Jellicoe Road – Melina Marchetta

Oh my god, this woman.

I’ve been walking around like a zombie the entire day, trying to find the words that will do justice to how I feel about Melina Marchetta‘s (On the) Jellicoe Road, and I’m still unable to wrap my head around what this book did to me. I want to gush and use words like beautiful and poignant and heart-wrenching, but they don’t even come close to describing the depth of emotions I’m drowning in right now.

You know how there are books you want to keep a closely guarded secret because you know – you just know – it would kill a part of you if somebody didn’t appreciate it as much? And then there are those books that restore your faith in humanity and are so real and honest that you want to cry because such a thing exists and you’re frustrated that it took you so long to find it and you’re just downright giddy with happiness because reading them does something to you and you suddenly want to make changes in your life because you haven’t been living the way you always dreamed you would and you want to share it with the world so that they can feel the same way?

That’s what Jellicoe Road is – a gift to the world. I’m not talking about its literary merit here, although Marchetta’s writing by itself is astounding. I’m talking about it being a tiny voice contained in these 300 pages telling you to be the kind of person you’ve always wished you were. That little voice that gets lost in our constant rush to get somewhere. We have moments – I know I do – when we just take a step back from whatever we’re “supposed” to be doing at the time and ask ourselves just where the hell we’re going with our lives. And then it’s gone. It’s back to finishing assignments, studying for exams, working.

Not living.

You know what I want to do?

I want to write this book on my walls. I want to stare at it everyday and remind myself of what is important to me. I want to wake up to Marchetta’s unbelievable ability to say exactly what I wish I could say to myself sometimes, and to say it in a way that is just.. right. Wake up to her ability to create characters that make me howl with laughter and sob hysterically in equal measures. I want to read every book she’s ever written and carry them with me everywhere I go, because just knowing they are there for me, should I need them, is comforting.

I want to change the summary of this book on Goodreads, because it doesn’t come close to even being in the same continent of what this book is about.

I want to praise Melina Marchetta to the skies for creating secondary characters that aren’t just accessories, but are as vividly alive as the main ones. I want to point at Taylor Markham and tell whoever is willing to listen, “THAT. That is how you create female YA characters.” I desperately want to be able to stay separate from all the Jonah Griggs-love that is floating around on Tumblr (I’m failing miserably).

I want to flood this review with quotes from the book, just to show you how lyrical and soul-shattering her writing is, but I really really think I’d be taking something away from you if I did. Her words deserve to be consumed with full knowledge of all that came before it because only then will it resonate as strongly as it should.

I want to buy a thousand copies of this book and go up to every human being I know and thrust this at them with the hugest smile on my face and say :


And most importantly, I want to thank Raya with everything I’ve got for introducing me to such a wonderful author.


10 thoughts on “Jellicoe Road – Melina Marchetta

  1. Oh my God, Tanya, I can feel your enthusiastic love for this book spurting out of your review! I’m really glad you lovelovelove this one, because I think our reading tastes are similar and I’m intending to make this my next Marchetta book. I finished The Piper’s Son recently, and wow — I still love Saving Francesca more, but Marchetta can seriously write. I like Thomas’s character, but I’d say he displays some unlikeable qualities, and Melina Marchetta does a wonderful job at softening his character to us in The Piper’s Son. Can’t wait to read Jellicoe Road!

    • Honestly? As a book? I like Saving Francesca just that little bit more, because I can connect with it on a personal level. But on the whole, this one was just..oof – and I haven’t been able to figure out why. I really, really, really hope you love it and can’t wait to see what you think!
      The Piper’s Son is going to be my next Marchetta read – I’m just waiting to get my emotions in control after this one. :P

  2. Oh man… I have this sitting on my nightstand just waiting to be picked up. I hear so many good things about this book and I’m sure it lives up to the hype so I’m not totally sure why I haven’t read it, yet. I’ve had the book since October ’12!

    • Bwahahaha! That was a good one.
      I haven’t tried Looking for Alibrandi – I’m going to fix that as soon as I can. Do let me know what you think about this after you’re done?

      I’m still cracking up.

  3. Oh good. Now I have to find two Marchetta books! Why do you always have to be so persuasive? :P
    I have a feeling we’ll have a rush of Jellicoe Road reviews in no time…
    Oh, and which should I read first, Jellicoe Road or Saving Francesca?

  4. Pingback: All It Takes Is One Book | The Yeti Says

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