Friday, February 6, 2009

Review in Two: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

More than the road where Taylor Markham’s mother abandoned her, the Jellicoe Road is the key to the mystery of Taylor’s life, where tragic accidents and friendship come together. This heartbreaking tale of love, loss and identity unravels slowly as a story about five friends and Taylor’s memories of her past converge.

Quick additional thoughts:

1. I shake my fist as those reviewers who began their reviews with "My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die. I counted." Grrr. I didn't want to read Jellicoe Road because of this line. It made the book seem annoying and overly dramatic. It wasn't. It was witty and perfectly dramatic. Lots of awesome lines.

2. It takes a good 150 pages for this book to make any sense and go anywhere at all. Once you hit page 151, it turns AWESOME. Warn teens about this, or they'll give up on it like I almost did.

3. Having finally read it, this book is definitely (to me, at least) the most deserving of the Printz. I'm glad it received the award it deserved.

4. I became so addicted to this book that when I was without book, but with computer, I read 100 pages or so through Amazon's "Look Inside" feature, by doing repeated searches for the page number I wanted to read*.

*Note: Copyright prevents you from reading all of the book this way, and once you reach the limit, you get all sorts of warnings. Of course, you can always just go to another computer!


  1. I can't speak for anyone else, but the reason I started my review with that excerpt from the prologue was so people could see how beautiful the writing was. Which, um, I guess didn't completely work. :)

    I knew there was no way I could summarize the story in a satisfying way, and I truly feel that part of Jellicoe's brilliance is the way the story unfolds. Like a flower of awesomeness, to quote Brooke from the comments of post-Printz post. So I didn't want to talk about plot, but a review that consists almost entirely of me gushing? I thought it needed more substance, hence the quote.

    Glad you liked the book, though!

  2. Trisha, you are certainly correct about the beautiful writing and I love Brooke's "flower of awesomeness" analogy. I had a heck of a time trying to figure out how to review it in 2 sentences! Though I didn't want to give anything away, I figured it's confusing enough to get through the first 150 pages that it was ok if I gave some plot explanation. But yeah, inside I just wanted to gush!