Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. New York: HarperTeen, 2006. 419 pages.
1. A succinct evaluative annotation. Plot: [Conflict] Taylor was stranded at a Seven Eleven gas station when she was a little girl by her mother. After that Taylor was sent to Jellicoe School close to where she was stranded, and throughout the next 4 years of her life always wondered who she was and who her family was. [Rising Action] Taylor also got visits from a young boy in her dreams who would tell her stories about 5 friends who lived near Jellicoe Road, while Taylor always wondered who the boy was and why he talked to her. [Climax] After searching for her mother, Taylor finally figures out who she is and how the 5 friends fit into Taylor’s life. Unfortunately, Taylor’s mom is sick, dying with cancer but Taylor is able to finally see her again and hear her mother’s stories from when she was a little girl. [Falling Action] Taylor’s mom passes away, but then Taylor is reconnected with her aunt and finally has a purpose in life, whereas before she didn’t know who she was or what she should look forward to in her future. [Resolution] There is finally peace between the 5 friends from 18 years ago and Taylor finally has a real family to go home to. Theme: The themes in this novel include friendship, family, love, war, mystery, and understanding. Tone: The tone is very serious in this novel, especially when Taylor remembers certain parts of her past when he mother was a drug addict and Taylor got caught in the middle. Also, it’s very serious because of Taylor’s mom’s history and what occurred all of those years ago. Style: The author’s style of writing is very unique. Some parts are in italics which I later found out were the memories of Taylor’s mom and her friends 18 years ago. The rest is Taylor’s viewpoint. All of the text, though, helps uncover the mystery of Taylor’s life. Characterizations: Taylor was very reserved at the beginning of the book, learning not to get too attached to anyone because they will just break your trust and hurt you in the end. However, at the end of the novel, Taylor had more people that she loved than she knew what to do with and she was a very open, honest, and loving girl. Readability: This novel was a little difficult to read at first, just because I didn’t know what was going on between the italic chapters and the normal chapters. After five chapters, or so, though, I was able to get clues as to what was going on and then I flew through the book, all 400 pages of it.
2. My reactions to the book. After getting through the tough part of trying to figure out what was going on between the two stories and how they relate to one another, I loved this book. There were so many different relations between all of the characters that definitely were not explained before hand, but the reader was able to see the connections when the author revealed them. I think that once the readers can get past the first few chapters, they will love the mystery and answers that the author creates in this novel. I’m not sure how accurate the information is, but I think that most of the information about roads and towns might be accurate since the author is from Australia and this is set there.
3. Comment on the cover art. The cover art of this novel is different. I think the one thing that will attract viewers to read it is the text of the title. It’s like scribbling and unique, it almost relates to young adults and maybe how they write. As for the flower, I’m not sure if that was a great choice because I’m not sure how young adults will relate to this cover when seeing it. I think it’s a poppy flower which is a key part of the story, but for those who haven’t read it, it won’t mean much to them.