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419 pages, Paperback
First published August 28, 2006
And life goes on, which seems kind of strange and cruel when you're watching someone die.
Being part of him isn't just anything. It's kind of everything.
"Hold my hand because I might disappear."
“these people have history and i crave history. i crave someone knowing me so well that they can tell what im thinking.”this is honestly one of my favourite coming-of-age stories because its two generations, two groups of friends, wrapped up in an overlapping history of family, love, sacrifice, loss, friendship, and acceptance.
"I remember love. It's what I have to keep on reminding myself. It's funny how you can forget everything except people loving you. Maybe that's why humans find it so hard getting over love affairs. It's not the pain they're getting over, it's the love."Here's a short spoiler-free synopsis: Taylor Markham was abandoned by her drug-addicted mother at age eleven. She is now 17, living in Jellicoe School, a boarding school full of state wards and troubled children. She is in charge of her House (50 girls) and is expected to lead a sixteen-year-old 'territory war' between the Jellicoe School kids, the 'Townies' and the Cadets who camp out in the area for a couple of months each year. All while having strange dreams and feeling abandoned by her caretaker Hannah. All while reading Hannah's unfinished novel about five teenagers in the 1980s who form very intense friendship bonds after the horrific car accident on Jellicoe Road when they were 11-12 years old.
"I remember asking, "What is the difference between a trip and a journey?" and my father said, "Narnie, my love, when we get there, you'll understand," and that was the last thing he ever said."What I loved was the friendships that the 'old five' and the 'new five' have developed throughout the course of their respective stories. My favorite by far was between Taylor and Raffaela, with the developing friendship with annoying but adorable Jessa as a close second. Even though there was a romantic story threatening to take the foreground, it never overshadowed the rest of the story and the friendships, and I'm thankful for that.
"This is the best night of my life," Raffy says, crying.I was quite emotionally affected (I'd say 'manipulated' if not for the negative connotation of that word) by the nostalgic atmosphere Marchetta creates here. The nostalgia for the beauty of childhood and adolescence, for the friendships of the kind that you can only have before you reach adulthood, for the safety of childhood (no matter how messed up it can be), for the safe haven of Jellicoe School for the lost and messed up children.
"Raffy, half our House has burnt down," I say wearily. "We don't have a kitchen."
"Why do you always have to be so pessimistic?" she asks. "We can double up in our rooms and have a barbecue every night like the Cadets."
Silently I vow to keep Raffy around for the rest of my life."
"These people have history and I crave history. I crave someone knowing me so well that they can tell what I'm thinking."As for the voice of the novel - it is very emotional. Please be warned - it is emotional with the generous helping of teen angst. Oh, teen angst! It's on every page, in every sentence - just like it was so overwhelming when you were 16-17. Everything is intense, the tension is palpable, emotions are right on the surface. Reading this book is like experiencing being a teenager you once were. I found it to be a bit of eye-rolling experience initially (thankfully, I'm way out of the adolescence) but eventually the style grew on me and started to feel quite organic. But if you'd rather not deal with overexaggerrated raw teenage emotions - well, be warned and stay away from this story.
"What do you want from me?" he asks.------------------------------
What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him.
"And life goes on, which seems kind of strange and cruel when you're watching someone die. But there's a joy and an abundance of everything, like information and laughter and summer weather and so many stories."
“As I walk back to the school on my own, I realise I'm crying. So I go back to the stories I've read about the five and I try to make sense of their lives because in making sense of theirs, I may understand mine.”
“Because people with that much spirit frighten the hell out of me. They make me want to be a better person when I know it's not possible.”
“But grief makes a monster out of us sometimes . . . and sometimes you say and do things to the people you love that you can't forgive yourself for.”
“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.”
Do you see that tail-end of the yellow line? That's Luzon, the biggest island in the Philippines. That's where Manila is. That's where I live!
He reads this book!
1. I cannot understand why the first 100 pages should be made confusingAnyway, according to my trusted friends in this group, the book is amazing. Maybe they are still young and the story "speaks" to them. So, let's leave it at that. However, I can say that this book has a good intent. It also has a developed story that other readers can emphatize with. I guess that this is just not for me.
2. The claim or fight for territory has nothing to do with the rest of the book. Also, I do not understand exactly how it is supposed to work.
3. The love affair between Taylor and Briggs is too mushy for my taste. Felt like Katniss-Peeta or Bella-Edward. I'm too old for that.
4. Taylor is a pathetic female character IMO.
5. Taylor is asked to lead even if she is asthmatic. Is there nobody else who can lead?