Aaron Vincent's Reviews > On the Jellicoe Road

On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
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's review
May 12, 12

bookshelves: favorites, 2011-read, contemporary-ya
Recommended to Aaron Vincent by: Chachic
Read in October, 2011

Originally posted here.

Why? Why did I read this just now? I bought my copy a long time ago upon recommendation of people I thought my friends. If said people are real friends, they wouldn’t just recommend it, they should have tied me in a chair and forced me to read this. I reckon they don’t have to tie me in that chair too long because it only took a couple of pages before I fell in love with this amazing book. I frequently tell people that if only I could I would marry Paper Towns, but that has changed now. Paper Towns would be better off with Jellicoe Road and they will make wonderful, wonderful babies together. I should stop being a smartypants now and get on with it already. I want to bottle this moment, this feeling I have after reading Jellicoe Road and what better way to do that than writing about it?

For the first time since I started blogging, I won’t try to write my own summary of the book I’m reviewing. I simply cannot do it. The summary at the back tells us that it is a story about a girl named Taylor Markham, five teenagers in the past, and a road where it all happened. But there’s more to this book than that. Although we spend more than half of the time inside Taylor’s head, Jellicoe Road is a lot bigger than Taylor’s search for some sense of home and security. As the synopsis suggest, it is also about those five teenagers — Narnie, Web, Tate, Fitz and Jude — bonded by a freak accident that happened 22 years in the past. It’s a story of how their friendship help one another withstand the despair that is eating them. It’s also about Jonah Griggs, a boy who is scarred for life and the story of how he was saved from self-destruction. It is also about Rafaella and Santagello’s friendship and missed opportunities; and of Jessa’s wild innocence; and of Ben’s music and loyalty. Jellicoe Road is a book that is filled to the brim with genuinely sympathetic and nuanced characters. All of them are dear to me. I desired nothing but to step into the book and give each a hug — a hug that is not much of me comforting them but them reassuring me that they are going to be okay. I wanted to belong. Long to be. It’s a beautiful tale about loss, grief, and pain and at the same time of love, friendship and hope. I am in awe at how Ms. Melina Marchetta managed to do all this under 330 pages.

I know a lot of people say that the first half of the book was like a puzzle and way too confusing for its own good. Don’t get intimidated by that. There were tell-tale hints about how the two narratives come together, and I figured out in ways more than one the connection early on the story. I don’t mean to gloat. What I mean is that it is not rocket science and it is still well within the capabilities of an ordinary human mind. I figured it out and I don’t know how to tell you how that’s necessarily a bad thing. I knew it and I felt that Taylor also knew it and only seeks for confirmation — waiting for someone to tell us that it’s all real. Somehow that knowing makes the journey more painful and more lovely.

There were laughters shared and tears shed on the Jellicoe Road. There were mistakes made and forgiveness given. There was acceptance. There were tragedies and love stories. There were dreams shattered and dreams built. There was hope. I am thankful to Melina Marchetta for the opportunity to be part of those. I cannot think of better way to end this other than quoting a passage that perfectly summarizes everything I feel towards the book:

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Comments (showing 1-8)

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Chachic Yay, 5 stars! Like Tina said, welcome to the Jellicoe Road fans club. :P

Tina =D

Celina Oh wow, glad you liked this too.:)

message 4: by K.D. (new) - rated it 1 star

K.D. Absolutely I will read this!

Aaron Vincent K.D. wrote: "I will read this!"

Do you want me to bring my copy on Friday so I can lend it to you? :)

message 2: by K.D. (new) - rated it 1 star

K.D. Absolutely O sige, I will just leave it in the car though kasi iba ang pang photo-op ko.

Kwesi 章英狮 Tagal mo na ring di nakapag-review ng books! Wow 5 stars!

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