BOOK REVIEW – Jellicoe Road by Melina MarchettaJellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
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At age eleven, Taylor Markham was abandoned by her mother. At fourteen, she ran away from boarding school, only to be tracked down and brought back by a mysterious stranger. Now seventeen, Taylor's the reluctant leader of her school's underground community, whose annual territory war with the Townies and visiting Cadets has just begun. This year, though, the Cadets are led by Jonah Griggs, and Taylor can't avoid his intense gaze for long. To make matters worse, Hannah, the one adult Taylor trusts, has disappeared. But if Taylor can piece together the clues Hannah left behind, the truth she uncovers might not just settle her past, but also change her future

Territorial War buddy read/reread with Chelsea, Jennifer, Jen, Laura & Harriet

What happens when you reread this incredible book? What? You fucking cry, what do you think?

Well, you have seen me gushing frantically obsessing over this book for a while now, so you know you have to brace yourself because this book? It possibly became my favorite. Ever. That kind of means something when we read a million book a year, right?

“I fall in love with these kids over and over again and my heart aches for their tragedies and marvels at their friendship”.

This book. This fucking BOOK.

Why is it so special to me? You mean, except from the fact it’s written by Marchetta and contains Jonah Griggs in it? Apart from that?

Well, what you need to know is that few authors manage to change my perception of myself as a reader.

Yet if there’s something I learnt this year, that’s Melina Marchetta’s books are written in a way that makes me want to create a stamp which would say –

That says it all. The reason I rarely cry when I read is the fact I hate feeling manipulated. I loathe it when I can see through the author’s intentions and I’m pretty sure that’s why I never succeeded in finishing The fault in our stars. Melina Marchetta’s books show me something I was eager to learn, because even if I knew it deep down inside, I was seeking out the moment I’d unravel all my doubts : No, I’m not a cold-hearted reader.

I was just longing for stories which really speak to me, because, never, ever again I want to find myself thinking ‘oh, I think I’m supposed to cry right now’. The beauty of her books lies in the surprise they never fail to create in me : I could express it with a single word : suddenly.

And that emergence of unexpected feelings? I live for that shit.

But this book. This fucking BOOK.

Jellicoe road takes us into the life of characters so strongly convinced of the uselessness of their life that we want to fight for them. We want to tear the appearances out, and above all that, we’re grateful to Melina Marchetta because her characters are so relatable and real that we can find pieces of ourselves in them. Pieces of our friends. Pieces of our family. Pieces of my heart that broke for Jonah Griggs over and over again.

“Please don’t be crazy, Taylor,” Griggs whispers, leaning his head against mine. “Please don’t be crazy.” He kisses me, holding my face between his hands, whispering over and over again, “Please”.

Therefore don’t worry if you’re confused throughout the 100 first pages, I swear to you, there must surely come a stage when you’ll find yourself utterly captivated by Taylor’s journey. Moreover, after reading it a second time, I can assure you that this experience was even more emotional and that Marchetta wrapped her plot brilliantly – I noticed some things I couldn’t see the first time and WOW. Just WOW. This structure? Incredible. Everything has a sense. Everything has a purpose. Nothing’s useless. Nothing.

But this book. This fucking BOOK.

This is a tale about where we belong. Is it a place? Is it a person? Is it love?

Can we stop belonging somewhere?

Can we earn the right to belong or is it something we have in our heart no matter what we do?

Can we allow somebody else to be our everything? Because what happens, I’m asking I’m yelling, what happens if our everything disappears?

*whisper* Do we disappear as well?

Now, I don’t want to scare you how that’s too late? and I can assure you that Jellicoe Road isn’t the kind of book that makes your eyes ache all long without never releasing the tension. No. That’s just life, you know? So prepare yourself for a ride – you’re going to laugh, to be pissed, to be desperate at times, to lose hope and then fight to find it again –

You’re going to live and feel and smile.

“Go on, admit it. When he hits the ground and the blood went flying and you knew in your heart his nose was broken, didn’t you just want to jump for joy and stomp on his ugly face?”

But this book. This fucking BOOK.

I don’t want to talk about the plot. Damn, I just can’t and I’ll say only one thing : even if I guessed some parts of the mystery pretty fast, following Taylor and Jonah was an experience I’d have been sad to miss and that captivating and splendorous story will linger in my heart and in my thoughts for a very long time.

You know what you have to do.

“I reach the bottom and smash into him with my fists as hard as I can. He falls and I can’t believe he goes down that easy, caught off balance.
“You care about nothing, you piece of shit!”
I’m on the verge of tears, like I always seem to be these days, and I hear the catch in my voice and I hate myself for it. He throws me off him and I can tell there is a fury in him.
“Never,” he tells me in a tone full of ice, “under-estimate who or what I care for.”

PS : I have a million quotes to write, a million stories about Jonah, Webbs, Tate, Narny, Jude, Fitz, Taylor, Jessa to tell. But I won’t. I won’t because this is a book which must be savored blind. I won’t even if Jonah Griggs is certainly one of the characters I will never forget. Just meet them, and if that’s already the case, go reread it. That’s even better the second time around, trust me.

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