The only reason I kept reading past the hundredth page was because I kept telling myself that if I paid a week’s worth of savings for a book, I was damn well going to finish it.
Jellicoe Road was frustrating, confusing and its narrative was deliberately hard to follow. I found the main character, Taylor Markham, unlikeable and she had a tendency to wallow in self-pity.
And yet. And yet this book made me cry without even knowing the reason why, it made me ache for the main characters, it made me remember all the friends I had as a child. The ones who I made treehouses with, explored new places with, the ones that made me feel as if I was invincible.
Taylor’s development throughout the book was one of the best I’ve read.
Really, this is all just the long way of saying, “I have no idea what to feel about this book”.
Jellicoe Road is a strange book. But it is also strangely beautiful.
Reading it felt less like reading a book and more like getting to know a person. Namely, Taylor who was abandoned by her mother when she was eleven-years-old. I need to give kudos to Melina Marchetta, who used the first-person narrative to great effect; Taylor’s narration revealed just how much her mother’s abandonment affected her. She made for a sullen and cynical narrator, she was snobbish and rude to her peers. But she was also desperate for affection, and afraid to trust because she thinks that she’ll be hurt again.
Taylor’s thoughts were often chaotic, cycling between wanting to be left alone to wanting to be held dear by someone, specifically by Hannah, her caretaker. All this made Taylor’s character, that of a confused and hurt teenager, all the more believable.
This wasn’t always a good thing, though. This kind of prose made the story hard to follow. The reader was given absolutely nothing to go on at the beginning of the story, presumably because the narrator, Taylor, already knew all the things that the reader wasn't privy to.
While it made sense that a character who already knows about territory wars won’t go into internal explanations about them, it also made for a muddled beginning.
The first chapter was basically just me going: Who are the Cadets? Who are the Townies? What are the rules? What part of Jellicoe belongs to which faction?
It took too long before these questions were actually answered, and by the time they were answered, I didn’t care about the questions anymore.
But it gets better, as much as that sounds like an excuse, it gets better.
As I read further and further into the book, it felt like I was painstakingly peeling away the many layers that made up Taylor Markham. Jellicoe Road was at its most fascinating when Taylor’s barriers come down and the reader was allowed to see into her thoughts, her insecurities, when she was at her rawest and most vulnerable. These were the times were I just had to put down the book to cry, because Taylor felt so painfully human, because I saw a bit of myself in her.
The book had a weak plot, but its characters more than made up for it.
Its strength lay in its characters, both major and minor ones. I never really cared about territory wars and the mystery of Hannah had a way of fading into the background, but I wanted to know more about Taylor, about her relationship with Jonah Griggs, her friendship with Ben and Raffy. Melina Marchetta’s characters were wonderfully three-dimensional, complex and they resonate. These are the type of characters that made it hard for me to close the book and say goodbye.
But as much as I wanted to give this book five stars, I can’t. A five star read, for me, shouldn’t be frustrating or confusing. It shouldn’t make me feel as if reading was a chore, no matter how much later chapters made up for it. This book wasn’t perfect, but it had that something that gripped me as a reader, the same something that had me reading it until 3 am in the morning, that made me laugh and cry and feel for these characters.
I purchased this book on a whim, because I felt that I needed to read something “different”, and Melina Marchetta certainly delivered.
The original title of this book was "On the Jellicoe Road" but my cover simply said "Jellicoe Road". I have no idea where the "On the" part of the title went.
I had a unique comment from a male coworker last week that referred to the books I read. He is also a reader and likes to share about whatever book he is currently reading. I have always enjoyed talking about books with him, however this time he informed me (he is very religious, which I am not at all) that reading smutty books about hot guys is the same as looking at them lustfully, which is the same as committing adultery in my heart. For one, I've never described details about any book of that type to him but have mentioned titles when he asks what I am reading. Second, What. The. Hell. Seriously?? He just accused me of cheating on my husband, which I would NEVER do. It’s also extra creepy coming from a male.
He did apologize the next day, saying that he felt really bad about it and didn't want to offend me. But really, he didn't retract his comment. That is my vent. I am offended and irritated that someone would push their beliefs on someone who does not believe in religion. I asked my husband if he was offended at all by what I read. He’s fine with it, so isn't that what matters?
I borrowed After Dead from my library (because I refuse to fatten anyone's pockets over this clusterfuck!) out of a morbid curiosity to see how Ms. Harris would finish destroying her Sookieverse.
Not only did Sookie end up with the most lackluster HEA I've ever read, the majority of other characters- many we have no memory of- die a horrific death. One ON THE TOILET. If Unknown Character # 3 was lucky enough to survive, his/her children ended up with a miserable fate. I can't even begin to describe my reaction to Eric. Disgust. A character that has been built up for 13 books DESERVED BETTER! I give the half star only because of the cute cover. Too bad that all of Sookie's family and friends, like my love for the series, are buried under the tombstone.
You can find me searching for Eric fanfiction to rewire my brain..
I'm going to have to let this digest for a while. I expected the ending but not all of the actions that led up to it. Right now I can just say WTF?!?!
I've had time to sink in and I am even more disappointed. I expected her to end up with Sam and I am OK with it. It was best for Sookie. She hated vampire politics and was always surrounded by it. She was never completely safe around the people Eric had to deal with and she didn't want to be changed herself (even though I would have chosen to be turned to be with Eric without any hesitation!). Sookie loves living in Gram's house and working at Merlottes and Sam is her best friend. It wouldn't be my HEA but for Sookie it is.
My problem is the way it all played out. Where was the Eric we love? He ended up coming across as a cold hearted vampire who picked power over Sookie without any drama. He didn't fight for her. He used to be willing to do anything to take care of her, and even though he did make sure she wouldn't have to deal with vampires anymore he just didn't do enough. It was a watered down version of Eric. He expected Sookie to hide and play mistress while he slept with both her and his wife. She didn't even like him feeding from another so I'm not sure why he was surprised she turned him down. Then to realize he had a habit of picking tough blonde girls to change, was she just one to add to his collection? I remember his confusion when he realized he loved her. It was so new to him but now it's been a habit? Their ending after building up the relationship for 12 books feels like a slap in the face.
And what is up with Sam? I wanted a big declaration of love. I think he's always loved her even though he just realized it when he died. I seem to remember an almost kiss in the past. But instead it was an I'm ready to date a woman like you kind of thing and then he just wants to jump her all the time. No mention of taking care of her or loving her. Nothing sweet, just sex so slippery it reminds of her seals.
Such an anti-climatic ending to a series i once loved. I'll just go read book 4 again and try to erase this from my brain.