On The Jellicoe Road – Our Thoughts

Annette

I have to admit, I have been dreading this post since we started our blog.  So much so that I started writing this days in advance, which I NEVER do.  You see, the problem I have is this; On The Jellicoe Road is my all-time, favourite book in the entire known universe and I  can’t fathom how I could possibly mold my thoughts and feelings into accurate and coherent sentences.  As such, I would like the above to act as a disclaimer for the following; ‘this post does not accurately depict my thoughts and feelings for On The Jellicoe Road.’

My Grandmother lent me On The Jellicoe Road about 5 years ago and for that, I will be forever grateful (and as a side note, go my Grandma! Who says YA can’t be enjoyed by all?)  It was the first Melina Marchetta book I ever read and I have to admit, I was incredibly confused to begin with.  But if you’ve read it, you will know how intriguing it is.  So I kept on reading and I was not disappointed.  In fact, I fell in love with it and, from then on, I was hooked.  I was hooked to the story line,  the characters, but mostly to the feelings I got when I read this book.  This book is like a drug and there is no way I am ever going to give it up.
So what is it about ‘On The Jellicoe Road’ that makes me feel so much?  I can give you the text book answers; the relationships are complex and intense, the characters are perfectly flawed, the juxtaposition embedded in the novel is exceptional. But that’s not it.  Yes, it has to do with the perfect combination of an incredibly talented writer and a story that screams to be told.  Yes, it has to do with a strong female character and a swoon-worthy boy.  But that’s not it either.  Honestly, I don’t know why I feel the way I feel about this book.  All I know is that I wish, so badly, that this story were real and that, in some fucked way, it was tuned into mine.

 

Rachel

I’m just going to come out and say that I have absolutely no idea how to put into words the complete and total love I have for this book. I think I’m just going to start typing and I’ll hopefully produce something meaningful.

Firstly, I have to give a special shout-out to my dear friend Emily for bringing this book into my life. It was the second book of MM’s I read (in 2009) and the one that sold me on her so who knows if I would’ve ever read it, if not for her? Sometimes, when I’m a contemplative mood, I think about what my life would’ve been like had I not read it. Plodding along like I do, blissfully ignorant of this amazing book. So thank you, Emily.

Secondly, I’m going to be honest and admit that it took me months to read it, because of the confusing start, and if not for Emily nagging me, I would’ve taken longer. I distinctly remember the day I made the decision to just finish it once and for all, because I was sick of having it on my bedside table. I picked it up again after firmly telling myself not to bitch out this time and that night, after passing the half way mark where things start making more sense, I finished it. And then I sat on my bed, thought about it for a while, flicked through it again and started bawling my eyes out. And so my love affair with On The Jellicoe Road began.

Here’s some dot points on the things that I love about Jellicoe, because I can tell I’m going to start rambling soon if I don’t provide some sort of structure to this post:

  • It has one of the – actually no; probably THE most intriguing introductions I’ve ever read. Not that I can say this for myself, as I’ve already confessed it took me a while to read it originally, but from the numerous re-reads since then, it reels me in like no other introduction ever has, despite already being familiar with the story.
  • The plot: the intricacies of the two intertwining storylines, while initially confusing, is such a brilliant concept and it adds an air of mystery to the story, which I love.
  • The male characters: Chaz, Jude, Fitz, Webb, Jonah and Ben are my favourites. No, I can’t pick just one. Also, Raffy is my fave female character.
  • The inclusion of lyrics from one of my favourite songs: Flame Trees by Cold Chisel.
  • The power of the feels: the way it makes my heart hurt, my eyes leak and my toes curl in a way few other books do.

So there you go. I did try, but no words will ever be enough to accurately describe my feelings about this book. It is just… *sighs*

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