Published April 6th 2010 by HarperTeen (first published August 28th 2006)
Source: Kindle purchase
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Goodreads summary: 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.
All the stars in the world-and then some.
I don't think there is anything else I can say about this book that you haven't heard already, nor do I think that the beauty of this book can be captured in words. Jellicoe Road tore me apart and then reassembled the pieces of my heart in the same way The Perks of Being A Wallflower did (and which I haven't reviewed for the same reasons why I find it hard to review Jellicoe Road).
You also probably know that you cannot judge this book by the first 135 pages. I admit that I had no clue what was going on, but the writing itself kept me glued to it. The first half gives you the unparalleled pleasure of discovery, of getting to know a world filled with adventures. You get to know Jellicoe (and fall in love with it) on your own accord. Marchetta doesn't spell things out, but makes you work for it. And what comes after the first part is one of the most rewarding experiences ever.
As for the second half, prepare a lot of tissues. The blows come bit by bit, unpretentiously, devastatingly. Genuinely and heartfelt. By the end I was not reading the same book, and I most definitely was not the same person.