Monday, December 16, 2013

Review on Jellicoe Road (my last read in 2013)

Jellicoe RoadJellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As usual with Marchetta’s books, her first few chapters are always confusing.
After The Piper’s Son, I’ve thrown myself into Jellicoe with all my heart and soul. I didn’t read the synopsis, so imagine the double headache when I was bombardized with jumping scenes and dozens of strange names. You have people’s names, Boarding houses’ names, and places. The only name I’ve recognized is Sydney.

I’m kind of glad that Marchetta’s writing isn’t brutally choppy here. The sentence flows into one another, enough to make me feel like I’m dancing between them. But of course she had to chop something. This time it was the emotion. Did she write with an axe?

She chopped scenes mercilessly while I was still salivating (or crying or gasping) all over them. The good thing is you don’t feel too overwhelmed with drama, but I found myself screaming for more. More words. More kissing, more territory wars, more tongue-lashing … more closure. Especially in scenes that involved Jude and Taylor and Griggs. I have broken fingernails to prove how much I craved for more in those scenes.

Because being a part of him isn’t just anything. It’s kind of everything.

“It’s actually because my heart belongs to someone else.”

“You were wrong yesterday in the car, you know, “I tell him. “About how every time Hannah looks at you she’s wishing you were someone else. I think that every time she looks at you she’s scared you won’t come back, like the others.”

He takes her hand and draws her to his side. They don’t say anything as the walk with me, but I’ve been here before, so I know that words aren’t needed. I remember love.

“You can forgive all of them but you can’t forgive you and Jude for living.”

“I’d forgive myself. To be with Jonah, I’d do anything.”

“I’ll probably mention that I’m in love with you.”

I go up to Hannah and Jude’s room and tell them that she’s dead, and I climb between them and I am raw inside.

“I was there to throw myself in front of it.”

“Just breathe, Just breathe, come on, Taylor, just breathe…just breathe.”

Taylor is the perfect example of a strong heroine. Raffy and Jessa add the kickass feel into it. I love Santangelo from the first moment his name was mentioned. That little shit.
And I adore Ben, his violin, and his funny-sometimes-wounded personality. Because of how I feel toward Ben, I could never forgive Griggs for breaking Ben’s fingers.
Seriously, Jonah, if you’re so desperate in getting Taylor’s attention, why don’t you break your own fingers?

Though I couldn’t love Jonah fully, I ended up having a tiny weenie insignificant crush on him. He does clean up nicely after that.
Okay. Maybe a bit more than tiny weenie.

Jonah felt like a secondary character to me and that’s okay I think. With so many main characters in one book, I understand that Marchetta needed to focus on the original five and Taylor. In my opnion, this is the story of Taylor, Hannah, Jude and Webb. The rest are the pretty, colorful icing on the cupcake.

I have successfully turned this book from all-about-Taylor to all-about-Jude. I’m hopeless that way. Gimme a suffering hero and I’m doomed.

St. Jude was the patron saint of the impossible – lost and desperate causes. I think he hit the jackpot in that department when he met the Markhams and Schroeders.

Jude is my hero. He’s St. Jude, the hero of all heroes. I will arm-wrestle anyone who says otherwise. I couldn’t stop thinking about him, even as I write this review. I wonder how he looks like. Probably like Chris Evans? Imagine him in uniform. Is he Jude enough? Is he broken and suffering enough? Damn. I have no fingernails left to bite.

I can’t help but picturing Hannah as the more mature Georgie (TPS). Whenever Hannah’s name came up in the book, I almost always skimmed the pages looking for words like Hannah, Jude, love, and happy in one sentence. I was disappointed most of the time. I know everyone will argue that it’s implied somewhere there, between the lines. I don’t care. I need to read the words, in one perfect sentence, with my own eyes. In print. Not implied.

“Hannah reckons that if you ask her to marry you, she’ll say yes.”

Jude’s moving in and he sleeps in Hannah’s room. WHAT ARE YOU DOING THERE, JUDE?

Tate and I bullied them into going away one weekend by stressing our need to have time alone together. OHMYGOOOOD! GENIUS, TAYLOR, GENIUS!

There is one tiny weenie problem that take a half point away from its five stars. (Sorry...)
The dreams.

I got the impression that the author used the dream to explain the things that otherwise couldn’t be explained. Some sort of backstory. Or a closure. The dream is a metaphor for something bigger and greater than the characters themselves.

Okay, I get it.
I don’t mind dreams in general, but in Jellicoe, it dictates the story. I feel like I’m reading a half paranormal, half contemporary book. I'm okay with Taylor’s dreams, really I do. I was intrigued. But when Griggs mentioned his father came to him in a dream when they were on the train, I couldn’t help it.
Yes. I rolled my eyes.
When Tate told Taylor about Webb’s dream and how Taylor name came up - no. No. No. Please no. Come on, this is pushing it.

I don’t find the epilogue that fascinating either. I was hoping to read an epilogue about Jude. About Taylor and Griggs. About all of them five, ten years from now. I want to read how happy they are, living under one roof, driving each other crazy with love. I want that. See what I mean by mercilessly choppy? My emotion is freaking raw and the book ends with Hannah saying “I wonder.”
Heh? Did I buy the incomplete book?

One of my GR friends asked me to compare Jellicoe to TFIOS. Seriously, girl, it makes me nervous. How to compare two great authors whose personality is as big as their characters?
I only can tell by my own experience, okay. It may not be enough, but here we go.
They both are emotional reads.
These two authors manage to paint their heroes into swoon-worthy characters not by physical traits, but by strong personalities and their heart-breaking process of growing up. For me, that’s a huge plus.
Okay? So…

This is my last read, guys. I’ve wrapped up my 2013. How cool is it that I’m signing off with a stellar book like Jellicoe?

I won't be picking up anymore books or ebooks tilk January :)
I hope your last book that you read or write or blog in 2013 will be as memorable as mine. And I just hope that my kick-off read in January will be as awesome as this one.

So, happy holiday, you all <3 br="">
Be safe. Be merry. Be awesome!

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