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On the Jellicoe Road (2006)

by Melina Marchetta

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,8672036,203 (4.24)97
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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    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.
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» See also 97 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 199 (next | show all)
DNF 36%
I have really, really great news.

I can remove about four books from my TBR. This is the third time I've tried, and the third time I could not give a damn for this author's book.

I've said before that outside of romance, I don't need to love/identify with/like my characters. It's really true. I enjoy books where I am completely, utterly separate. I can enjoy author's art without enjoying anything else about the book. And I was detached from this protagonist. She was unlikable. She was detached. And sometimes I even love those characters. But Marchetta's words don't make me care about what's happening, they don't have the clarity and the direction for me to invest in the story. And hold on your hats, unpopular opinion, I don't like her writing.

*Ducks/deflects things being thrown*

Definitely don't take my word on it, and from what I understand the back half of this book is like...magic. But it's too late friends, I don't care, and I don't think an author should get away with writing such a weird, confusing foundation without it being...the point? If it is the point...I should still care? Does this make sense? Probably not. You might want to check other reviews.

I just called it because I'm sitting over here with a bored look on my face, actively disliking this book. And yep, after 3 experiences that left me like...oh....kay? I'm won't be reading her again. ( )
  samnreader | Jun 27, 2020 |
The book seems to exist as two stories, the first of which fades away as the book goes on, while the other grows in importance. This suits most readers of the book I've talked to as the first story, of territory wars between students of an Australian boarding school, the children who live in the town near it, and the cadets who visit the adjoining bush every year, feels a bit pointless and unbelievable. Out of this story, though, grows a much more engaging story about the relationships that tie together two generations of students, kids from the town, and cadets, the importance of family (however that is defined), and the ability of relationships to transcend death. ( )
  GracefulPhoton | Apr 11, 2020 |
Wow. So it took me a little bit of time to get into this book. I'm a southern girl with my own accent issues and this is obviously an Australian book with it's own accent issues so getting used to the accent took me a while. Then the book just jumps between alternating storylines and it takes some getting used to but once I did, I was hooked. I was glued to the story and could not put it down. I was at work, listening to the story and crying and thinking I needed to turn it off because I was crying at work and then thinking "forget that, I've got to know what happens." This is an absolutely beautiful story about friendship and the bonds that are formed in the lowest moments of our lives and I loved it. I can definitely see why it won the Printz Award ( )
  melrailey | Apr 7, 2020 |
I listened to this book on my daily commute to work. About halfway through the book I still found myself confused with a lot that was going on and who was who, so I decided to go back to the beginning! I was so glad that I did. It really solved a lot of the questions in my mind. Taylor Lily Markham was quite the girl. She was on a mission to figure out her family history which had been shielded from her for pretty much her whole life. The main characters were richly drawn and I really became emotionally involved with the story. I enjoyed the book and would definitely recommend it. ( )
  Tracyannritter | Apr 4, 2020 |
A gorgeous, poignant story with a writing style that awed me; not because it was particularly lyrical or unusual, but because it was so real and emotional.

Taylor Markham lives at Jellicoe School on Jellicoe Road, a beautiful place in the Australian bush. But Jellicoe Road is also a place of memories, and those memories are tragic, stunning, binding things that form the incredible roots of this novel. Everywhere on Jellicoe Road, memories tangle with the present, until you realize that the author has woven a stunning tapestry of generations, families, loves, and friendships that spans years. The connections are amazingly intricate and yet don't stretch belief in the slightest. The emotions felt are raw and real and beautifully human. The identities that are steadily revealed with keep you guessing and gasping with every page.

There's the present-day rivalries between the Jellicoe School kids, the Townies, and the visiting army Cadets. There's Taylor's struggles to understand her parents' abandonment, her loving but distant caretaker Hannah, the school kids under her care, and the sharp-edged Cadet named Jonah with whom she shares a history. And there's the story of the five kids who used to live on Jellicoe Road, five kids brought together by a single horrific accident, who loved each other and Jellicoe Road with all their hearts and continue to affect the present in more ways than can be imagined.

With so many facets, you'd think there would be things rushed or left unsaid by the end, but the author guides every bit of the story to a pitch-perfect conclusion; not sappy, but so pure and wonderful. Each character is so well-written, even the side characters. Completely and totally recommended. ( )
  booksong | Mar 18, 2020 |
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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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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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