Customer Reviews for

Jellicoe Road

Average Rating 4.5
( 192 )
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(137)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

Reviewed by Tasha for TeensReadToo.com

Taylor Markam was abandoned by her mother at a 7-Eleven on Jellicoe Road when she was a mere eleven years old. Only moments later a woman by the name of Hannah picked her up and brought her to the Jellicoe School. Now she is seventeen and finds that Hannah is a rock in ...
Taylor Markam was abandoned by her mother at a 7-Eleven on Jellicoe Road when she was a mere eleven years old. Only moments later a woman by the name of Hannah picked her up and brought her to the Jellicoe School. Now she is seventeen and finds that Hannah is a rock in her inconsistent life. While she has Hannah, Taylor doesn't know much about her family except the horror stories she remembers of her mother.

She does find comfort, though, in a manuscript that Hannah has written about a group of five friends who met in the worst circumstances, but developed a remarkable friendship when they only had each other. When Hannah just up and leaves, Taylor doesn't understand what has happened and she becomes a wreck. Not only does she have to deal with Hannah's disappearance, but she has just been named the head of her House and the leader of the school kids in the annual territory wars against the "Townies" and "Cadets."

In the war, the three groups battle and negotiate, following an extensive set of rules that might as well be history. As the war wages on, Taylor learns to take an active role in her community, as well as develop relationships that she never thought possible. Especially with Jonah Griggs, the leader of the Cadets, whom she already has quite a history with.

This war will be like no other. It will not only be between the normal three parties, but among friends, hearts desires, and, most of all, Taylor herself.

From the title I was expecting a light and fun read. Wow, was I wrong! This book is filled with heartbreak, joy, laughter, and sorrow. It completely blew me away and surpassed every expectation I had, even though I was expecting something completely different.

Before I even get into the elements of the story I have to comment on how much talent the author has. Melina Marhetta's writing style is indescribable. It seemed that she was so comfortable writing the story and her words just flowed from page to page with great clarity. I loved how the author weaved many intricate details and mini-stories into one big story, making it like a puzzle that slowly comes together until those last couple of pieces just fall into place.

The only miff I had with this book is that it took me probably until the third chapter to actually understand what was going on. In the beginning, there were two stories and it was hard to wrap my head around everything that was happening. After that, though, it seemed the author settled into writing and the story took off.

Taylor, without a doubt, is one of the best characters that I think has ever been created. She has this true voice where you can hear and feel her emotions ring out. By the time the book had ended I felt like I knew Taylor like I know my best friends. While Taylor was the main character, the author did a fabulous job creating the other characters, too. Unlike many supporting characters in books, the characters in JELLICOE ROAD all had their own voices and became their own people, with real and likable personalities.

I highly recommend this book to readers everywhere. Whether you're a girl or a guy, you will treasure this novel and hold it near and dear to your heart for a long time to come. JELLICOE ROAD is a beautiful love story, a heart-wrenching story of loss, a poignant self-discovery, and, most of all, an unforgettable tale.

posted by TeensReadToo on November 2, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Plot spoilers

Entirely too many plot spoilers here giving away too much of the story line, one of which even gives away the ending. Bn, please put a stop to the plot spoilers. Limit the amount of space so they cannot rewrite the book in the reviee section.

posted by 8888649 on April 23, 2014

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  • Posted November 2, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Tasha for TeensReadToo.com

    Taylor Markam was abandoned by her mother at a 7-Eleven on Jellicoe Road when she was a mere eleven years old. Only moments later a woman by the name of Hannah picked her up and brought her to the Jellicoe School. Now she is seventeen and finds that Hannah is a rock in her inconsistent life. While she has Hannah, Taylor doesn't know much about her family except the horror stories she remembers of her mother. <BR/><BR/>She does find comfort, though, in a manuscript that Hannah has written about a group of five friends who met in the worst circumstances, but developed a remarkable friendship when they only had each other. When Hannah just up and leaves, Taylor doesn't understand what has happened and she becomes a wreck. Not only does she have to deal with Hannah's disappearance, but she has just been named the head of her House and the leader of the school kids in the annual territory wars against the "Townies" and "Cadets." <BR/><BR/>In the war, the three groups battle and negotiate, following an extensive set of rules that might as well be history. As the war wages on, Taylor learns to take an active role in her community, as well as develop relationships that she never thought possible. Especially with Jonah Griggs, the leader of the Cadets, whom she already has quite a history with. <BR/><BR/>This war will be like no other. It will not only be between the normal three parties, but among friends, hearts desires, and, most of all, Taylor herself.<BR/><BR/>From the title I was expecting a light and fun read. Wow, was I wrong! This book is filled with heartbreak, joy, laughter, and sorrow. It completely blew me away and surpassed every expectation I had, even though I was expecting something completely different. <BR/><BR/>Before I even get into the elements of the story I have to comment on how much talent the author has. Melina Marhetta's writing style is indescribable. It seemed that she was so comfortable writing the story and her words just flowed from page to page with great clarity. I loved how the author weaved many intricate details and mini-stories into one big story, making it like a puzzle that slowly comes together until those last couple of pieces just fall into place. <BR/><BR/>The only miff I had with this book is that it took me probably until the third chapter to actually understand what was going on. In the beginning, there were two stories and it was hard to wrap my head around everything that was happening. After that, though, it seemed the author settled into writing and the story took off. <BR/><BR/>Taylor, without a doubt, is one of the best characters that I think has ever been created. She has this true voice where you can hear and feel her emotions ring out. By the time the book had ended I felt like I knew Taylor like I know my best friends. While Taylor was the main character, the author did a fabulous job creating the other characters, too. Unlike many supporting characters in books, the characters in JELLICOE ROAD all had their own voices and became their own people, with real and likable personalities. <BR/><BR/>I highly recommend this book to readers everywhere. Whether you're a girl or a guy, you will treasure this novel and hold it near and dear to your heart for a long time to come. JELLICOE ROAD is a beautiful love story, a heart-wrenching story of loss, a poignant self-discovery, and, most of all, an unforgettable tale.

    15 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2014

    Plot spoilers

    Entirely too many plot spoilers here giving away too much of the story line, one of which even gives away the ending. Bn, please put a stop to the plot spoilers. Limit the amount of space so they cannot rewrite the book in the reviee section.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Oh dear, I'm going against a fan favorite here. I'd heard nothi

    Oh dear, I'm going against a fan favorite here.

    I'd heard nothing, but good things about this book, so I thought why not give it a go. I don't know what to say about this book that doesn't give away the fact that I'm just not swept up in this book as everyone else seemed to be. The sad thing is I think I should have been.

    The novel is about a girl who hunts for her mom and the truth after being abandoned when she was younger, but there's also underground school war games, romance and friendship. Sounds great, doesn't it?

    But, to me, it was just 'meh'.

    There is nothing obvious about the book that I should feel this way. Melina Marchetta wrote a wonderful novel. The plot is sound, the characters - Taylor and Jonah are great. It's not even the scene sequences as I have read the 'Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern' and I absolutely loved it.

    I guess I'm just one of those readers who has to connect with the main character right from the very start and it has to have a great hook in the first chapter and, to me, it just wasn't there. Instead. there was utter confusion, and the feeling that I had somehow started reading it halfway through the book.

    To be honest, the first half of the book was so boring that I almost gave up reading it. It was the second half of the book that redeemed the book from having the lowest rating.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Jellicoe Road

    Taylor Markham was a really interesting character; she has a true voice and I really felt for her. I was so eager to find out about her past, and future. Five kids from the pasts' story enter-lace with Taylor's, starting with the boy in her dreams; and the tension between her and Jonah was incredible and excited me every time he came in.

    When I finished this book, I found that I was seriously in love with it. Whenever I'm asked, "What's your favorite book?" I have a hard time answering, but Jellicoe Road is definitely it. I don't think any other book in the whole world has had me this addicted. I read the whole thing in one day, stopping only to eat and use the restroom. The emotion, the characters, the plot...everything was amazing. So many people say they couldn't fully like a book because it was sad, but I sobbed at the end of this one and still LOVED it. This book also has one of my favorite quotes: "Hold my hand, hold my hand because I might disappear."

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2014

    I found it hard to understand

    I had to reread each chapter and i still didnt get it. This book was not worth my time.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2014

    I had been told before I started that it is one of those books t

    I had been told before I started that it is one of those books that you have to stick with. Although I would have anyway, because I wanted to know what was going on, I am glad I was told that. Because this book does require a little bit of faith. It isn't bad in the beginning, not at all. It's just complex and confusing. But those are my favorite types of stories.

    The story is told from the point of view of Taylor, a resident boarder at the Jellicoe School. She was abandoned by her mother on the Jellicoe Road, and taken in by Hannah, who is a bit of a mystery. She is the leader of her House, and is in charge of the territory wars--fought between the boarders, the Townies (the kids who live in the town), and the Cadets (a group of kids who come every year for the summer). But there are also parts of a different story weaved in, a story that will become part of Taylor's story (was that cheesy? sorry).

    Taylor as a character wasn't anything special. There was definitely a depth and emotion to her character, even if sometimes I did feel a bit disconnected. I think sometimes the biggest issue I had with the characters is the fact that I wasn't quite sure what was going on. The territory wars were never really explained, her running away with Jonah wasn't quite explained. Of course, all of these things come to light at the end, when everything slowly begins to be revealed, but until then, it was just a lot of confusion.

    And that's actually most of the book. There were a lot of events that were mentioned, or alluded to, but never really explained until the end. I don't know about you, but I am impatient with my books. I want to know what's going on now. But, that was part of this book's overall effect. It was a complex, intricate story made up of so many parts, that somehow just worked.

    But this is just truly a beautiful book. It definitely is filled with emotion (and y'all know I never get emotional over my books). It is such a carefully weaved story, that at the end will leave you sitting there, thinking &quot;What. What just happened.&quot;

    So yes, I encourage you to read it. I definitely think you should give this a chance. Yes, you might be confused in the beginning, but it definitely redeems itself. That's the beauty of this book.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Hated it!!

    I found this book to be very boring. The two separate stories were both incredibly way too easy to follow (really no mystery to them) and it was so easy to see what was coming up that I kept getting frustrated that the main character didn't see it too. Argh! The only reason I finished this book is because I can't stand to leave one unfinished. Steer clear.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Angieville: JELLICOE ROAD

    I picked JELLICOE ROAD up as a result of the fact that it came away with the Printz Award this year. It is Australian Melina Marchetta's third book and the first of hers I've read. A fault that will have to be remedied quickly as I absolutely loved this knotty, painful, beautiful book.

    Taylor Markham is head of her house at the Jellicoe School--a backwoods boarding school located somewhere in Australia. Abandoned by her mother at a 7-Eleven on the Jellicoe Road, Taylor was taken in by a mysterious woman named Hannah and installed at the school. Now eighteen, Taylor is embroiled in turf wars between the Jellicoe students, the Townies, and the Cadets. But when Hannah up and leaves without a word, Taylor is convinced it has something to do with her mother and with a horrific accident that happened on the Jellicoe Road twenty-two years before. Past and present become harder to discern as the story unfolds. Simultaneously obsessed with and terrified of finding out what happened and just how closely it is tied to her own fragmented life, Taylor is forced to form alliances with the leaders of her rival gangs, including Cadet leader Jonah Griggs with whom she shares a confusing and painful history.

    This story grabbed me by the throat and shook me until I begged for mercy. Parts of it read almost stream of consciousness and you have to just let it wash over you as characters and histories distill and become clearer on the page and in your mind at about the same pace they do for Taylor herself. And by the time the wars really begin, you are so invested it's impossible to extricate yourself from the world Marchetta has created. Fortunately you don't want to. I was charmed by the dust and heat of the Australian summer, the layered language with its overtones of fear and longing, and the periodic chapters detailing the story of five children who were determined to survive after the world ended. This book will both stop your heart and then remind you how to breathe again. It's gorgeous and deserves every accolade it gets.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2009

    ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS I'VE EVER READ!!!

    This book was AMAZING!! There were a lot of twists that you wouldn't expect. JELLICOE ROAD is actually two stories. While you're reading the main story there are little excerpts from another story.<BR/>This story is told in 17-year-old Taylor Markham¿s perspective. She is the reluctant leader of the Jellicoe Boarding School Dorms, which only the students know about. Since she is leader, she has to think of strategies for the "war." While she is battling the "war" for territory against the Townies and Cadets, that only lasts 6 weeks ('til the Cadets leave), Taylor is trying to figure out the disappearance of Hannah, who has written a manuscript about 5 people¿s lives eighteen years ago, and the closest thing Taylor has to adult family.<BR/>Taylor has the feeling that Hannah finding her when her mom left her was no coincidence. A girl in her house, Jessa, seems vaguely familiar, but she doesn't know why. Taylor tries to figure out how a mysterious boy in her dreams, a stranger who once whispered in her ear, her mom dumping her then Hannah finding her, and the 5 people who lived on Jellicoe Road eighteen years ago are related. During the ¿war,¿ Taylor meets the magnetic Jonah Griggs (<3), leader of the Cadets, who she hasn't seen in 3 years. There's an obvious spark between them and it turns out Jonah knows more about Taylor than she thinks.<BR/>JELLICOE ROAD is a wonderful book and I would recommend it everyone!!! Taylor finds her true self and on the way discovers how important love, friendship, and family really are! This is a book you won't want to put down and you'll immediately be drawn to all the characters! :)

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2014

    Powerful

    This book had me hooked from the first sentence up until the last sentence with it's carefully laid out plot. I found that the struggles Taylor had to deal with were both realistic and heartbreaking at the same time. I'm seventeen, the same age as most of the main characters in this book, and it's such a nice change from a typical teen novel where everyone has the same shallow problem as the next person. This book is real and it's personal and it really gets you thinking about the people around you and makes you realize how much you should appreciate them. I have to admit I got a little lost a couple of times, but I promise you it's worth reading the whole book. Once you figure out the first piece of this magnificent puzzle, everything slowly fits together and it's just amazing. Jellicoe Road is now one of my favorite books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2014

    Expected more

    A few of my friends really liked this book, I thought I would too. But I just found it really hard to get into, and even at the end I wasn't blown away. It was just okay, for me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2014

    Great

    Great book! I really enjoyed reading this story! I loved the plot and the characters! I love how the story weaved and intertwined until all was laid bare! Beautiful story!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2014

    Makes no sense

    Poorly written, unable to follow any story line. Not worth anything.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2014

    Confusing but interesting plot

    This was an interesting plot. The problems was the first 1/2 of book was confusing. I only stayed with it because other reviewers recommended to stick with it. But 1/2 the book stuck in confusion is too long. But I thought the plot was interesting twist. I just couldn't believe that the adult characters would let all the sadness and confusion continue her life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2014

    Difficult

    This book can be hard to read so I imagine it was hard to write.

    It starts off slow and a bit confusing but that makes it a mystery. And it pays off with a bang.

    It is a coming-of-age story. It is a first-love story. It is a family-is-what-you-make story. It is a war story.

    Simply put it is perfection.

    Read it and weep. Literally.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2014

    Dissppointing

    Probably the worst end to a trilogy ever. Its like she just pushed the book out fast for public demand and completely sacrificed the story in the process

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  • Posted May 3, 2014

    This book was absolutely amazing. Though it may have been confus

    This book was absolutely amazing. Though it may have been confusing in the beginning, you start piecing it all together and understanding it more towards the middle and the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2014

    This one takes work

    I almost didn't finish this. If it weren't for all the five star reviews I wouldn't have. While an excellent story, Jellicoe Road is poorly framed. It made me wonder if the editor had chopped out a couple of chapters--the ones that explained everything. With multiple characters and multiple times, the opening is challenging. If you can make it through the first 100 pages you' ll find this enjoyable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2014

    When even the five stars review say the story is confusing

    Believe and borrow first dont pay for another non keeper. I dont need another archived teen angst non ending . Mom

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2014

    Looks good

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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