Review: On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

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On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta – 5 Stars

So you know when you’re watching TV, and land on some movie but have no idea what it’s about? But for whatever reason you can’t look away, or change the channel, and now an hour has gone by and you’re totally immersed and haven’t moved an inch and you’re like HOLY SHIT THIS MOVIE IS SO GOOD I CANNOT MOVE UNTIL IT’S DONE WHY HAVEN’T I WATCHED THIS SOONER.

Yea, that was this book for me.

I started it, was lost for like the first 30%, but then when 50% came around, I COULDN’T. FREAKING. STOP. The beginning was a little confusing because the author just kind of throws you into the story with zero background or knowledge of what’s going on. But as the story goes on, little hints and clues and these crazy coincidences start to appear and the whole time you’re like holy shit didn’t this happen before? Wait, is she that girl? OMG IT IS! What does this mean??!?

I’m going to try to explain what this story is all about without spoiling anything so if you do happen to pick this up (AND YOU TOTALLY SHOULD) you’ll have a little background.

The heroine Taylor – who I would like to point out was such a great complex character – was abandoned on the Jellicoe Road when she was 11. She doesn’t know why but is brought to the Jellicoe School. And at this school, the kids are spread among ‘houses’ (think of a type of sorority/fraternity). Taylor is elected to be the leader of her house and to lead the school’s annual territory wars versus the Townies (the kids who go to I guess what would be equivalent to public school) and the Cadets (kids from a type of military school). And among the wars and fights and negotiations for things like access to biking trails and club houses, etc., Taylor is trying to figure out why her house mother has gone missing, why she dreams of the same boy every night and if he is trying to tell her something, why her mother abandoned her all those years ago, and how it’s all connected.

Insert Jonah Griggs. The leader of the Cadets, and the boy who stole the show and my heart. He is without a FREAKING DOUBT what made this story for me. He and Taylor have a history (even though they are supposed to hate each other while the ‘wars’ are going on.) His backstory was absolutely heartbreaking. The romance in this was very subtle but his moments with Taylor were so powerful and romantic and beautiful and had me wanting to cry like a child. All he wants is to help her heal and figure out the mystery of her past.

“I’m here because of you. You’re my priority. Your happiness, in some fucked way, is tuned in to mine. Get that through your thick skull. Would I like it any other way? Hell, yes, but I don’t think that will be happening in my lifetime.”
__

“What are you thinking? “I whisper after a while.

“That you deserve romance,” he says.

And this whole book is so much more than the mystery. It’s about love and family and friendship and acceptance and fate and okay I need to stop before I start crying because I really fell in love with this whole thing. I didn’t expect to love this book so much, and just want to SHOUT about how much I did. I love picking up books not knowing where the hell it is all going and just being blown away in the end. And that’s exactly what happened.


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