My Rating: 5+ of 5 stars
Books like this make me realize just how insignificant words become when attempting to convey raw emotion. On the Jellicoe Road is more than just a book; it is a hauntingly beautiful journey towards an unexpected destination where tragedy and despair become the bridges to the greatest of friendships.
“And life goes on, which seems kind of strange and cruel when you’re watching someone die.”
This story is told in alternating perspectives of both the past and present which, at first, seem entirely unrelated. But as this mysterious plot unravels, it begins to show hints of their glorious connection. If you find yourself confused or frustrated in the beginning, don’t give up; you are strategically been fed only pieces to a larger puzzle that will fit wonderfully together in the end.
The character development in this story is extraordinary; no one is denied the sweetness of redemption and transformation. Seventeen year old Taylor Markham has been living on the Jellicoe Road after being abandoned by her mother at a 7-11. The school she attends partakes in traditional games of territory wars where Taylor eventually becomes a leader. Taylor is tormented by the grief and uncertainty of her abandonment and keeps herself emotionally distant from others. She has few memories of her childhood, but when her history starts presenting itself, she begins a relentless quest for answers.
The impeccable writing in this story is captivating as it methodically flows from one vivid scene to the next. Taylor’s character, as broken as she appears, is actually quite funny in a dry and witty, sarcastic sense- which is my favorite type of humor. I appreciated being able to smile and laugh in the midst of such emotional situations. Her love interest, Jonah, is equally broken and initially comes off arrogant and crude. As their relationship develops, it not only becomes one of the most loving, but also one of the most inspiring.
“Being part of him isn’t just anything. It’s kind of everything.”
Every single element and occurrence in this book is connected to some larger piece of the story. Everything. Most connections are so prominent that they take your breath away, but then there are some as subtle as a whisper, and if you’re not careful enough you just might miss them. I was still making these subtle but important connections even after the book was done. The way the author seamlessly executes this perfect union of all that exists from past and present is astonishing.
Important messages of hope, love, and determination tugged at me endlessly while reading this book. I cried…and cried. From sadness, yes, but the most blinding tears formed from being so deeply moved and so humbly inspired.
“Hold my hand because I might disappear.”
▪ Genre/Category: Young Adult
▪ Steam Caliber: Clean
▪ Romance: Beautiful love story involved, but not sole focus.
▪ Characters: Complex, well-developed, lovable.
▪ Plot: Uniquely focused on tragic events forming powerful friendships. Lots of mystery; a side story interwoven.
▪ Writing: Brilliant! Beautiful execution. Insightful, poetic dialogue. Inspiring concepts with a slight spiritual element.
▪ POV: 1st Person: Heroine.
▪ Cliffhanger: None/Standalone