Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

The ALA awards committees did a great job this year! I’ve already praised the Morris Award for Debut YA Author for their selection. And now I have to say the Printz Award committee really made an excellent choice with Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I’ll warn you it starts a little slow, but picks up around page 100 and then doesn’t stop. I sat down on Friday afternoon to read while I had lunch and spent the next 4 hours completely involved in Taylor’s life, it was incredible.

Jellicoe Road is a complex and intricately written story surrounding Taylor, a 17 year old, who has been abandoned by her mother, doesn’t know her father, and ends up living at a boarding school in the countryside of Australia. Taylor’s life is suffused with questions about her past and seemingly nonexistent family. The disappearance of her guardian, Hannah, and Taylor’s friendship with Jonah, a cadet at a military school, Santangelo, a local boy whose father may have known her parents, and Raffeala and Jessie, two girls from the Jellicoe School, set in motion Taylor’s journey to find her mother and answers to the questions about who she is.

I’m really not doing justice to this amazing book. The plot is so detailed, the characters so complex, and the emotions so exquisite, I can’t begin to fit it into a single paragraph. Just trust me,
Jellicoe Road is well worth every minute you’ll spend reading it.

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