worked through the first third of the book because it was a Printz winner, and I felt an obligation to finish it. I wonder if teens would do the same- it's not difficult, but it can be a chore. And who wants to make their leisure reading a chore? (This isn't me advocating Twilight for the Printz award, but really, let's take into account the audience of a book, and not just what adults/professionals think). (less)
My god, if I could give this book a lower rating, I would. This book was utter suck. The thought of the time I spent on the last three books in this s...moreMy god, if I could give this book a lower rating, I would. This book was utter suck. The thought of the time I spent on the last three books in this series almost drives me to self-harm. This author is truly sub-par, and this book is just so...GAH!!!! Spoilers here... Was it the awkward sex scene? Edward contemplating the idea of pimping out Bella to Jacob to justify aborting their child? The letdown of the battle between the Cullen sect v. the Volturi? The fact that Jacob wasn't in love with Bella, but her unborn child named Renesmee??? What a letdown. What a waste of a character (Bella) a terrifyingly unhealthy portrayal of a relationship (Edward and Bella) and the slaughter of the English language. Welcome to the Craptastic shelf. (less)