I’m dreaming of the boy in the tree. I tell him stories. About the Jellicoe School and the Townies and the Cadets from a school in Sydney. I tell him about the war between us for territory. And I tell him about Hannah, who lives in the unfinished house by the river. Hannah, who is too young to be hiding away from the world. Hannah, who found me on the Jellicoe Road six years ago.
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.
* Internally screams till the end of times* I know that when this book came out I was barely 10 and I wouldn’t have been able to understand anything but I will keep shaming my self for not reading it the moment it came out. Let me start this review by saying that I loved this book. So. Much.
That gif was basically me throughout the whole story. I know most of you have probably already read this book (if not, stop reading this and go do it NOW) but I can’t help myself but to write my thoughts on it down on the interwebs.
“It’s funny how you can forget everything except people loving you. Maybe that’s why humans find it so hard getting over love affairs. It’s not the pain they’re getting over, it’s the love.”
I gave this book 4 stars because the first 30% of it was hard to swallow, but it’s so worth it to keep reading because the rest 70% does not disappoint. It had been a long time since I read something as compelling as this book. The characters, the story and the writing do not disappoint and even though it has its funny moments the content is heavy but handled with care and respect. I mean, what can I say about it that you don’t know already? (I’ve had like 7 people tell me they loved this book so no pressure haha) Well, bring some tissues because it’s a bumpy ride. At first you might be confused by the parallel stories but it will all make sense in due time, and makes for great and crazy theories.
The story follows Taylor, who has been alone/lonely most of her life but had 1 person she trusted. When this person disappears and she is put in charge of her house she is forced to open herself to new people and possibilities which leads her to discover so much about who she is and where she comes from. There are so many aspects about this book that I loved and am probably forgetting to mention but I want to talk about a few that I particularly adored:
- Friendships/female friendships: it is hard to come across books in which female characters have these supportive sisterly bond and are not “loners” competing with one another. Raffy and Taylor in this book have an amazing friendship based on love and admiration. Plus, the whole House Taylor direct are basically friendship goals.
- THE WRITING!: I don’t know how Ms. Marchetta is able to make such tragic events endearing to read and mix both the drama and the comedy together. Is undoubtingly superb.
- This ties a bit with the first point but: all secondary characters (ALL OF THEM) are my kids and I am adopting them. No, seriously, sometimes authors get so focused on the protagonist that forget that the rest of characters have to be compelling as well. In this book they are. They are lovable, mysterious and funny.
Melina Marchetta blends fantasy and reality in a way that I have never seen other authors achieve and it saddens me that I have waited so long to read her books. Again, if you started to read this book and gave up in the first few pages keep pushing on because you won’t regret it!
Rating: 4 I-believe-in-you-Taylor-Markham stars
Buy the book: Amazon