(On the) Jellicoe Road: a review

by Melina Marchetta

I couldn’t figure out how to start this, because honestly there’s nothing to say. Either you’ve already read this and therefore know how brilliant it is, or you haven’t in which case the only words I have are: Read it. Buy, borrow it from the library, steal it from a friend. I don’t care. Just read it.

I think the thing that stands out to me the most, still on that just-finished high, having read the last page thirty minutes ago, is that by the end of the book I loved every single character. Okay, maybe not the *self-edited* Les, but considering he never makes a physical appearance in the novel, I’ll ignore him. And I think that’s largely due to Marchetta. I think she loves them too. Even though they’re majorly messed up, some of them in ways beyond belief.

It never feels like a Hallmark card, which is to say fake. I don’t know how that works. It could so easily have drifted into sentimental eye rolling territory, but it never did. There are pain and forgiveness and eyes-wide-open love and second chances, and somehow I ended up believing it all.

I don’t like doing plot summaries, and here I refuse to do one. I will say this: the first bit is confusing as all get out. Accept that going in and keep reading. I promise you, it is worth it.

And there’s a fair bit of swearing and several characters who have sex, but to be honest, if you don’t read this book because of that, you’re robbing yourself of something. Also, there is sex, but it’s not described at all, which I like.

Book source: Lewis and Clark College


Filed under bookish posts, reviews

7 responses to “(On the) Jellicoe Road: a review

  1. wow. guess I should read this one sometime! Am not reading much fiction during lent… but will try to remember for later, DV! 🙂

    • Maureen E

      I’d definitely recommend it–there is some swearing and two short sexual scenes, but overall it’s excellent. I just don’t want to recommend it without making people aware of the content too.

  2. We’re on the same page with this one. And I’m pleased to see that LC owns a copy! Good work, alma mater.

    • Maureen E

      Yay! I’m so happy it won the Printz.

      Unfortunately, Willamette doesn’t have many YA/children’s books, although I think they’re trying to get at least the Newbery winner and honors. (I know they bought When You Reach Me and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.)

  3. Pingback: February reading list « By Singing Light

  4. Pingback: Printz Award « By Singing Light

  5. Pingback: February 2014 reading list | By Singing Light

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