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On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
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On the Jellicoe Road (2006)

by Melina Marchetta

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,7821903,936 (4.24)92
  1. 10
    If I Stay by Gayle Forman (avalon_today)
  2. 00
    What I Was by Meg Rosoff (amz310783)
  3. 00
    Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey (bluenotebookonline)
    bluenotebookonline: Also Australian, also up for the Prinz, and also mesmerizing
  4. 00
    The Gorgon in the Gully by Melina Marchetta (Herenya)
    Herenya: This is the story of Jonah Griggs' 10 year old brother and is set during On the Jellicoe Road. It's also a lot of fun.
  5. 00
    To Jaykae: Life Stinx by Jean Davies Okimoto (thesundaybookreport)
  6. 00
    Looking for Alaska by John Green (thesundaybookreport)
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» See also 92 mentions

English (188)  Swedish (1)  Hungarian (1)  All (190)
Showing 1-5 of 188 (next | show all)
Not many books leave me speechless, but this one did just that. After finishing it I just set it down, and could not think of a word to say. The book was exquisite, a truly engaging mystery that also manages to be rather beautifully written. It walks the thin line between the mystic and the real without delving too deeply into the supernatural. It keeps a very genuine feeling with it that tugs at the heartstrings quite mightily.

For all the tragedy, it still is beautiful. The book will make you cry, but by the end you will be smiling. A truly rare feat. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
This was the perfect example of a ‘slow’ story that isn’t boring. The pacing is pretty slow, but it builds on itself and reveals information and history about the characters, their relationships, and the world. The story grows and develops and blooms. It’s a weird one - I wouldn’t think much about it when I wasn’t reading, but when I was reading it had my full attention.

Things I Liked:
I really liked the writing style. It was very much a stream of consciousness style that I found easy to read. It was easy to connect with Taylor because we get so much of her emotions and thoughts from the writing. I liked how we were discovering information alongside her. The story pulls you with it and keeps you engaged.

I really loved the flashback scenes to Narnie, Tate, Jude, Fitz, and Webb. I found the characters endearing and very lively. They had such an earnest friendship and it was great to see. I also loved that Hannah’s book was about these flashback characters we meet and that the story was her story. The story of her and her friends, it paralleled Taylor, Griggs, Santangelo and the other characters beautifully We get so much history from them. I loved seeing how their relationship changed the townies, the cadets, and the Jellicoe school kids.

I also really loved the dynamic that developed between Griggs, Taylor, and Santangelo. As the chosen leaders of the cadets, the Jellicoe school houses, and the townies respectively, it was nice to see their interactions change and evolve over the course of the story. The learn more about each other and their history and they evolve naturally. I really loved the bonding at the Prayer tree, it felt so genuine that I became completely invested in these three characters.

Things I Didn’t Like:
I didn’t really care about Raffaela at all. She felt pretty useless as a character to me. I know she has some kind of history with Santangelo that was supposed to cause drama or at least bring her into the core group, but we don’t get any information to actually make me care. The side characters in general all receive virtually no information, but that’s really ok because the story is more about the core group and their history and the history of Jellicoe road. But Raffaela is integrated as part of the core group, but I don’t think we get enough of her to establish her on her own.

The serial killer side plot fell completely flat to me. There wasn’t enough information to establish is and it didn’t have much closure either. It never went anywhere, it was just brought up now and again with no history or development. It was really just unnecessary and didn’t add anything at all to the story.

This was an enjoyable and engaging read, that builds and creates this hazy world of nostalgia and mystery. I really liked how the answers revealed themselves naturally and organically. The characters and the world are ethereal, while still being incredible grounded in emotion and humility. ( )
  LifeofaLiteraryNerd | Apr 27, 2018 |
If you've read my other reviews, it's no secret that I enjoy books most when the author does not spell out every detail, but trusts the reader to be smart enough to piece things together. At the start of this book, however, I was pretty much wondering "is this fantasy? Genre fiction? Futuristic? Anachronistic?" Probably some of my confusion is from the book being set squarely in Australia and me be unfamiliar with some terminology. So, some of what seemed unusual to me would not have been to an Australian reader.
About a 1/3 of the way in, though, I realized I was hooked. I liked the mystical qualities, the mysteries, the never being sure of what was happening. As the mysteries got solved, as the story slowly knit itself together, I couldn't put the book down. I read the last half of it last night.
Taylor Markham has been abandoned repeatedly by people who were supposed to be on her side--her mom, her friends, her caregivers. Her mother abandoned her at 12 to the care of Hannah and now Hannah has gone missing, too. Left at her boarding school all Taylor knows is what the adults around her will tell her, and what Hannah herself has written in a disjointed, out of sequence story she's been writing for years. On top of this, Taylor has to lead her school is a kids-only three-way battle with the local kids and the military academy kids who camp out nearby for a few weeks every year. Why are they fighting this battle? What happened to Hannah? Is Hannah's story real?
The conclusion of the story was great, and completely satisfying, while also leaving me with questions: Why did Hannah respect Taylor's mother's wishes when they might not have been the best for Taylor? If everyone had just talked, wouldn't a lot of hurt and frustration been avoided? But even these questions make me love the story--don't we all look back on our own stories with similar questions? ( )
  VanChocStrawberry | Apr 2, 2018 |
From the prologue:

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

I counted.

It happened on the Jellicoe Road. The prettiest road I’d ever seen, where trees made breezy canopies like a tunnel to Shangri-La. We were going to the ocean, hundreds of miles away, because I wanted to see the ocean and my father said that it was about time the four of us made that journey. I remember asking, “What’s the difference between a trip and a journey?” and my father said, “Narnie, my love, when we get there, you’ll understand,” and that was the last thing he ever said.

-------------------------------

With a beginning like that, how could you put it down? Well, I did, two times, but the third time…well…wow. Every once in awhile, a book comes along that just hits you in the gut. It hits too close to home, it tears your heart out, it grabs you by the roots of your hair and spins and doesn’t turn loose until well after the last page has been turned. Jellicoe Road did all these things to me and so much more.

Taylor Markham has been living at the Jellicoe Road boarding school since her mother abandoned her at the nearby 7-Eleven six years earlier. She doesn’t really know what happened to her father; only that he has been gone for most of her life. Now she’s seventeen has been newly elected to the post of student leader of her dorm and to lead the Underground Community as one of the three boarding schools who battle for territory (among other things) in her small Australian community. The two other gangs are called the Cadets and the Townies. For years these three camps have fought in the “Territory Wars;” wars fought over land, trees, water, and more. Everything is going swimmingly, until Hannah, the closest adult Taylor has to family disappears without a word. Jonah Griggs, the boy Taylor ran away with three years ago and the leader of the Cadets has popped back into her life with smoldering looks and mystifying behavior. And all the young kids of Taylor’s house are now looking to her for everything. Things start falling apart.

Understandably Taylor wants to know what’s going on with Hannah. We are given glimpses of a novel that Hannah has been working on, which at first Taylor takes to be fictional but quickly realizes that it might not be so fictional. It provides an all important glimpse of Hannah’s, and Taylor’s, life. As she gets closer and closer to the truth the pieces of the puzzle start to fit together and, well, good luck putting the book down. This is an absorbing story where nothing is quite what it seems and the clues only lead to more questions for Taylor, as she tries to work out the connections between herself, Hannah, her mother and the character’s in Hannah’s book. This is a book about secrets, anguish, pain, love, betrayal, hope, death, life and oh so much more. It’s heartbreaking and beautiful. It’s gorgeous and haunting. It’s going to live with me for a long time, I’m sure. I’m so glad I gave it that third try.

Oh and this is important. Jellicoe Road won the Printz Award! ( )
  capriciousreader | Mar 20, 2018 |


***

This is what a good book does to you. It makes you lose sleep, makes you struggle to finish it despite the lingering and more important problems (or exams in my case), makes you cry at the wee hours of the night, and makes you think about it for at least a week.

I don't know how to put into words how a ~400-page book did all of those to me.

But I will try. (Spoilers ahead- read at your own risk)


The touch of parallelism was good. Two stories are unfolding at once: Taylor Markham's, our heroine, and another about children-turned-teens named Webb, Narnie, Tate, Fitz, and Jude. The former goes on excitingly in a chronological manner. The latter pops up in non-linear excerpts, as it was in the form of a jumbled manuscript written by Hannah Schroeder, Taylor's guardian.

It's definitely a jumble at first- but in the end the format definitely sharpened and made the story more striking.

There's also this thing about tragedies that really pierce me. One of the few truths I really believe in is that the most beautiful things are also the saddest ones. Taylor Markham is in the center of chaos- imagine being left by your mother at a 7-Eleven parking lot, and witnessing someone shoot himself in the head before you even turn seventeen. It's a lot to take in and carry for a lifetime.

But wait! The rest of the characters are just as fucked up. Jonah Griggs, head of the Cadets, had a father who was so abusive that Jonah was urged to kill him with a cricket bat. Webb and Narnie's parents died in a car accident, the same one that killed Tate's parents and little sister. There's also this side story of children disappearing everywhere, indicating a pedophile/serial killer on the loose.

It's easy to fall apart at these circumstances but these people don't. And they come together. It took a long time and it was extremely difficult, but there were spots of good things here and there that made everything eventually okay.


And the romance. Sigh. I love characters who have a not-so-good start, because the journey of their reconciliation (+ more) is the sweetest. And the romance is not much of the central story, which I was thankful for, because I'd hate reading a full-blown cheesy, vomit-inducing account of the two's love life. That's not how I like my YA OTPs. It just pops up and at times it just leaves me wondering, or grinning stupidly.


Reading tip: I'd suggest reading this the first time just to kill yourself with all the shockers this book contains, and then a second time (or a third... fifth... fourteenth... go on) just to check out all the clues [a:Melina Marchetta|47104|Melina Marchetta|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1277655889p2/47104.jpg] (you are one crazy genius of a writer, ma'am) has left behind. It gets really fun when you do that part.

If I can give ten stars to only one book I've read in my lifetime, so far I'd say I'd give it to this one. ( )
  heycaye | Feb 14, 2018 |
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For Daniel and for Max
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My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061431834, Hardcover)

"What do you want from me?" he asks. What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him. More.

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:15 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Abandoned by her drug-addicted mother at the age of eleven, high school student Taylor Markham struggles with her identity and family history at a boarding school in Australia.

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