"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.
This was a fascinating read and I loved every minute of it. For starters, Taylor Markham is an awesome narrator. She's fiery and sticks up for herself which is a welcome relief from a lot of YA books I've read. She speaks her mind--and not just when it helps her get the guy, either, because she's true to herself. I also loved Jonah Griggs because his personality fit Taylor's so perfectly--they can both act like total assholes and neither backs down from their confrontations.
The intertwining stories mesh past and present in a way that's so well edited that it leaves you begging for more of both. All of the characters leap off the page. One downside, however, it took (me, anyways) a little while to get into the story. It was totally plot driven but, for the first few pages, I was kind of skeptical. Totally worth the time and perseverance, though.
On the Jellicoe Road was one of those books that I had to put down every few chapters just to freak out. I would read something so beautiful or surprising or horrible, put it down and scream for a few minutes. It's totally worth it, if even just for those moments.
I highly recommend On the Jellicoe Road to all YA lovers. People who normally gravitate to books with male narrators might be pleasantly surprised by Taylor's no nonsense, sometimes erratic voice. It was a great read.
Check out the author, Melina Marchetta (Australian author of several other books including Saving Francesca, Looking for Alibrandi and, most recently, The Piper's Son) at her website.
So what do you think--book reviews?