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On the Jellicoe Road - Melina Marchetta Head over to Kaelyn's Loot for more bookish treasures, lads and lassies!

My mates, sometimes in our lives, we come across a book that changes our entire being, that makes you question nothing and everything, that makes you sit in place for hours on end to just...think...about life. A book that touches you so deeply, you cannot even see the impact it had on you. You KNOW deep down that something changed...but what? What is the name of this overwhelming emotion that surges from within you? What is it? What? And because you can't answer any of these questions, all you can do is cry, try to give the emotion form so you can begin to comprehend something. Anything.


Deep, right? You are/will be too if you read On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.

The Judgement: LOOT!!! {This. This is what all I review strive to be. Not a part of the ship but a part of the loot, forever immortalized, forever enshrined, loved, gazed upon in awe. Truly a master piece. You have Neptune's grace.}


My First Thoughts: I've said it in a previous post. This book was one I chose to read for an assignment in my senior year English class. Stereo typically, this does not spell out for a great first impression. But the key word is chose. I chose to read this book and by reading it, I've learned I can make a good choice now and then. The book didn't seem too special to me. I almost forgo-ed it for Room by Emma Donoghue [which I will read as well very soon, now that it's popped up in my view once more]. But something about the first paragraph of the synopsis spoke to me. A part of Taylor's complicated story came through and touched me, making me pick up this book and read it. Re-reading it all of yesterday just proved what a timeless book it is for me. I'm gonna have to pick up a physical copy soon because I wanna read this book over and over again. I learned things I didn't learn before, saw more into Taylor's world. I can't wait to read it for a third time a discover more. What a treasure this book is, unveiling more and more with each read. The story shifts ever so slightly but my world quakes with change.


Captain's Log on On The Jellicoe Road:

My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die. I counted.

Well. That has to be one of the most hooking first lines ever written. I really don't think anything can beat this haunting start that begs us to keep on reading and uncover the pain of the person counting.

Taylor Markham has led a...complicated life...that has left her hungry for love yet, at the same time, wary of it. From the start, she makes it no secret that she trusts no one, not even the woman you picked her up and took her in after her mother abandoned her on Jellicoe Road.

I don't know where I fit in. One day when I was eleven, my mother drove me out here and while I was in the toilets at the 7-Eleven on the Jellicoe Road, she drove off and left me there.

Betrayed once by her mother and a second time by Jonah Griggs, someone she thought she'd connected to till he turned them in, she does not want to love Hannah. Yet she wants to love Hannah. But when Hannah leaves too, without a word, Taylor is shattered, her heart broken once again. Taylor had given her heart to Hannah without even realizing it and now it was irreparable. And she was already too fragile to take in anymore surprises.

I tell him of the time when I was fourteen, just after the Hermit whispered something in my ear and then shot himself, when I went in search of my mother, but got only halfway there. I tell him that I blame the Cadet for that.

Or so she thought. Enter Jonah Griggs, the Cadet, one of the three who broke her heart and the one to put it together again.

Trust me mates, the story is no cliched love story. These two fought, they made up, and they loved. But their love is so much more. It's what repaired BOTH their souls. It's what helped them live on, move on from the horrors of the past.

But this book is so much more than just Jonah and Taylor. It Taylor and Webb, Taylor and Fitz, Taylor and Narnie, Taylor and Tate, Taylor and Jude, Taylor and Raffy, Ben, Jessa. So. Much. More. It's Taylor discovering herself under all that self-hatred, her thoughts of thinking she will always be left behind. It's all these people proving her wrong, that they love her so much and they will always be in her heart.

I connected to Taylor on such a deeper level than I'd expected but now that I mull over it, it's no surprise. I myself am no stranger to self-loathing. And that's why this book was so much more than just a book for me. It's my saving grace. It's my guide to love myself and to believe that yes, I am capable of being loved.

The best thing about this book besides it's existence is that it talked of the past. And I fell in love with those five so much.

But there they were, on the steps of the Jellicoe General Store, where the Cadets always stopped to pick up supplies. Waiting. For him.
"Who are they?" the Cadet sitting next to him asked. Jude looked at Webb's face, the grin stretching from ear to ear.
"They're my best friends. I'm going to know them until the day I die."

My heart broke with each revelation, their pain my own.

And when I walked away, I heard something hit the water and I thought I must have killed a fucker of a bird. I looked but I couldn't see anything.

Just like Taylor, I cried when I realized that one of them would die.

"You never got that fifth tin," Webb called to Fitz just before they disappeared through the trees.
"Not to worry," he said with a wave. "I'll go back for a shot on another day."

But just like Taylor, I looked around and saw that there was a new generation now, one to continue the bonds of the old.

And Tate just watched and listened and took it all in.
"Can you hear that?" she said softly, touching her belly. "Because you belong too."

Do you all want to know my favorite part of this book, the one that hit me the deepest, made me cry the most?

He sat in the tree, his mind overwhelmed by the idea that growing inside Tate was their baby. The cat purred alongside him, a co-conspirator in his contentment. Through the branches he could see Fitz coming his way, his gun balanced on his shoulders, whistling a tune. So Webb closed his eyes, thinking of the dream he'd had the night before where he sat on the branch of a tree and spoke to their child. In the child's voice there was so much promise and joy that it took his breath away. He told her about his plans to build a house. He'd make it out of gopher-wood, like Noah's ark, two storeys high, with a view he could look out on every day with wonder. A house for Tate and Narnie and Jude and Fitz and for their families. A home to come back to every day of their lives. Where they would all belong or long to be. A place on the Jellicoe Road.


Okay, okay, enough feels and tears. Now, finally...WELCOME ABOARD THE JOLLY ANNE, ON THE JELLICOE ROAD!!! More than that, WELCOME TO THE LOOT!!!

-Captain Kaelyn