Ever read a book that if you had to judge it by the first 100 pages, you’d rate it at about one or two stars? Then you finish the book and it overtakes your mind, and steals your heart and breath? That’s what happened to me with “On the Jellicoe Road”. I received it as a Secret Santa gift, they left a note telling me that it was one of their favorite books. She also warned me how difficult and confusing the beginning is, but once you get past that the writing is beautiful. She was right!
"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.
This description doesn’t even cover the intricate ways that both stories, that of Taylor’s and that of the five kids who lived on Jellicoe eighteen years before her, are woven together. The writing truly is beautiful, Melina has a way of describing feelings, thoughts, memories… that go straight to your heart. There is so much truth behind her descriptions.
The story is heartbreaking, but is also peppered with humor and breathtaking descriptions. Parts of the book felt like poetry. The characters are wonderful. I loved each and every one of them. At the beginning, I wasn’t sure I was going to like any of them, but as the story went on I fell in love with each of their unique personalities.
I know this review is rather… glowing, but I just finished the book late last night and I’m still on one of those “good book highs”. Still. Give this book a try.
Woohoo! My last book review of the year! Happy New Year everyone!