“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.
In this absorbing story by Melina Marchetta, nothing is as it seems and every clue leads to more questions as Taylor tries to work out the connection between her mother dumping her, Hannah finding her then and her sudden departure now, a mysterious stranger who once whispered something in her ear, a boy in her dreams, five kids who lived on Jellicoe Road eighteen years ago, and the maddening and magnetic Jonah Griggs, who knows her better than she thinks he does. If Taylor can put together the pieces of her past, she might just be able to change her future.
– blurb from Harper-Collins Children’s Books
I’m still trying to decide what I think of this book. When I picked it up at the library, I had high expectations for it, due to the fact that Maureen at By Singing Light absolutely loves this book and Maureen and I tend to have many book loves in common. The first quarter of the book, however, had me so confused, I didn’t know what to think. The story goes back and forth between two different narratives and one is no less cryptic than the other.
Okay, so maybe it didn’t help that I started Jellicoe Road when I was all brain-fogged and dizzy from being overtired. Anything is harder to comprehend when I’m in that state! Still, it was slow-going at first just because I had a hard time grasping what was going on – all I knew was that there had to be more behind everything than what met the eye.
I’m glad that I persevered because I can now say, it’s true: there is more to Jellicoe Road than that which meets the eye.
And it is complicated, but it’s a bittersweet beautiful complicated. I can’t seem to get the tang of it out of my head; I have a feeling it’s going to take a second reading for me to take it all in. W-ow… Definitely recommended, but with a brief caveat: while definitely in the YA genre, I wouldn’t label it as a kids’ book. There’s some sensuality; drug usage is mentioned, as well as deaths of minor characters.