Book Review – On The Jellicoe Road

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Title: On The Jellicoe Road

Author: Melina Marchetta

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mystery

Length: 289

Rating: 5 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

I’m dreaming of the boy in the tree. I tell him stories. About the Jellicoe School and the Townies and the Cadets from a school in Sydney. I tell him about the war between us for territory. And I tell him about Hannah, who lives in the unfinished house by the river. Hannah, who is too young to be hiding away from the world. Hannah, who found me on the Jellicoe Road six years ago.

Taylor is leader of the boarders at the Jellicoe School. She has to keep the upper hand in the territory wars and deal with Jonah Griggs – the enigmatic leader of the cadets, and someone she thought she would never see again.

And now Hannah, the person Taylor had come to rely on, has disappeared. Taylor’s only clue is a manuscript about five kids who lived in Jellicoe eighteen years ago. She needs to find out more, but this means confronting her own story, making sense of her strange, recurring dream, and finding her mother – who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Ahh. I just don’t have the right words to explain how I feel about this book. I have read it so many times yet when I go to tell people they should read it, I can never find the words that will make them understand just how I feel about this book.

This is one of a few books that has made me cry my eyes out. Multiple times.

This is one of two books that once I finished it I found I wasn’t ready to stop yet and immediately turned back to the start and read it again.

Forget about the description, it doesn’t prepare you for what is hidden within this book. But I don’t know if I should try and explain it to you or not. I think perhaps you should go in blind and come out with new eyes.

All of this being said however I can see where some people might hate this book.Its depressing and there are very few happy moments, and so there is a lot of teen agnst. The structure might also annoy some, know the first time you read this you might be confused by its structure.

None of those things affected me though.

I love each and everyone of the characters, even the ones I hate I love. The angst doesn’t bother me at all. If I had been through the lives of some of characters within the book I would be angry or depressed too. I would find it unrealistic and less enjoyable if they were still so upbeat. However, the connection and love that develops between them all is just so beautiful and touching. It is probably wrong to say this, I would never want my life to be anywhere near as tragic as the ones they live, but I wish I could join in. I want to be part of that circle of friendship and family so badly, I kind of feel like I am though because of how I feel about them.

The structure and plot of the story is presented both in the present and the past, with the past story being presented to us in random segments. Part of the thing I loved about the structure was that I had to work out in what order those past events happened and understand how it relates to what we are living through in the present.

The writing is beautiful. Some of my favourite quotes of all time come from this book. If I was ever to get any tattoo, which I am so against, it would be a quote from this book. It is firmly placed in the top of my favourite books list. I am so glad I noticed the cover when it was on sale at Big W years ago. I don’t like to think about if I had of kept walking and decided I didn’t have enough money. It has gotten me through sad times despite its own sadness.

I will continue reading this book until the day I die. Its part of me.

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