Synopsis (Goodreads): 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.
I'd read a lot of really amazing things about Jellicoe Road from several blogs including Penguin BTL. I was a bit burned out with paranormal/fantasy, so I though, why not? I'll get it and read it when I have some time.
Best. Decision. EVER!
Discovering Melina Marchetta's work was probably one of my biggest highlights in 2011.
Now, the beginning definitely threw me for a loop. The first 50 pages, or so, are a bit confusing but don't let that deter you. The pieces start coming together and this magical story begins to unravel, quite beautifully, right before your eyes. Melina Marchetta expertly weaves two stories and the result is an incredible novel that will leave you charmed, breathless, and with a growing sense of hope.
There's something about this story that just gets to you and stays with you long after you've put it down. And that's just one part of Marchetta's magic. The other part lies within her lively characters, who you can't help but fall in love with.
Taylor Markham's, for example, really resonated with me. Spoilers aside, she hasn't had the easiest life, yet she remained strong and resilient. It was great to see her grow and develop throughout the story. It also made it very easy to step into her shoes - her pain becomes your pain, and her happiness suddenly becomes your happiness. I've never connected with characters that way before!
And then there's Jonah Griggs! The bad-boy with the soft side will sweep you off your feet before you realize what's happening. He may also be the only character in history who makes swearing and being inappropriate incredibly charming...and did I mention, HOT? There's also the resident underdog, Ben. He kept me laughing the entire time. His quirks and innane rants were one of my favorite parts of the novel.
Should I even go ahead and say that this book completely exceeded my expectations? Because it did. It was everything I wanted and more.
If you read ONE book this year, let it be Jellicoe Road.
Well, I may have to think ab-- OKAY.