Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Review: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Book: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Genre: YA
Rating: A
For: Fun

I hadn't heard of this book until it won the Printz Award this year. I'm discovering that Printz Award winners/honors books and I get along quite well, so I immediately put this one on hold at the library, and waited for my turn.

That turn came up over the weekend, so I dropped everything else to read it. At first, it was all a little baffling, jumping from one story to the other. However, I could tell that it was one of those deals where if you just hang in there and not worry about everything making sense, that it will all come together shortly.

And I was right! It didn't take long for things to start meshing. The main story is about a girl named Taylor who is staying at a boarding-type school on Jellicoe Road (in Australia... what is it with these wonderful Australian YA writers?) She has just been named the leader of her House. Soon, we find out that during a couple of months of the year, there's some sort of territory war/game going on between the school kids, the town kids, and the cadet kids that are camped nearby for those months. This game is pretty intense!

Meanwhile, we are getting a flashback story about a group of kids that were all really close friends at the school years before. A couple of them were in a massive car accident, and somehow, that's how they all came together.

And somehow these two stories connect, of course.

And I loved it! It was a very intricate, wonderful plot, with great characters and relationships and hard life situations, and identity issues, and all those deep pondering things that make some of these YA books so amazing.

If you're at all of the weepy sort, have Kleenexes at the ready. Wow.

Okay, enough of that or I'll start giving away too much, which I seriously hate to do!

All this has convinced me that it's time to commit to reading more Printz stuff. The complete list of winners is here and they've been around for just a handful of years, so it won't be that hard. Is there a challenge out there somewhere for that?


  1. What a great review!

    I will definitely check out the list of Printz awards based on your glowing recommendation.

  2. I haven't seen an award for Printz winners but I am making my way through them. I have this one on my list for this year.

    Great review!

  3. Oops, I meant I haven't seen a challenge for Printz winners. :)

  4. I don't think a Printz Project exists. Until now!! Suey and I are co-hosting the Printz Project. The site is still in progress; more details soon.

    Jessica @ The Bluestocking Society

  5. There was a Printz challenge, but it was hosted by Dewey, and I don't think it was continued after she passed. A Printz Project is an excellent idea, as I've loved all the winners and honor books I've read so far. And I bet I'll love this too. So yeah...you can count me in :P

  6. I am glad to hear you liked this one. It has been on my radar but I was not sure about it.
    I've got my list of Printz honor and winners but honestly? Unlike you, I've not had the best of luck with enjoying the ones I've read so far. Maybe I'll give the Printz project a try though.

  7. Yeah! I'm helping Jessica with the Printz Project. She's got a blog all set up and ready to go! So be sure to come join us if you want to read some Printzes.


  8. I'm trying to get through the Printz books too. Looking for Alaska was particularly good.

  9. Nice review! I might have to start following the Printz too, I'm loving some YA right now.

  10. I want to read this but it still hasn't came in for me at the library! One of these days, though...

  11. Thanks for the wonderful review and the note about the kleenex (I'm one of those types - never thought I would be, but I am - I blame it on having kids)

    Anyway what great idea to do a Printz challenge. Go Suey and Jessica!

  12. Yes, good review! And how funny that before I read the comments, I kept thinking 'I know I read about a Printz Challenge - who could it be?...'

  13. Care: Does this mean you'll be joining us? I hope so!

  14. I gave this book the 50 pages and finally stopped it. Was still confused about the book untill I just read your review.



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