Review: On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta


March 9, 2014 by Bernadette ~ The Bumbling Bookworm

On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (known as Jellicoe Road internationally)
Publisher/Year: Penguin Australia, 28 August 2006
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: Paperback
I bought it!
Other books from author:
Looking for Alibrandi, Saving Francesca, The Piper’s Son, The Lumatere Chronicles

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Goodreads 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.

The moving, joyous and brilliantly compelling new novel from the best-selling, multi-award-winning author of Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca.

What I Thought…

Fair warning guys – this is one of my most favourite books of all time.  I’ve read it a million times and it NEVER gets old.  NEVER.  And every time I read it, I find some new detail that I didn’t notice on one of my other rereads and I fall in love with it that little bit more.

I bought this book in or about 2010, around the time The Piper’s Son was released – I’m pretty sure I remember buying them both at the same time.  I’d read and adored Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca, but for some reason I didn’t read either Jellicoe Road or The Piper’s Son when I first bought them.  For some INEXPLICABLE reason, both books sat on my shelves for TWO YEARS before I finally decided to read either of them.  Tip: don’t do that!

My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die.
I counted.

With an opening like that, how could I not be sucked it!  That had me hooked from the get go. To be fair though, Jellicoe Road does skip between POVs a bit and can be confusing to read in the beginning when you don’t know whose POV it is or what’s going on.  You get thrown right into the chaos that is Jellicoe Road and all it’s confusion, and it takes a while to work out what’s going on.  But once you do, it’s like a revelation and you won’t be able to look away (a bit like Narnie’s smile 🙂 ).  Yes, it is slow to begin with, but that’s part of its charm – stick with it though, and you WILL NOT regret it.

My love for this book is epic. A lot of that comes down to all the feels it gives me, and it’s FULL of hurty feels.  Living in a school for mostly troubled youths, Taylor’s mum’s abandoned her and she has no idea what’s happened to her dad, then her closest adult companion also seemingly abandons her.

Instinct tells me to go to Hannah’s, but she doesn’t live there anymore and that’s when I realize the major difference between my mother and Hannah. My mother deserted me at the 7-Eleven, hundred of kilometers away from home.
Hannah, however, did the unforgivable.
She deserted me in our own backyard.

Taylor has been through so much more than any ordinary seventeen year old girl, and what she learns about her family in her quest to find her mother is so tragic. No matter how many times I read this book, it makes me cry without fail.

The supporting characters are equally charming and tragic, especially Jonah Griggs.  Ah, Jonah Griggs.  There’s not much more I can say about Jonah that hasn’t already been said, except for *swoon*.  That pretty much sums him up!  Add in Chaz, Raffy and the territory wars, and you’ve got some lightheartedness in what is otherwise a heavy book in terms of it’s subject matter.

I literally do not have a bad word to say about this book.  It has made me laugh and cry every single time I’ve read it, without fail.  Marchetta has been one of my favourite authors since I was first introduced to Josie in Looking for Alibrandi, and I’ve never looked back.  I’m such an unabashed and unapologetic fangirl for this book, and I really don’t think that my review does it justice!  I hope it touches you even a fraction of the amount it impacted upon me.

Rating: 5 Stars

What did you think of this book?  Have you read any of Marchetta’s other books?


16 thoughts on “Review: On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

  1. Great review! I have heard so many wonderful things about this book but have yet to pick it up. I will check out my local bookstore to see if they have a copy or can order it for me.
    Thanks for the recommendation!

    • I hope you enjoy it! I could keep blathering on and on about how great this book is but it would simply be a restatement of what I’ve already said above. I hope I haven’t hyped it up too much for you, I really wasn’t mindful of that when I wrote my review!
      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. Foreign Geek says:

    I never read nor heard her book before, but you portrayed it so interestingly. I am contemplating to download it 🙂

  3. dramagoddess says:

    I completely agree. Its so hard to do justice to the absolute brilliance that is OTJR with words. Everyone should just go pick it up for themselves and be blown away.
    Good job though. 🙂

  4. […] On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: I’m pretty sure I’ve made it clear just how much I love this book!  In case you missed it, here’s my gushing review […]

  5. Jazmin Jade says:

    Great review. I think this would probably be my favourite book of all time. I worry about how to talk about it Its difficult to say in words how wonderful this book is.

  6. […] reviewed on the blog so far have been bestowed with this highest honour, The Book Thief and On the Jellicoe Road.  If you check out my Goodreads page, you’ll see that I’ve given other books a 5 star […]

  7. […] Today’s book I’ve chosen is On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, in honour of my Melina Marchetta Week this week on the blog.  I’ve already reviewed it but I had to mention it somehow this week 🙂 You can check out my review here! […]

  8. […] it moved me, I will push it on everyone I know – On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (review) is the perfect example of […]

  9. […] sure I’ve made it clear just how much I love this book!  In case you missed it, here’s my gushing review […]

  10. […] Today’s book I’ve chosen is On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, in honour it being one of my favourites.  I’ve already reviewed it but I had to mention anyway 🙂 You can check out my review here! […]

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Hi! I'm Bernadette, a 27 year old lawyer who loves to read (duh!), especially to escape my day job. I love to talk about books but I don't always get the opportunity to do so, hence my blog! I adore YA literature, most genres of Adult Fiction, and I've also been known to pick up a non-fiction book from time to time. I hope you enjoy your visit!

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