On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Rating: 5 peaches
" '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. (goodreads description)
For my first ever review of a book, I picked my favorite author of 2011, Melina Marchetta. This is probably the most highlighting I have ever done in a book, so I'm going to let Marchetta's own words from On The Jellicoe Road drive my review...
"What's the difference between a trip and a journey? and my father said, 'Narnie, my love, when we get there, you'll understand."
On The Jellicoe Road is definitely a journey of a book; a journey that you want to take and a journey you will never forget. At first, I couldn't believe this was a Melina Marchetta book. It felt so disconnected in the beginning, jumping around out of sequence and perspectives led to confusion. However, as the story built, histories became intertwined and characters were involved more deeply than it appeared.
"I fall in love with these kids over and over again and my heart aches for their tragedies and marvels at their friendships. And it's like we've been talking for five minutes instead of five hours."
Taylor faces honest loss and heart ache in this book, but as she learns more about her shared past with many other Jellicoe Road orphans, she also gains exactly what she wanted- "more". It is the characters, their relationships, their reactions, their choices that drive this story.
"If I could bottle up the look on his face, I'd keep it by my bedside for the rest of my life."
This story was like trying to complete a puzzle without seeing the picture. Pieces start to fit together and smaller pictures become clear until, at the end you are blown away by what has been revealed. I am extremely jealous of all the people who will get to read this story for a first time because I will never be able to read this story again in the same way, with fresh eyes and a blank slate. So when you go to read this story, read it slowly and enjoy every revelation as it comes! Lucky you :)
Last quote, I swear "When it's time for Ben to play his solo- his eyes closed, his mind anywhere but here, his fingers so taut and precise that it almost looks painful- my eyes well with tears. Because you know from the look on Ben's face that he's somewhere you want to be." Trust me, this book is somewhere you want to be.