Review: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Title:  Jellicoe Road
Author:  Melina Marchetta
Series:  None
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Publication Date:  August 28, 2006
Pages:  419
Format/Source:  Hardback/Borrowed from Library

Age Group/Genre:  Young Adult/Contemporary, Mystery

“What do you want from me?” he asks. What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him. More.

Abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road when she was eleven, Taylor Markham, now seventeen, is finally being confronted with her past. But as the reluctant leader of her boarding school dorm, there isn’t a lot of time for introspection. And while Hannah, the closest adult Taylor has to family, has disappeared, Jonah Griggs is back in town, moody stares and all.

In this absorbing story by Melina Marchetta, nothing is as it seems and every clue leads to more questions as Taylor tries to work out the connection between her mother dumping her, Hannah finding her then and her sudden departure now, a mysterious stranger who once whispered something in her ear, a boy in her dreams, five kids who lived on Jellicoe Road eighteen years ago, and the maddening and magnetic Jonah Griggs, who knows her better than she thinks he does. If Taylor can put together the pieces of her past, she might just be able to change her future.  (From Goodreads)

Not a Crier…

I have never been much of a crier when it comes to books, movies, or TV shows.  My husband thinks I have no heart because he, on the other hand, gets teary-eyed within the first fifteen minutes of Extreme Makeover:  Home Edition.  I mean, seriously, I got a bit misty while reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, but did I shed a tear?  No.  But after reading the prologue of Jellicoe Road, I knew it was all over.

Melina Marchetta has made a crier out of me.

Well, her and Dance Academy (you may think I’m kidding if you haven’t watched the show, but believe me, I bawled).  Now I’m looking forward to reading more books that’ll make me do that sputter thing that turns into a full-out ugly cry.  Those books are good.  And Jellicoe Road was the beginning of it all.

Just So… So…  I Don’t Know, Just Read It!

I really don’t know how to express my love for this book.  It’s sweet, heartbreaking, and humorous all at the same time.  It’s a mystery and a coming of age story and a love story all wrapped into one.  It’s so beautifully written and poignant, and I was choked up while reading the prologue.  It is a bit confusing at first, but I had a handle on the story by the end of the first chapter.  I mean, there’s a mystery so things are still left up in the air, but I didn’t feel so confused that I couldn’t get wrapped up in the story.  Quite the opposite, really–the mystery was part of what sucked me in.  And I had quite a few theories which mostly turned out to be correct, but I still enjoyed the mystery completely.

Favorite Quotes…

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Jellicoe Road:

“Later on that night, I’m awakened by a sound.  I stay still for a moment, my ears alert, heart racing, wondering if it was just one of those loud bumps in dreams that don’t actually exist.”

“Placing Raffaella in the path of an oncoming car becomes one of the major priorities of the next ten seconds of my life.”

“‘Hold my hand because I might disappear.'”

“How can you just forget a person completely until the moment you see his face again?  Who else is back there lurking in my head?”

(There’s another quote that I really LOVE but it would be spoilerish so unfortunately I don’t think I can include it here.)

My rating for Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta:

5 HUGE stars.  If I could give it more I would.  I really don’t know how to say anything else about Jellicoe Road.  It was just incredibly fantastic.  I’ve added it to my Favorites shelf on Goodreads and I’ll definitely be buying myself a copy, since I borrowed it from the library.  And I hope to read all of Melina Marchetta’s other books soon.
Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ HarperTeen

Disclaimer:  I borrowed a copy of this book from my library.  I was in no way compensated for this review.


  1. Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books

    August 20, 2012 at 11:12 am

    I want to read this! I don't think I've read a single bad review of it. Not looking forward to the crying though so I'll probably put it off like I did with TFiOS. Those quotes are so good too. Excellent review!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      August 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm

      Thanks, Kim! It was FANTASTIC. And yeah, if it can make me cry, it can probably make anyone cry!

  2. Jen Ryland/YA Romantics

    August 20, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    I was interviewed by another blogger recently and I said that you and I usually have the same taste in books. And in this case (drumroll)…….

    …we agree again!

    I LOVE this book. Yes, it takes some patience to get into it, but it is SO worth it. I love every book that Melina Marchetta has written. This one might be my very favorite. Maybe.

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      August 29, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      We do have similar taste in lots of books, don't we? Jellicoe Road is AWESOME. I need to read all of her books now!

  3. Andrea @ Cozy Up

    August 20, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Wow, the fact that this book got a non-crier to cry is huge! I am such a baby and cry at everything in books (my boyfriend actually laughs at me because of it). This sounds like such a beautiful book, I love it when you find a book that it's just impossible to write a review because it was so amazing.

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      August 29, 2012 at 4:40 pm

      Yeah, since it got me to cry you KNOW it's going to make you bawl! ;) It's a wonderful book, I can't recommend it enough!

  4. fakesteph

    August 22, 2012 at 2:34 am

    I've been meaning to read this one for a LONG time. So I'm glad to hear that it's awesome.

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      August 29, 2012 at 4:58 pm

      It's super awesome! I definitely recommend it!!!

  5. Bittner

    August 22, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    the synopsis was kind of confusing to me but I really liked your review. Maybe if I get this one for Christmas….I'll be able to read it!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      August 29, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      Lol, yes, maybe you will get it for Christmas! :D

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