Monday, December 10, 2012

[BOOK REVIEW] Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Title:  Jellicoe Road

Author:  Melina Marchetta

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Year Published: 2006

Number of Pages: 419 pages

Date Read: 12/9/2012

Publisher:  Penguin Australia

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 16+ (Strong Language and Child Abandonment)

Buy on:  Amazon  //  Book Depository 

After reading “Saving Francesca” and hearing so many good reviews on this book, I had decided to pick up another one of Melina Marchetta’s young adult novels and I came across “Jellicoe Road” (some versions it is called “On the Jellicoe Road”).  “Jellicoe Road” is a Printz Award winning book and I was absolutely blown away by how emotional and exciting this novel really is! 

Taylor Markham was eleven years old when she was abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road.  Now seventeen years old, Taylor is not only the new leader of her boarding school dorm, but she will soon uncover many secrets about her life before she came on Jellicoe Road, especially after her mentor Hannah, suddenly disappears from the school without a word to Taylor.  Not only that but Taylor soon meets up with her old sweetheart, Jonah Griggs and she suspects that Jonah knows more about herself then Taylor knows.  Now, Taylor must go on a journey to find out the truth about her mother’s abandonment and the whereabouts of Hannah and what she will discover about her true past will change her life forever!

Wow…just wow for the umpteenth time.  Now, I know that I had mentioned before that I loved reading “Saving Francesca” and I still love that book, but after reading “Jellicoe Road,” I think that “Jellicoe Road” is a few leagues above “Saving Francesca” in terms of storytelling and character development.  I loved the way that Melina Marchetta build up the mystery surrounding Taylor’s past and how it affects her current state.  This was probably the main reason why I loved reading “Jellicoe Road” because I was constantly sitting on the edge of my seat every time certain clues were being thrown out regarding Taylor’s past such as why Hannah suddenly left the school and why her mother abandoned her on Jellicoe Road all those years ago.  I also liked the character Taylor Markham herself and even though there were times where her aggressive attitude towards other people annoyed me a bit, I can sort of sympathize with her because of how she finds it hard to trust anyone after her mother abandoned her and Hannah, the closest person she had to a family, suddenly left the school without telling Taylor.  I really enjoyed Taylor’s relationship with Jonah Griggs, Raffaela, Ben, and Chaz Santangelo as they are close friends with her and I loved the way that these characters all tried to help Taylor through her trust issues with other people and also, showed her the true meaning of friendship.  I really enjoyed the way that Melina Marchetta set this story in Australia since I love reading stories located in other countries and I also loved the way that Melina Marchetta described the Jellicoe Road as being a road where trees sort of hang over the roads, like a canopy and that just gives me a wonderful image about the road every time I read this book!  I really liked the scenes where Taylor was reading Hannah’s manuscripts (the italicized sections of the book) as they tell the stories about the characters Tate, Narnie, Jude, Fitz, and Webb and even though the stories were truly heartbreaking and touching, the significance of the manuscript scenes is definitely something that shocked me after I finished reading this book! 

For a novel that is aimed at young adults, there is some pretty strong language in this novel including dropping the “f” bomb and the “s” word.  If anyone does not like reading strong language in a novel, then it might be best to skim over these scenes.  This novel also deals with the subject of child abandonment and anyone who has ever gone through this situation, might find it hard to read through this book.

Overall, “Jellicoe Road” is a truly emotional and engaging novel that anyone who is a fan of Melina Marchetta’s works or love reading young adult novels about real teenagers dealing with real life will love for many years to come!

* 2007 Australian Book Industry Award Nominee for book of the Year for Older Children
* 2007 Queensland Premier's Literary Awards Nominee for Young Adult Book Award
* 2008 Cybils Awards Nominee for Young Adult Fiction
* 2008 W.A. Young Readers Book Award (WAYRA) for Older Readers
* 2009 Printz Award


  1. Yay Ronyell! So excited that you loved this, too. Figuring out the mystery had me on the edge of my seat, too. If you loved Saving Francesca, you must read The Piper's Son. It picks up with the gang some years later. It's better than Francesca, IMO. Amazing review. :)

    1. Thanks Rachel! I've heard so many good things about the Piper's Son, so I'll definitely check it out!

  2. Fantastic review! I remember when I finished this book I was completely speechless. I knew there was no hope I'd ever be able to write an intelligible review. hahaha But this review? Awesome.