Jellicoe Road

Jellicoe Road - Melina Marchetta Five star read. "On the Jellicoe Road" deserves every star and every accolade it's received in my opinion, and even as this is my first Marchetta read, I hope to read more of her works to come. This is a heart-wrenching novel; it's hard not to feel for each of the characters that are presented here. You feel every ounce of pain, relief, triumph and failure between each of the characters, and Marchetta captures emotion very well in the course of the story. I'm glad that I took the recommendation given to me to read it.Don't get me wrong, when I say that the first 100 or so pages are hard to get through - they are. There are many characters to keep track of, at least two storylines that seem to occur at once, and many threads strewn along each of those individual stories. I'll admit I actually stopped and started this novel a few times. For the patient reader, however, whether they're an elder teen or adult, the payoff is huge - it comes together beautifully. Ultimately the storylines merge in a potent display of emotion, history, and self-discovery. 17-year-old Taylor Markham is the center of it all. After her mother abandons her at a 7-11 when she's only 11, Taylor finds herself taken under the wing of Hannah, and attends the Jellicoe Road school nearby. But when Hannah disappears unexpectedly, leaving Taylor in charge of the younger students in her house and dealing with a turf war, she realizes that she must face aspects of her past as well as the story that Hannah has written and left behind in order to find the key to her future, and being able to move on from some tramuatizing events. I'll admit that I cried in a few places within the novel, because the pain Taylor feels with discovering the truths and unearthing things about her past that she would rather not think about are vivid and very real. Another thing I enjoyed about the novel was watching the steadily growing relationship between Taylor and Jonah Griggs - it feels vivid, realistic, and plausible, and I couldn't help but love the way their characters interacted, even through the moments where they clashed and took into account their difficult history with each other.Honestly one of the best novels I've read in recent years, not just in the young adult category, but among any genre. Overall score: 5/5