GIF Review: Jellicoe Road

Posted January 18, 2016 / Book Reviews / 12 Comments

GIF Review: Jellicoe RoadJellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
on March 9th 2010
(432 pages) • GoodreadsAmazon Barnes & Noble

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.

my thoughts pinkSo, I finally did it. I asked Chris to pick my next book off of a certain shelf and he pulled this one off. I was kind of nervous but knew this was the motivation I would need to finally read it. I was mentally prepared for the confusing beginning. Every single review said that the first X number of pages would be hard to read or understand, but pushing through was worth it in the end.

disney mulan

I read one review that said 80 pages was the magic spot where pieces came together. 80 pages came and went… and I was still incredibly confused. Intrigued, but confused.

britney spears confused huh crickets

Another blogger told me page 125 was when it clicked for her. Nope, still pretty fucking confused. Still interested for sure, but very unsure of what was going on.

wtf what shocked confused what is happening

Aaaand another told me 150 pages was when she figured this shit out. Again, that mark came and went. Things were KIND OF getting pulled together MAYBE… but I started to get frustrated.

workaholics sad crying stupid blake anderson

Everyone insisted that I keep reading, so I did. At this point, I was damn determined to make sure I wasn’t just an idiot. I read page after page until I was more than three-quarters through the book and still felt SO disconnected. It’s not like it was a bad book, I just was never surprised or shocked or impressed. I finally understood what was happening, but was completely disappointed by the lack of “AHA!” moment. There was no jaw drop.

project runway not impressed michael kors im underwhelmed underwhelmed

I won’t lie that the hype was such an insane factor in my enjoyment of this book. When you keep hearing “it all clicks together perfectly after X pages,” you come to expect something crazy to happen or jaw-dropping. Something that makes you say holy SHIT I get it. I never had that moment and I would never have been LOOKING for that moment if it wasn’t for the hype. So many voices telling me how perfect it would be come, but I sat there like this:

bored whatever unimpressed confetti no emotions

Also, Jonah Griggs? Don’t see the appeal. He was cool and I like the childhood romance (kind of? I don’t even know!) rekindled trope, but to be a favorite book boyfriend? Nah. I’ll stick with Matt Finch. This was pretty much me reading the entire book, waiting for something to happen that I connected with:

I honestly don’t know if it’s possible to remove the hype factor when I think about this book. Without all of the people telling me to keep reading, I would have stopped. Without everyone saying it’s their favorite book EVER, I wonder if I could have viewed the book as is, instead of hoping for something life-changing. Chris kept telling me to drown the voices out and enjoy it for myself, but I couldn’t tune it out. Even without people saying it was amazing, I don’t think I would have connected. I bet I would have given it a star more maybe, but that’s it.

television idk sesame street shrug muppets

The ending? Not bad. It made up for a little bit and finished strong overall. But nothing stuck out to me as this is a GREAT BOOK that I’ll remember forever. Again, see the Elmo above.

rating breakdown pink

Plot & Premise
Writing Style
Pacing & Flow
Feels or Swoons
Addiction Level
Overall: 2.7

12 responses to “GIF Review: Jellicoe Road

  1. I wanted to read this a couple years ago, because the girls from Epic Reads would also rave about it. That’s the only place I had heard of it so I didn’t want to risk buying it, and the copy at my local library had a page with a hole in it. Didn’t really want to pick it up only to have to guess what was written on the page…lol. I really don’t like books like that where you’re just waiting for THAT moment. I guess I’ll have to pass on this one.

    Emma @ Emma Likes Books recently posted: TOP TEN TUESDAY: 2015 Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn't
  2. Ah, Jellicoe Road. It’s been years since I read it for the first time! I really liked it back then (but there was much less hype staring me in the face when I picked it up), but I’m curious to see how I would feel if I reread it now after reading many more young adult contemporaries. I’m sorry it didn’t quite end up being as impressive as you had hoped it’d be!

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