First time I heard about the book, I don’t have any idea what the book is all about (the synopsis is mediocre!) Oh, the irony of being an unforgettable book. Anyway, It’s been weeks since I finished Melina Marchetta’s Jellicoe Road and my heart is still heavy. I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s my first time to read a book like this:
It’s about a seventeen-year old girl name Taylor Markham. She started studying in a school in Jellicoe Road after her mother abandoned her when she was eleven. A stranger named Hannah picked her up in that 7-11 store and brought her to Jellicoe Road boarding school. She’s been living there for six years and became the leader of the underground community of the school that is involved in the territory war against the Townies and the Cadets. Everything is sort-of okay but one day, Hannah left. Taylor felt like everyone is leaving her and she’s eager to find out where is Hannah. With the help of Jonah Griggs, she found out the mystery of her past, her family, and Hannah.
At first, the book is confusing. So confusing that you want to give up the book. I heard many people commented that the first part of the book is really confusing but let me tell you this, it’s important. So don’t stop. Let me give you an idea about it: It’s about different houses (like the ones in colleges, fraternity houses) and underground territory wars. It sounds ridiculous because it is ridiculous, but it’s entertaining. Let me tell you again, don’t stop reading.
“As I walk back to the school on my own, I realise I’m crying. So I go back to the stories I’ve read about the five and I try to make sense of their lives because in making sense of theirs, I may understand mine.”
Anyway, I love how Marchetta wrote a story within a story. There is another story [written by Hannah] about group of five teenagers— Narnie, Web, Tate, Fitz and Jude—that became friends after they met an accident on Jellicoe Road. These people are crazy but as I read the book, they became dear to me. If you read their story, you’ll appreciate the friendship they have and you will wish you are part of their circle. Well, I did. I fell in-love with the friendship they had. It is so strong and amazing. Really. It is the kind of friendship I want, or I am dreaming of.
“What do you want from me?” he asks.
What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him.
Another is Taylor. She is tough though annoying. I can’t stand her sometimes but I really respect her character because after all she’d been through, she never gave up. I want to comfort her because she has too much in her hands—the houses, the territorial wars, Jonah Griggs, and her personal history. Her POV is so strong and emotional, it made my heart cry out when she wants to break down. She got a lot of things in her mind and I want to pick each of them out of her head. She needs rest. She needs control. She needs to trust. She needs acceptance. She needs to belong. She needs hope. She needs love. She needs love love love.
“You just have to belong. Long to be.”
Plot-wise, it is genius. Unexpected. Goosebumps every part of my body. I am exclaiming,’OH MY GOD, she/he is…?’, or ‘WHAT?!’ every time there’s a mystery unveiled, then read more and more, I want Taylor to be happy, I’m praying that Taylor will be happy in the end of the book (sorry, I get too attached to the characters) but before that, I have to cry and be sad about the past. I don’t want to spoil you (it’s really hard) with details of sadness and despair, forgiveness and acceptance, and most importantly, hope and love. This is a sad book but Marchetta gave it a good ending. Nothing is hurried, it is written carefully not to disappoint the readers. Yes, I am really satisfied with the ending (but my heart is still heavy with it).
“These people have history and I crave history. I crave someone knowing me so well that they can tell what I’m thinking.”
I don’t think I will ever forget about this book, especially you, Webb, I still have your smile etched in my mind, and Taylor, I will be forever your friend. Thank you, Melina Marchetta, for writing this book. It’s a beautiful story that I am so glad I became part of it as a reader.
“He is the most beautiful creature I have ever seen and it’s not about his face, but the life force I can see in him. It’s the smile and the pure promise of everything he has to offer. Like he’s saying, ‘Here I am world, are you ready for so much passion and beauty and goodness and love and every other word that should be in the dictionary under the word life?’”
Marchetta is amazing. She’s my new found favorite author (I like Saving Francesca, too!). If you read the quotes from the books [above, in red and italicized], it’s full of feelings.
Read this book, guys! I think you’ll like her books, too.
Thank you, Joyzi/Veneficus, for lending me your Melina Marchetta books! I promise I’ll have my own copy for a re-read this year :)