Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta is one hard book to review, folks. I read it for the first time a couple of years ago and just recently read it again because I couldn’t quite help myself. I’m happy to say that absolutely nothing was lost in the reread. The emotional intensity and deeply felt sense of loss remained the same despite the fact that I know how the story weaves itself together.
I know a lot of people who haven’t read the book get frustrated because all the reviews they read are so vague and mysterious. All I have to say to that is: Welcome to Jellicoe Road. The mystery that unfolds inside this story is incredibly deep and personal.
I don’t really even know how to write a review without being ridiculously intense about the whole thing. I also feel like I should dig out a thesaurus so I don’t throw around the words “intense,” “powerful” and “emotional” too often. Because let me tell you, the book is all of those things.
When you start reading the stories of the present day Taylor Markham along with the mysterious past narrations woven together by five friends – you’ll start out confused. Then, around half-way you’ll think “oh, I’ve got this figured out.” And sure, some of the pieces are easy to connect. But don’t think that doesn’t mean the story is without twists and turns – because you’re wrong. Also, don’t think that knowing how some of the pieces fit mean you won’t feel anything when the book finally brings them together. Because you’ll be wrong then too. No matter what you think you know, I can promise you at some point you will be affected. Heart broken. Mind blown.
Also, no matter how many times it gets said, it deserves to be said again: Jonah Griggs is pretty much a god. He does have imperfections which are nicely highlighted, but it just makes him seem more real. Even though I normally scoff when high school aged relationships get too intense, I can say with no hesitation whatsoever that this is an exception.
I would give a lot to see a sequel with these characters, but their story has been told. I don’t feel that there were any loose ends or pieces left unfinished. Darn shame. After creating these beautiful characters for us, the least Melina Marchetta could have done was give us a little more time with them.
This book is definitely an experience y’all, and I could probably go on about it forever. If you haven’t read it – make time to do so. Feel free to thank me afterwards!
- Also, make sure and stop by The Crooked Shelf to help Carla celebrate Aussie YA Month, and then go to Basically Amazing Books & Chick Loves Lit for Just Contemporary Month!