Review: Jellicoe Road- Melina Marchetta

Note: I’m not sure where the words ‘On the’ went… I’m assuming it’s different for the British version and not that I have a defective copy.
Also… while I’m Note-ing: This review will be a lot shorter than other reviews because this book is best read knowing nothing about it.

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
Breathtaking. I need to listen to the masses more.

High Points.
JONAH GRIGGS. Sorry, had to get that out there. Taylor Markham= New Soul Sister. Australia. Mystery! Nostalgia. Childhood games. Raff. Beautiful writing. Amazing character development. Heartbreakingly perfect ending.

Low Points.
When I read books (real books, not Kindle ones because they have the nifty ‘Add Notes/Highlights’ button) I have a pink polka dot notebook that I jot down page numbers, thoughts and quotes in. I know that’s not a radical thing to do because I know a lot of people who do similar things, and as I read this novel I found myself writing down questions that I believed would be answered at the end.
Most of them were and everything made sense, but there were two questions that I had that I really wanted to know the answers to. The answers wouldn’t really add anything to the story… I’m just nosey.
Not that I’m hankering after a sequel because this book was perfect on its own and I think a sequel would be pointless, but I feel like I need to sit Ms Marchetta down and ask her my questions just for some closure.
So, if you’re ever in Manchester MM, there’s a caffeinated drink on me!

I loved loved loved Taylor Markham and from the first page I knew that she was going to be a part of the League of Soul Sisters (along with Vera, Katniss (don’t mention Mockingjay), Viola and The Rat) that I am considering setting up.
I’m going to be the ‘funny one’ in this group, obviously, because I lack the coolness, wit, feistiness and the ability to throw a ball in a straight line never mind shoot an arrow.
Taylor was the perfect mix of disgruntled moody teenager, spunky heroine and confused young girl. Yes, she can teeter on the edge of being a bitch but I think that’s what I liked about her. She’s flawed and she’s normal and she’s trying to deal with so much I practically encouraged her to be a bit prickly.
YA fiction is so full of impossibly perfect heroines that make it so hard to relate to. But I really related to Taylor and her outlook on life and in the time it took me to read this book, I found myself really caring about what happened to her. And I think that’s why a lot of people really love this book.
So yeah, Taylor, keep your eye out for the postman because there’s an official invitation in the post for you…

Love Interest.
Oh Jonah. When I heard you described by many a girl as the mysterious loner with a dark and tortured past, I have to admit that alarm bells were going off.
There’s something about the word ‘mysterious’ and ‘loner’ when used to describing boys that triggers an alarming adverse reaction in me (lots of frowning, yawning, skipping of pages, eye-rolling, eye-clawing-out etc).
But you, Jonah Griggs, you are my kind of guy and you are allowed your dark and tortured past. I don’t want to say a lot on this subject because if you haven’t read it already then you need to experience JG first hand.
But this guy brings the swoon and I have to agree with Taylor on one thing (well, on most things, but this one in particular)… I prefer him in his fatigues. BOOM.
Also an honourable mention has to go to Santangelo, with his abs (don’t worry Taylor, I wouldn’t look away either) and Ben, my violinist and his medieval jousting. Hot damn.

Theme Tune.

I immediately thought of this song… not just the subject matter but the whole message of the lyrics. Bitter sweet.

Angst Scale.
9/10. I really don’t want to say anything in this department for fear of spoiling things. But my favourite part of this book was the way past events were interwoven with the present day and how they affected the characters. I found these passages that were filled with innocence, hope, lost youth, impossible situations and, most importantly, the power of best friends so beautiful and captivating.

Recommended For.
EVERYONE. People who love mystery books. People who are comfortable with having butterflies in their stomach permanent because when JG brings the swoon… sorry, I’ll stop. People who like kick-ass, resourceful and perfectly complex heroines. People who love beautifully written and fantastically paced prose. People who wish they were younger again so they could have adventures in the best tree house in the world… complete with espresso.

One thought on “Review: Jellicoe Road- Melina Marchetta

  1. Jo,

    I finished the book today- fantastic suggestion. Now I need to find something a little more uplifting since I read Jellicoe Road right after reading A Monster Calls. Up next I will be experiencing Terry Pratchett for the first time. Since he’s written a number of books, I may not surface for a week or two :)

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