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Jellicoe Road

Marchetta, Melina

Book - 2008
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Jellicoe Road
Abandoned by her drug-addicted mother at the age of eleven, high school student Taylor Markham struggles with her identity and family history at a boarding school in Australia.

Publisher: New York : HarperTeen, 2008.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9780061431838
Characteristics: 419 p. ; 19 cm.


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From the critics

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Jul 31, 2014
  • julia_sedai rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I recommend this book to every teenager and older. I read it as an adult and it is amazing. Marchetta is fantastic. There are two plot lines going on which is intriguing at the beginning, but everything resolves by the end and it makes sense. The characters all seem so real and there were parts of the book that made me tear up. I can't believe I missed this one as a teenager. I wish I had read it sooner.

Jul 17, 2014

This book takes a while to figure out. I was unsure if it was fantasy at first or all flashbacks or... Stick with it, it is an interesting tale, very well written, and unique.

Jul 17, 2014

Unusual mystery. Believable characters. Fast-paced.
I'd give this book 8/10 stars. This was a very compelling read. Marcheta writes with unusual style—somewhat similar to Randsom Riggs’ in that both these of these authors write in a sort of surreal, perhaps fairy-tale-esque tone, even when the book itself is realistic fiction. This is especially true of the experts from Hannah’s manuscript. Overall, readers can connect to the characters, even if they’re not always likable, and the plot is engaging. Gut Reaction: Really good book, but when reading it, it can feel really confusing due to the number of characters and the sections of Hannah’s novel placed unannounced throughout the text.
What you hated: there were a few plot holes that caught my attention, ranging from small
(character using cell-phones after readers were told there was no service), to large (the author refers to one character killing another even when the author didn't make that clear in the first place).
This book reminded me both of Randsome Riggs’ Miss Perigrine’s Home for Pecular Children, in addition to Jonathan Safran Foer’s work because they have similar, if a little odd, styles.
Who would like this book: mystery book lovers, people who like books within books
Websites of Interest (book trailer, publisher’s websites, author blog, etc.):
-Melina Marcheta’s blog:
-Publisher’s site:
-At this point, there is no movie of Jellicoe Road, but according to Marcheta’s blog there is a script written, and several locations are being considered for filming.

May 30, 2014
  • katrinka28 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I realize I am a late arrival to the Jellicoe Road party, but there was an Amazon deal for $1.99 ebook and I am a sucker for a Printz Award winner. This novel did not disappoint on both counts (worth way more than the price I paid and definitely prize-worthy). The story blended dream sequences with a flash-back story and the story of a girl trying find herself in the modern day. Now normally, this would have annoyed and confused me, even writing it out, I found myself confused. While I do agree that the style does take some getting used to, I found myself trying to constantly piece things together in my head. It was unique, novel and engaging. The main protagonist, Taylor, is both likeable and sad at the same time (great combo for many younger readers). And, if you can get past the initial confusion of where the story is coming from, it is a totally worthy read. I loved it and will be buying a copy for my classroom!

My favorite quote: "Because being part of him isn't just anything. It's kind of everything."

Recommended if you love: contemporary fiction, angsty teen drama, real-life stories, a bit of magic (the real kind), great characters, a little mystery

Nov 03, 2013
  • jgabbett rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Absolutely brilliant writing and storytelling. The beginning is a little confusing, but stick with it. You'll be rewarded at the end.

Feb 22, 2013
  • AliReads rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

So stunning, sad, beautifully written. Turns of phrase from this book have stayed with me for years, and I'm still in love with the characters, faults and all.

Sep 27, 2012
  • ErinMWilson rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

You just have to get past the somewhat confusing beginning because this is truly amazing. A story that will make you yearn to have a hard life.

Aug 12, 2012
  • rixonkarla rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Possibly one of the best YA novels of all time.

Aug 03, 2012
  • lindiwood rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Truly brilliant novel from an Australian author. Taylor may not know much about her history, but she knows she was loved. As she tries to sort out why her mother left her, she finds the disjointed manuscript written by her guardian, about 5 kids and their bond forged in tragedy. The reader and Taylor work they way through these two mysteries together. Marchetta is unmatched in her ability to draw realistic teenage characters.

Aug 03, 2011
  • Yahong_Chi rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

So many people told me they loved this, that they sobbed their eyes over it. I wasn't looking for an emotional rollercoaster, so I avoided it at first, but as blogger after book blogger succumbed to it, I decided, reluctantly, to start it. And -- I didn't cry. I wasn't on the edge of my seat. I was, to say the least, totally lost at least three times in the way that I know I should be able to figure this out, but I didn't have the will to go back a few pages and trace my footsteps.

And you know what? That doesn't make Jellicoe Road bad. I liked it a lot. TTTT (to tell the truth), after I finished it, I was glad it wasn't the emotional rollercoaster people made it out to be. It made it easier to appreciate each aspect of the novel.

First, characters: the relationship between Jonah and Taylor is so sweet yet intense that it was enough for me, even though neither of the individuals endeared themselves to me. They just never got off the page and into my head unless they were figuring themselves out through each other. Same with Taylor's various friendships. I'd say that the supporting characters (Chaz, Raffy and Jessa) appealed to me more than the primary characters.

I loved the feeling of two plots unfolding simultaneously, but once they started intersecting, things moved onto shaky ground. It ended up being the kind of intermingling that you'd need to read again to fully appreciate. That being said, the present-day mystery -- especially since I love family mysteries -- is completely intriguing and attention-grabbing.

The inclusion of certain characters, like Jessa and Sam (at least I think his name's Sam; I can't quite remember), stretched the parenthood issue too far for me, while Chaz's parents were the only contrasting "good" example. It's a little hard to believe that so many adults could've been so neglecting. Also, there are F-bombs and sex. *cue immature five-year-old "ewww"ing*

In the end, reader reactions to Jellicoe Road will differ as always, but I think we can all agree it's an eloquent and ambitious novel.

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Jul 31, 2014
  • julia_sedai rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

julia_sedai thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Jan 26, 2014

jsong thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Nov 15, 2012

acey0079 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and under


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