September 1, 2008
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.
Wow. Jellicoe Road completely blew me away. I have had so many people recommend this book to me and I expected it to be good but not this good! I really felt a deep with Taylor and I relished in her story. It is so deep and heartbreaking that it took me breath away. All of the side-characters were beautifully developed and I had fun trying to piece together the mystery that seemed to lead back to Taylor's caretaker Hannah. Marchetta earns herself on my favorite authors of all time list with Jellicoe Road!
Taylor has gone through so much in her life. Her mother abandoned her, her father is a mystery, and she is lost in her world. She finds comfort in her caretaker Hannah, who found her minutes after her mother abandoned her. She is mad at the world and doesn't like socializing. While I have never gone through anything close to what Taylor has gone through, I felt a connection with her. I could understand her thoughts and her frustration. I felt the emotions she was feeling and wanted to reach out and help her somehow.
Taylor is extremely interested in the book Hannah is writing. Whenever she can sneak peaks, she delves into the world of the five kids who help each other get through life after a terrible tragedy. She feels connected to them and wants to discover their meaning. The book is key in Taylor finding out the mysteries of her past, who Hannah really is to her, and where the five troubled kids fall into everything.
While Taylor is going through her emotional turmoil, she also has to be leader of her Jellicoe school in the territory wars against the Townies and Cadets. She is shocked when she learns that Jonah Griggs is the new leader of the Cadets. He is as mean as they can get and built like a tank. He is also the Cadet that she ran away with three years before and during that time they connected, until she thinks he rated them out and they get caught. She holds many different feelings for Jonah and while he infuriates he, he also has a way of making her blush when she least expects it. Jonah has a softer side to him where Taylor is concerned and while they may fight, Jonah lets his soft side of himself out in moments where they see each other for who they are.
Jellicoe Road is an amazing novel that I cannot stop thinking about. I was mesmerized from page one and it still had me under its spell for a long while after I had closed the book. The characters have so much depth to them and I loved each and every one of them. I am definitely going out and buying the rest of Marchetta's books ASAP because I have fallen in love with her writing. I would recommend this to anyone looking to be captivated by a deep and powerful story.