October 16th, 2012


Book Review: On the Jellicoe Road, by Melina Marchetta

A whiny asthmatic protagonist angsts for several hundred pages 'cause being a teenager is so hard when you're the center of the universe.

On the Jellicoe Road

Harper Teen, 2008, 419 pages

In this lyrical, absorbing, award-winning novel, nothing is as it seems, and every clue leads to more questions.

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.

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Verdict: On the Jellicoe Road is a roller coaster of dramatic teen tragedy and breathless bittersweet emotions. It's fast-paced and a quick and easy read, but unless you are a fan of all things Young Adult and occupy the emotional head-space of a teenager, grown-ups may have a hard time savoring the angst in this critically-acclaimed YA novel.

My complete list of book reviews.