A highly anticipated follow-up from the best-selling author of Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca, both highly acclaimed productions available from Bolinda Audio.
Taylor Markham is now a senior at the Jellicoe School, and has been made leader of the boarders. She is responsible for keeping the upper hand in the territory wars with the townies, and the cadets who camp on the edge of the school's property over summer. She has to keep her students safe and the territories enforced and to deal with Jonah Griggs - the leader of the cadets and someone she'd rather forget. But what she needs to do, more than anything, is unravel the mystery of her past and find her mother - who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road six years before. The only connection to her past, Hannah, the woman who found her, has now disappeared, too, and he only clue Taylor has about Hannah and her mother's past is a partially written manuscript about a group of five kids from the Jellicoe School, 20 years ago.
©2008 Melina Marchetta; (P)2006 Bolinda Publishing
2009 American Library Association Michael L. Printz Award, for excellence in literature written by young adults.
Recipe for a perfect audiobook: a mind bogglingly good book mixed with an amazing narrator. There is no way to over recommend On the Jellicoe Road. If you are in doubt, please give it a chance. You will not regret it. I loved every minute.
I am a passionate devourer of chocolate and books. I also listen to audiobooks and drink chocolate. When I die, I don't want to be embalmed!
Where to start? This story was very confusing at first, but I expected that because I had an advanced warning. The story went back and forth between telling the story of a present day situation with a bunch of kids to an older story of a bunch of kids. The similarity being the place they were located, Jellicoe Road, in Australia. Jellicoe Road reminds me of a summer camps where they have kids who live in the camp and then bring in kids from the neighboring town and then bus kids in from wherever else. The three groups have mini battles of control and territory, but all in a nice way (or at least it is supposed to be in a nice way.) Most of the kids that live at the Jellicoe Road school seem to have some emotional dysfunction or other problems they are dealing with, like both parents getting killed or pyromaniac tendencies. The main character, Taylor, is a Jellicoe Road resident. She is a bit unstable and has huge gaps in her memory and is constantly trying to figure out how to get back to her Mother who had abandoned her when she was 11.
Toward the end of the story, I did decide that I liked the book, but it just wasn't my cup of tea. (I am a hot chocolate drinker.)
I will admit that the first hour or so, I was completely confused. There are flashbacks, and dreams, and dreams within flashbacks, ok, maybe not that confusing. But once the pieces fall together, it just become such an emotional rollercoaster, that you can???t put it down. They become like your brother or sister, you fall in love with them, and you want to take their hand, and make it all better! And Rebecca Macauley; she really got the feel of the characters.
Jellico started out painfully slowly with no sense of where the story is going. After an hour I put it down and didn’t pick it up for over a year. After three hours I was considering deleting it even though I have a rule about always finishing books. That first was just sucha chore, I thought it could be the first to go.
It wasn’t necessarily a bad or even badly told story; it was just seemed so murky and muddled. The story-within-a-story interludes were as yet unframed, the goals of Taylor (the lead) were still unknown and the initial set up (the ‘war’ between three groups of teens that live or study by the Jellico road) was confusing and, as such, uninteresting. I’m all for a story unfolding, for pieces of information deftly doled out at the right moments etc but the first third seemed like it belong to a different story or at least set up a completely different story.
The first three hours were about that ‘war’ but that is not what the book is about and event thought eh story provides more than one could-be ‘resolution’, the conflict is simply dropped when the real story got going.
The protracted set-up gave an opportunity to tease a few things and start setting up the real story but since I had no idea what the real story was, the tid-bits, flashback, allusions and interludes left me confused and bored.
Jellico road is essentially a story a story of two generations of friends who form/ed unbreakable bonds. It becomes about Taylors search for family, love and understanding. When it does – it is utterly fabulous. I just can’t help but think that if it were only framed like that from the beginning it would have been solid gold.
By the last third of the book, the interludes/flashbacks are breathtaking in their revelations and I got excited every time I heard the music that signalled the change (as opposed to considering fast-forwarding them in the first third).
I guess you just have to go with the book and trust where it will take you but it’s the second novel in a row that I feel did not frame the ultimate story early enough for me to be invested from the beginning. It’s also the second in a row I’ve picked back up a year after dumping it – not a coincidence.
All I can say is if you like powerful emotional dramas, family sagas or intergenerational searches for love, family and hope than the Jellico Road is a wonderful book so stick it out. The end was so utterly emotional I had to lock myself in the bathroom at work to finish it because I couldn’t leave it or sob at my desk.
I don’t know how international readers will take the Australian story and the Aussie narrator. I AM Australian so I found a lot of the stereotypes, characters and idioms accurate to the point of uncomfortable. Somehow though, I still found the narrator’s accent grating (I just kept wondering if that is what I sound like?!)
Overall, I strongly recommend Jellico Road and it is times like this I remember why I have my ‘always finish’ rule!
yes because it's got a little of everything, romance, action, mystery
Some of the voices were not distinct enough
From the first breathtaking sentence to the very last chapter, it was a brilliantly moving and non-sentimental book about being a teenager, and finding friends, life and family sometimes easy, sometimes too hard to bear.
A very good performance. Made each character even more believable, and every line even more heartfelt. Couldn't have been better!
Any coming of age story, but Melina Marchetta is becoming a favorite author of mine, she writes well, and I love her charactes.
The characters were well written by Marchetta, and Rebecca Macauley does a great job narrating. I loved Taylor and her personality and the transformation she makes as she learns about her past, and the past of those around her. Jonah seemed real to me also, and I loved his softness and sweetness that gradually showed through his tough guy image.
It made me both laugh and cry. I loved the real emotions portrayed, and I really
Great reader, I loved listening to it!
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