Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (Review)


‘Aftermath. Everyone uses it all the time so I get very used to the word. In the aftermath we face the reality of that the downstairs area of Lachlan is gutted. No photos, no posters, no fish, no clothing, no books, no diaries. Everything’s gone. In the aftermath, when the walls of my world are blackened and the taste in my mouth is of ash, my mother is due to re-enter my life for what will be the last couple of weeks of hers.’

Taylor Markham was left on Jellicoe Road at the age of eleven. Taylor is now being confronted with her past. She is now a leader in the territory wars. Hannah, the closest adult to Taylor, has disappeared. Taylor is determined to find out about her past, about why her mother left her. Along the way she finds friends in her enemies and love in the Cadet who feels more than he lets on.


What a fantastic read. I had heard excellent things about both Melina Marchetta and Jellicoe Road and I was so excited to read it. I am so glad I did, and I don’t know why it took me so long. Melina Marchetta is a brilliant writer. Her prose is excellent and she really does have a way of bringing the past and the present together and ties it up in a nice little bow. The story is so delicate and intricate and I really do applaud Melina Marchetta for creating such a wonderful piece of art. The first half of the book was great and really did capture my attention and kept me turning pages. But the second half was brilliant. Truly. It was nearly 500 pages long, but not once did I find myself getting bored. That is very unusual for me. Most books this length usually lose me in the middle slightly, but this one really didn’t. I don’t really want to talk about the plot at all because I really don’t want to spoil anything at all for anyone and I have a way of sometimes rambling without realising and there are a millions of spoilers. So better safe than sorry.

The characters. Wow. They were exquisite and so well written. They were all so complex, and different and unique and each of them had so much depth to them. Even if they were only in a couple of pages. Fantastic. I really did feel for every single character. Not many authors can do that. Taylor – so much love and admiration for this girl. She was so brave, selfish sometimes yes, but my god I really do love her. She was funny, intelligent, compassionate, and her voice was lovely and I really loved reading her story and she really did capture my heart. I loved all the others aswell, Raff, Jonah, Jessa, Ben and Santangelo. The friendship between the main four as well was great. Unexpected but great.

“This is the best night of my life,” Raffy says, crying.
“Raffy, half our House has burnt down,” I say wearily. “We don’t have a kitchen.”
“Why do you always have to be so pessimistic?” she asks. “We can double up in our rooms and have a barbecue every night like the Cadets.”
Silently I vow to keep Raffy around for the rest of my life.”

“Santangelo is irritated. “We’re not suppose to be collaborating. It’s supposed to be a war and you’re supposed to stick to the boundaries.”
“We’ve seen you in your jocks,” she reminds him. “Taylor and Griggs have pashed. You’ve broken into your father’s police station for us. Don’t you think the war has lost a bit of its tension?”

The romance was another brilliantly done aspect of Jellicoe Road. It wasn’t insta-love, and there were some real development and connection between the two.

“He stops and looks at me. ‘I’m here because of you. You’re my priority. Your happiness, in some fucked way, is tuned in to mine. Get that through your thick skull. Would I like it any other way? Hell, yes, but I don’t think that will be happening in my lifetime.”

I really enjoyed the little snippets from the past. I loved the history of the characters and all their love for each other. It really was truly heartbreaking.

This is one of my favourite books of the year. It is a heartbreaking and heart warming read which will leave you breathless and speechless and If you haven’t read it yet then I highly suggest that you do.

MY RATING: ★★★★★

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