Heather's Reviews > Jellicoe Road

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
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's review
Aug 19, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2010

Several terms come to mind when describing Jellicoe Road, but perhaps what works best is clever. Melina Marchetta has a masterful way with words. Her writing is simple and yet effective. She’s down to earth, whilst being thought provoking. Lamb dressed as mutton. I could go into a plot summary for you, but I think it would ruin the experience; therefore, I’ll say this:

There is a story within a story that inevitably intertwines the past to the present, and both are vivid and remarkably told. The dust jacket and/or blubs will present this book as a mystery, but to be frank, that’s a bit false. All mystery dissipates 150 pages in, with the first 50 pages being a bit of a confusing mess. I’ll admit, I had my doubts about Jellicoe Road in the beginning. The narrative hops around way too often, in no seeming order, and there were times when I had no idea who was speaking. But I pressed on, hoping that the story would reveal itself in time if I could only endure for a little longer. I’ll note here that Marchetta has this way of luring you in against your will. In this instance, I was compelled by Taylor Markham, even though there were times that I was a bit put out with her. She’s just so lost, so solitary, so angry and she’s been so betrayed. You want to slap her, then give her a hug. Though, as Marchetta has proven with her other works, her narrator is never the only character to shine albeit they shine through a rain cloud as her characters are almost always emotional train wrecks. Nevertheless, everyone is complex in their own unique, intriguing way. You get the sense that these people exist, somewhere along the Jellicoe Road. Their stories begin to feel like your experiences, their pasts become your memories. You can’t help but fall a little in love with them.

All in all, Jellicoe Road won a Printz Award for good reason, and if you can just stick it out for 50 trying pages, you will be more than well compensated.
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Reading Progress

August 19, 2010 – Shelved
November 8, 2010 – Started Reading
November 16, 2010 –
page 273
November 16, 2010 – Finished Reading
November 17, 2010 – Shelved as: 2010

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Rosanne Interesting comments regarding Taylor. I think Marchetta's genius comes in creating these characters who are really flawed, yet are still so compelling and relatable. The emotional train wreck is a good observation, true of so many of her characters. They do seem to be able to move past their issues to some degree which I appreciate.

message 2: by Heather (last edited Nov 18, 2010 06:34AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Heather I agree Rosanne. Taylor is flawed, but not in a forced way. She's flawed in a frustratingly normal way. I imagine just about anyone has encountered an "emotional hard @ss" who throws walls up because they can't endure one more disappointment. It made me want to yell at her not to give up, or miss out. And like you, I love that Marchetta moves her characters toward some type of healing process without wrapping them in a red bow. She acknowledges that in life, those things take time.

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