Sunday, May 17, 2009

Review - Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Jellicoe Road
Melina Marchetta
Pgs: 419
Ttl Rdg Time: 4hrs. 15 min.

Taylor Lily Markham was just left by the second person she loved. At the age of 11, her mother left her at a 7/11 on Jellicoe Road. Now Hannah, who has taken care of her for the past 6 years, is gone and no one is giving her any answers. In the meantime, the "war" between the Townies, the Cadets, and the Jellicoe School is heating up and Taylor is being forced into leadership. Taylor starts reading the book Hannah was writing, hoping it will somehow make her feel more connected to the missing Hannah.


The beginning was a little confusing for me. I was trying to make connections between Taylor, the Cadet, and the four students on the side of the road. I was also a little distracted by Marchetta's use of "feral". I must say that I kept reading even through my confusion because the writing was entertaining and beautiful.

"And my House leaders used to flush my head down the toilet. Consequently, I'm going for a more pastoral approach." p. 78

"I recognise Santangelo's dad, who saves police brutality for when he gets to his son." p.92

"Yes, she lived in the same street as Jem and Scout Finch." p. 105

And then I understood what was going on. I noticed the formatting of the book. Marchetta's use of italics helped me understand what was happening now and what was from Hannah's book. Once I got that - things moved even faster for me!

The story kept me trying to guess what was going to happen and how things would come together. Although I was engrossed in the story, I kept writing down quotations that I thought signifyed the beauty of Marchetta's style.

"...he had spent the last two days not being able to look at her because her gaze was so sharp and focused that it pierced through him." p. 177

The budding romance, the building loyalty, and the unfolding mystery all add up to a wonderful story. I can't really tell much because the story is in the unraveling. Read it, you won't regret it. Recommended. Will buy for school library.


  1. I bought this for the library after Doret recommended it. Haven't read it yet. A staff member did. I'm going to ask her what she thought. Looking forward to it. Thanks for the review.

  2. loved it! the story does unfold like a mystery novel. hey, i like your new blog look.

  3. I love everything I've read by Melina Marchetta. Jellicoe Road was just as devastatingly honest and brilliant as the others.

  4. I've heard that this one is good. I actually like it when I'm confused at the beginning of a book and have to sort things out a bit.


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