Jellicoe Road, by Melina Marchetta
Reviewed by Paige, age 16, Pennsylvania
Jellicoe Road, by Melina Marchetta, tells the story of Taylor Markham, who at age eleven is abandoned by her mother. At fourteen, Taylor runs away from boarding school, soon to be tracked down and brought back the way she came. Now seventeen years old, she's the reluctant leader of her school's underground community, whose annual territory war with the Townies and visiting Cadets has just begun. The Cadets are led by the fearless Jonah Griggs, and Taylor can't steer away from his stare much longer. On top of that, Hannah, the one adult Taylor can count on, has disappeared. If Taylor can solve the mystery that Hannah left behind, the truth she uncovers might not just reveal her confusing past, but even change her future.
There are many things to love about Jellicoe Road, but here are a few main ones. I loved the whole mystery of the story, and how readers have to sort of figure things out for themselves. The two absorbing, captivating, and lyrical stories put together into one draw the reader in and create suspense and secrecy. The main character, Taylor, was also very realistic, and I loved her voice, personality, and back story. You easily fall in love with the romance that takes place in Jellicoe Road; it was just the right amount to keep the reader satisfied. This is one of those novels where, after you finish it, you sit there stunned and in awe.
The only complaint I have about Jellicoe Road is how confusing it was at first. It almost got to a point where I was reluctant to read it for the first 200 pages, then after that everything started to fall into place and make sense.
Jellicoe Road also had me questioning if it was very believable. I don't think boarding schools really have territory wars, but who knows? Taylor, however, was a very real main character and her past made this story more believable. Everyone had their own story to share, so I thought it was great. None of the characters were average or static; they could very easily be real people with their own problems like us.
Melina Marchetta also has a beautiful, flowing writing style that keeps you mesmerized the whole way through. She is a genius.
All you lovers of YA Contemporary, go read this book! I don't know why I put off reading it so long, but I am so glad I finally did. Like I said above, Jellicoe Road will leave you in shock and tug at the strings of your heart. You'll find yourself rooting for the characters and dying to find out the mystery along with them. I definitely recommend it to everyone.
I give Jellicoe Road 5 out of 5 stars! It is a must-read!