At age eleven, Taylor Markham was abandoned by her mother. At fourteen, she ran away from boarding school, only to be tracked down and brought back by a mysterious stranger. Now seventeen, Taylor's the reluctant leader of her school's underground community, whose annual territory war with the Townies and visiting Cadets has just begun. This year, though, the Cadets are led by Jonah Griggs, and Taylor can't avoid his intense gaze for long. To make matters worse, Hannah, the one adult Taylor trusts, has disappeared. But if Taylor can piece together the clues Hannah left behind, the truth she uncovers might not just settle her past, but also change her future.My cynicism towards books EVERYONE loves keeps getting proven wrong. Dang. Somehow I feel like I should be above the opinion of everyone else, and yet everyone else keeps being right. Now I sound like I think I'm superior. I don't think that. I just... Aw, heck. I don't know. I quit.
I started Jellicoe Road being confused, which seems to be a common sentiment. I read the Prologue and was like, "Oh. Interesting." Then I started reading about these other people who had seemingly no connection to the prologue, other than the road name. Clue #1 that I was in for a confusing read.
Clue #2 was that Taylor didn't know her dad/her mom abandoned her. I've come to learn that if any kind of deal is made out of this, we will be searching for them in some form, which leads to a confused Rachel. Clue #3 was this mysterious trip to Yass with a Cadet that kept being mentioned. Clue #4 was the war between the Jellicoe students, Cadets, and Townies. I don't get war. (This concludes my clue list, I promise.)
It took me a good hundred pages to really get into Jellicoe Road, but when it happened, boy did it hook me. Once I had my bearings, Melina Marchetta certainly took me on a ride. She had me hooked, and I was her slave until I understood everything. Now, I don't give away storylines, because that would utterly ruin the book.
Taylor is an utterly wonderful protagonist. She is exactly what I've come to expect from Melina Marchetta. She's strong-willed and tough, but hurting on the inside, just waiting for someone to unlock that part of her and be willing to listen. She's innately a good person, but rough around the edges and definitely has her flaws. And ohhhhhhhh Jonah. I really didn't think I was going to like him, until we met him. He's definitely my kind of lurveee interest. He's tough and manly, but protective and loving. :) :) :) :) :) He didn't fail to make me smile and/or swoon.
As I've said before, I'm not really a big mystery fan, but this felt different. It didn't have the same danger, I guess, that most mysteries have. There was a distinct urgency to it, like if things weren't figured out quickly, there would be repercussions. This was quite true, but I didn't know it at the time.
Most of what I can say is that Jellicoe Road is absolutely as good as everyone says it is and more. It's funny and poignant, joyful and tragic, magnificent and heart-breaking. If you're a fan of literally anything about books, it is absolutely worth your time.
Risk a paper cut? Jellicoe Road makes you feel more than a ASPCA commercial can, and you know that Sarah McLachlan sure can make you cry.