Friday, May 31, 2013

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Title: Jellicoe Road
Author: Melina Marchetta
Narrator: Rebecca Macauley
Series: n/a
Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
Publication Date: September 1, 2006
Source: purchased audio
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

Abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road when she was eleven, Taylor Markham 17, finally confronts her past. Hannah, the closest adult she has to family, disappears. Jonah Griggs, moody stares and all, is back in town. If Taylor can put together the pieces of her past, she might just be able to change her future.

So, everywhere I go, people are fangirling over Melina Marchetta (and her books).  I've added several to my own TBR shelf, but until recently, I hadn't made time for them.  But then I discovered that there are several of her books up on Audible.  Cue the "uh-ohs".  ;0)

I'm easing myself into the Melina Marchetta fandom, and I started with one that I'm quite positive everyone has loved.  I'll probably pick up Finnikin next...loved her contemporary, so I'm sure I will marvel at her fantasy.  Also, I didn't know until I started writing up this review that both Jellicoe and Saving Francesca are being adapted for the big screen.  Yes, apparently I do live under a rock.  *sigh*

Katiebug already told us this morning what she thought this book was about.  And she was correct that the flower is significant.  Even thinking about it again threatens tears.  From the story-within-a-story aspect to the incredible friendships, this book was absolutely breathtaking.  I probably cried much more than was warranted, but the laughs achieved from this book were definitely well-deserved.  Sure, the first bit was a tad frustrating as the author sets up the story, but it's supposed to be're not supposed to know how these people's lives fit together yet.  And I loved that about the story from the very beginning.  That while these characters' lives are being splayed open for us, we're also getting glimpses, brief hints of how their lives are all intertwined.  And it doesn't start making sense until about half-way through, and by then, you're hooked.  You just have to know how they all ended up at the point they're at when we first meet them.

Taylor Markham is the narrator and main character of this story, and I think using the first person point-of-view made this story more real and just plain raw.  It's angsty, but not in an overly dramatic, whiney way.  There's real heartbreak here, and Taylor Markham has received her share of it.  But she's a strong, resilient girl, and it takes a lot before even the reader gets to see the fissures in the hard exterior she wears for the world.

Enter Jonah Griggs.  Or rather, re-enter.  His presence shakes things up a bit, as does the "battle" between the school, the townies, and the cadets.  But nothing rattles Taylor like the book.  She might finally have some answers...but is she ready for them?

Rebecca Macauley is fabulous as the narrator for the audiobook.  Fabulous.  From her accent to her snark, she was the embodiment of Taylor Markham.  And she voiced the other characters admirably, as well.  I felt like I'd been transported to Jellicoe Road as I listened.  It wasn't hard to envision myself there, amongst the feuding teenagers.  Not at all.

I can't believe it took me this long to read Jellicoe Road, but I'm glad I finally caved.  The love story was well-portrayed, and I enjoyed that the mystery of Taylor Markham was the focal point of the story and not the romance.  And the writing...oh, the writing.  It was as lyrical as it was sad.  And the way Marchetta wove one story into the other was just brilliant.  I can't wait to read my next Melina Marchetta novel.  She has earned herself a fan for life with Jellicoe Road.

Rating:   photo 5-1.png

About the author:

Melina Marchetta was born in Sydney Australia. Her first novel, Looking For Alibrandi was awarded the Children's Book Council of Australia award in 1993 and her second novel, Saving Francesca won the same award in 2004. Looking For Alibrandi was made into a major film in 2000 and won the Australian Film Institute Award for best Film and best adapted screen play, also written by the author. On the Jellicoe Road was released in 2006 and won the WAYRBA voted by teenagers in Western Australia in 2008. It also won the US Printz Medal in 2009 for excellence in YA literature. This was followed up by Finnikin of the Rock in 2008 which won the Aurealis Award for YA fantasy, The Piper's Son in 2010 which was shortlisted for the Qld Premier's Lit Award, NSW Premier's Lit Award, Prime Minister's Literary Awards, CBC awards and longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award.

Find Melina:

WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Goodreads


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  2. everyone complains about how frustrating the beginning is but one of my favorite books was also confusing in the beginning. I Because this book is confusing I would definitely read it but not listen to it because I don't have this patience for an audio book. However it seems like it is going to break my heart and I think I'll pick it up if I want that :P

    great review!
    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  3. I didn't expect much out of this book but I ended up LOVING it. Yes, the beginning was a bit confusing and slow but once I started to figure things out, I couldn't put it down!

    Stacy Renee @ LazyDayLiterature

  4. Woah, wait a minute here... if you've been living under a rock, apparently I've been living under serveral right along with ya. Is it absolutely horrible for me to admit that I've never heard of this book, nor have I heard of this author? I just went and looked her up on Goodreads... I think I should officially be ashamed of myself. Her books sound amazing!! Okay, apparently this is a sign that I need to read her work. Maybe I'll start with this book? You made the audio sound absolutely incredible, so maybe I'll go that route as well. Thanks for the heads-up on another awesome author! You rock! :D

  5. I cried so much with this one. But such a great book. I've read Finnikin but haven't finished the series yet. I was a little confused with it but adored the characters. I'd like to revisit them soon! So glad you loved this one!

  6. I might be living under a bigger, deeper rock than you have then because I haven't even HEARD of this author or book or that there are screen adaptions in motion! My gosh. This sounds fantastic, I was hooked by the synopsis. And now that I see that it's emotional...I'm in. I'm so in. I'll probably read instead of listen to this one, but I'm always up for narrator suggestions :) Eeep, I'll be diving in soon!

  7. I can not image listening to the audio book version of this because I would be sobbing. I haven't read it yet but everyone says it always makes them cry :) Glad you enjoyed it!

    Alise @ Readers In Wonderland

  8. I am just like you. I have been wanting to join the Marchetta can club and I havent' made time for it yet. I hope to read Finnikin of the Rock very soon! Hope you have a fantastic weekend~

  9. Jellicoe Road is one of my favourite books and Melina Marchetta is definitely in my top 3 favourite Authors, glad you enjoyed this :D

    I'd recommend you check out Between The Lives by Jessica Shirvington, the synopsis may sound slightly confusing but it's certainly a book that you'll need tissues for, I pretty much sobbed through this book LOL

    Angelica @ Paperback Princess

  10. I was wondering about how this will be in audiobook when I first saw your review and it seems that it still gave the feeling I felt when I read it. When I was reading it, the first few parts was incredibly confusing that I was frustrated with myself because there are a lot of good reviews and I can't understand the story. But I cried.. so much.

    I didn't know about Jellicoe and Saving Francesca will have their movie adaptations. All I know was the movie Looking for Alibrandi though I haven't read the book yet. Maybe we're both living under a rock. Maybe we're neighbors. Lol.

    Charlie @ Letter Trails

  11. I've been wanting to try this one but I usually steer away from said books that will make me cry. Sounds like a beautiful story though. I also want to try Finnikin of the Rock.

  12. LOVED this book. It does take some patience to get into it, but it is so worth it. This summer I am reading Froi and Quintana (and maybe a re-read of Finnikin…)
    Jen @ YA Romantics


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