Tracey Neithercott's Reviews > Jellicoe Road

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
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Mar 30, 2015

bookshelves: reviewed, favorites

A long, long time ago, back when Obama was still using a map to get around the White House and the word “okay” wasn’t romantic in the least, I read YA author Kirsten Hubbard’s blog post about her favorite book, Jellicoe Road.

It quickly became my favorite, too, which is why I was shocked today when I discovered I had never reviewed it. Must. Fix. Immediately.

Back then, I had never heard of Jellicoe Road. Couldn’t even find it in my local bookstore. Looking back, it seems ridiculous, the idea that this book was hard to find—not because it’s so widely known now but because books this good should be easy to find.

But it’s also fitting: In a lot of ways, Jellicoe Road is a book that sneaks up on you. It’s not the book you see on a table in Barnes & Noble but the one your friend forces into your hand after loving it so very much. It’s the kind of story that may take some time to like, but once you do, you’ll fall in love.

I didn’t have one of those experiences, by the way. I was hooked from page one. But a lot of other people—fans of the book—say it’s hard to get interested in the beginning. That it’s confusing. And I can see how that may be the case. But what they say, and what I say, is this: Don’t give up. Get through the first 100 pages or so, even if you’re confused. Even if you have no idea where this is going or how these unrelated storylines connect or why some chapters are italicized.

Don’t give up.

If Marchetta’s beautiful prose isn’t enough to convince you, if you’re not halfway in love with every character in the book, then keep reading because I promise you it’ll be worth it.

In the end, Marchetta takes all of these threads she’s been weaving throughout the novel and ties them together in one of those complicated knots that look way easier to tie than they actually are. Which is a much wordier way of saying the pieces of this story come together slowly and intricately, and by the time you hit The End, you’ll see the brilliance in Marchetta’s storytelling.

This review could go on and on. I could talk forever about Marchetta’s writing. It’s truly beautiful:
“My body becomes a raft and there's this part of me that wants just literally to go with the flow. To close my eyes and let it take me. But I know sooner or later I will have to get out, that I need to feel the earth beneath my feet, between my toes—the splinters, the bindi-eyes, the burning sensation of hot dirt, the sting of cuts, the twigs, the bites, the heat, the discomfort, the everything. I need desperately to feel it all, so when something wonderful happens, the contrast will be so massive that I will bottle the impact and keep it for the rest of my life.”
I could talk forever about the romance, which is slow-building and sweet and perfect:
“No,” I say, looking up at Griggs. “It’s actually because my heart belongs to someone else.” And if I could bottle the look on his face, I’d keep it by my bedside for the rest of my life.”
I could talk forever about the two stories and how they connect and how at the very end I was in tears over it all. How I cry each time I read this even though I know how it’s all going to shake out.

I could talk forever about Jellicoe Road, but I only need to say this: This is a really wonderful book—worthy of its Printz award in every way—my favorite of all time, and a novel you should most definitely read right away.
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Quotes Tracey Liked

Melina Marchetta
“What do you want from me?" he asks.
What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him.
Melina Marchetta, Jellicoe Road

Reading Progress

Finished Reading
March 30, 2015 – Shelved
March 30, 2015 – Shelved as: reviewed
March 30, 2015 – Shelved as: favorites

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