Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Melina Marchetta
On the Jellicoe Road / Jellicoe Road
419 pages
9.4 (Best Book)

I'm dreaming of the boy in the tree. I tell him stories. About the Jellicoe School and the Townies and the Cadets from a school in Sydney. I tell him about the war between us for territory. And I tell him about Hannah, who lives in the unfinished house by the river. Hannah, who is too young to be hiding away from the world. Hannah, who found me on the Jellicoe Road six years ago.

Taylor is leader of the boarders at the Jellicoe School. She has to keep the upper hand in the territory wars and deal with Jonah Griggs - the enigmatic leader of the cadets, and someone she thought she would never see again.

And now Hannah, the person Taylor had come to rely on, has disappeared. Taylor's only clue is a manuscript about five kids who lived in Jellicoe eighteen years ago. She needs to find out more, but this means confronting her own story, making sense of her strange, recurring dream, and finding her mother - who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road.

The moving, joyous and brilliantly compelling new novel from the best-selling, multi-award-winning author of Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca.

Amidst the plethora of bad young adult books that are published out there, sometimes people tend to underestimate the importance of young adult books. They may overlook these young adult books, and we know that young adult books will never get a Nobel prize or something, but sometimes they forget that teenagers also deserve books that they can relate to. That's when young adult book become important because it--in particular way--helps shape the personality of young souls. A good young adult book can provoke the mind of its young readers--a better one can wreck and havoc their feeling. Marchetta's Jellicoe Road is one of the better ones. 

Marchetta's flair in capturing the teenage angst becomes her strongest point in this book. Let's be real that teenage angst is something real, and adult people sometimes forget that being a teenager can be hard because teenagers still search who they really are, they still search their real self, and it's a hard phase. They're a vagabond, looking for the meaning of life, and if they run into wrong side, they can ruin their life forever. So, see, it's hard being a teenager. And that's what makes Jellicoe Road feel so emotional and raw because Marchetta is being honest to their readers. She gives us an imperfect protagonist and says, "Here's Taylor Markham. She's having trouble, like most of you, so let's see how she solves her problems together." 

Taylor is a sincere character. Her angst, her search for her mother, her frustration, and her insecurity. They all are perfectly captured by Marchetta, captivated in an amazing and extremely beautiful way of writing, that feels so soulful and emotional. It's really hard to write in such ways, that you can feel every part of Taylor's soul insinuated on Marchetta's sentences; that sometimes Taylor and her friends were alive, and the story Hannah writes were alive as well. She handles her problem in the most teenage way as possible, and sometimes she makes mistakes. But Marchetta tells her readers it's okay to make mistakes, it's okay to cry, it's okay to get angry, because that's how you learn. 

It's just heartbreaking to follow Taylor's journey in finding the true meaning of family and friendship. Jellicoe Road is such an important book for young readers because they can learn a lot about family and friendship from a book that they can relate. It indeed deserves that Michael L. Printz award, one of the highest awards that a young adult book can get. When Narnie asks her father, "What's the difference between a trip and a journey", and her father answers, "Narnie, my love, when we get there, you’ll understand", I think he's wrong. For me, a trip is only about fun, but journey is something you can contemplate with, you may have fun, but you may also cry in forlorn, you may get angry, you may get depressed, but that's the beauty of journey; it will all pay off when you reach your destination. A journey is when you begin to read Jellicoe Road. 

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