On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta


I’m dreaming of the boy in the tree. I tell him stories.

Taylor is leader of the boarders at the Jellicoe School. She has to keep the upper hand in the territory wars and deal with Jonah Griggs—the enigmatic leader of the cadets, and someone she thought she would never see again.

And now Hannah, the person Taylor had come to rely on, has disappeared. Taylor’s only clue is a manuscript about five kids who lived in Jellicoe eighteen years ago. She needs to find out more, but this means confronting her own story, making sense of her strange, recurring dream, and finding her mother—who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road.

Okay a thing about this. I think on reread of a physical copy this could really be a 5 star read for me but as the main problem is the first 50% of the audio. It’s super confusing, I just wasn’t that excited about it and I didn’t know who the hell was who. I didn’t even realise there were two timelines let alone what was happening in this school.

“From this distance everything is so bloody perfect.” 

ONCE I did realise the two timelines and who was in them I really started to enjoy myself I just wish it had happened earlier. There is so much grief and pain in this book, in the kids lives it was atmospheric and really different from the contemporaries I’ve read lately. There is also a lot of awesome friendships, student relationships, and loves.

Love is a big part of this book, holding back love, “forbidden” love, the family love your not sure you should feel, the love that you don’t or can’t let yourself feel.

I really loved the relationship between Gregs and Taylor they felt real, they fought, they had real problems and it wasn’t all star gazing and picnics.

“He stops and looks at me. ‘I’m here because of you. You’re my priority. Your happiness, in some fucked way, is tuned in to mine. Get that through your thick skull. Would I like it any other way? Hell, yes, but I don’t think that will be happening in my lifetime.” 

The one standout in the audio is the narrator being so aussie, the writing alone is super aussie but she really brought the story to life for me. After becoming so used to american and english narrators it was really cool listening to someone who sounds like myself, telling a story that I could imagine perfectly.

There’s drama, mystery, disaster, sadness, bad parents, dead parents, sad kids, angry kids, and a whole lot to love in this book.

This stories over 10 years old and it feels good to read something from my teenagehood that I never got around to then, I loved Marchetta in high school as most aussies kids do and I’m excited to finally catch up on her other books.

4/5 Stars

Have you read this? What did you think? Have you ever listened to an audio with an aussie narrator? I’d love for more to be on my reading list so recommendations are welcomed!

As a side note I finally started using the online app for my library and got the audio from them, if your library has the capability, download the app! So. many. books. for. free. its amazing and will derail your tbrs, go forth and destroy.

3 thoughts on “On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

    1. Thanks Zoe! I’m so glad I finally read it and that you liked it too, i swear its a staple in the loveozya community so it feels good to know why everyone loves this book so much 😀


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