Thursday, December 29, 2011

Jellicoe Road: Book Review

Novel: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Release Date: September 1st, 2008
Publisher: HarperTeen

Format: Hardcover Novel
Source: Gifted
"What do you want from me?" he asks. What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him. More. 

Abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road when she was eleven, Taylor Markham, now seventeen, is finally being confronted with her past. But as the reluctant leader of her boarding school dorm, there isn't a lot of time for introspection. And while Hannah, the closest adult Taylor has to family, has disappeared, Jonah Griggs is back in town, moody stares and all. 

In this absorbing story by Melina Marchetta, nothing is as it seems and every clue leads to more questions as Taylor tries to work out the connection between her mother dumping her, Hannah finding her then and her sudden departure now, a mysterious stranger who once whispered something in her ear, a boy in her dreams, five kids who lived on Jellicoe Road eighteen years ago, and the maddening and magnetic Jonah Griggs, who knows her better than she thinks he does. If Taylor can put together the pieces of her past, she might just be able to change her future.
(Synopsis from Goodreads)

Willa's Rambles:
   I've read this book before, but it was before this blog was ever created, so a review was never written. But, I recently reread it, and I realized I needed to write a review and spill my heart out. This book is one of my favorite (if not my favorite) book I've ever read. It has everything - a good laugh, a romantic moment, fantastic characters, heart-wrenching scenes, and a beautiful setting.
   Taylor is a character that grows on you. At first, I did not like her - I thought she was selfish, demanding, and quite confusing. You never knew what she was going to do. But then, when Jonah Griggs comes to town, her past begins to unravel, and I realize that there is more to her than just a girl abandoned by her mother, that she has real problems in her life that make it hard and almost impossible for her to show compassion.
   Jonah is incredible. I wanted to pull him out of the book and place him next to me and spend the rest of my life with him, because all he wanted was Taylor. He has family issues too, but that past helps him to relate to Taylor, and he has secrets that might even be worse than hers. So when they start falling for each other, he is always there to help her piece together her past, and the past of five other people that changed her life.
   My favorite thing about this book are the two stories. The first is the present - Taylor's. And the second impacts Taylor's story in ways unimaginable - it's the story of five kids who lived where she is now, and all she has of them is a manuscript - or so she thinks. 
   Set in Australia, two stories of the past and present result a story with twists and turns, real life lessons, romance that is unique to the characters, and a story that is more beautiful than any other - that no matter how bad life gets, the people you love can pull you up out of the dirt and dust you off in a way no one else can.

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