Friday, May 30, 2008
Jellicoe Road Melina Marchetta
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
My top ten YA list, is constantly changing but Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta will always be on it. I am a huge fan of Marchetta's writing. So much so I was tempted to order her third novel Jellicoe Road when it was originally published in Australia in 2006. I decided to wait, but thanks to Farrin from HarperCollins, I didn't have to wait until August. If you've never read Marchetta you're seriously missing out. So after you read this go to your favorite book source and order her first two novels. Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca. Treat yourself to a mini Melina Marchetta marathon. Then you'll understand why I love her writing so much. Marchetta's first two novels have a Laurie Hale Anderson/Sarah Dessen feel to them.
Jellicoe Road is nothing like Marchetta's previous novels. Taylor Markham, has attended the Jellicoe school ever since her mother abandoned her on Jellicoe road at eleven years old. She was discovered by Hannah a women who works at the school. The school is made up of six houses, each run by an upper classman. Taylor runs the Lachlan House. There is an on going territory war between the Jellicoe School, the townies and the cadets. Taylor is chosen has the schools representative by the graduating seniors. Taylor is not the best house leader. She has made a home for herself at Jellicoe School with Hannah's help but lately she's been wondering about her mother. She is also distracted by her dreams of a boy in a tree who is trying to tell her something.
For the first half of the book, I felt one step behind the author. Marchetta's writing kept me reading.
"First thing's first. This year we get the Townies on our side, I say. Ignoring everyone in the room but Ben. The chorus of disapproval is like those formula songs that seem to hit number one all the time. You know the tune in a moment and it begins to bore you in two."
The author gives us fragments of stories. Along with Taylor's we learn of the five, five friends who are forever linked to a fatal car accident 22 years earlier.
"My father took one hundred and thirty two minutes to die. I counted. It happened on Jellicoe Road."
Jellicoe Road reads like a puzzle, I was more then okay with this. As a reader sometimes I get a thrill out of having a story finally click. (like ohh I get, I see where the author is taking me) To enjoy Jellicoe Road you must have a lot of patience and trust in Marchetta's writing. I could see readers getting frustrated with Jellicoe Road's chaotic order but the end result is beautiful, tear shedding good.
I love that Marchetta didn't underestimate teens, and wrote Jellicoe Road the way she did. Every reader remembers their first complex multi layered novel.
Jellicoe Road is a journey of a read. A few days after you finish it you'll understand how beautiful it really is. Marchetta's writing always finds a way to touch my heart Jellicoe Road is no exception. I highly recommend it. Jellicoe Road will be released in the U.S. on 8/26