[Book Review]: On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

1162022Book Title: On the Jellicoe Road
Author: Melina Marchetta
Source: Purchased
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Year: 2006
Page Count: 419
ISBN: 9780061431852
Add to your Goodreads shelf.
My Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

Goodreads' Blurb:

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.

The moving, joyous and brilliantly compelling new novel from the best-selling, multi-award-winning author of Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca.

Melina Marchetta really rules contemporary young adult books! I had been holding myself to read this one, since I heard it was a very emotional reading and it indeed was. And after finished turning every page, I found myself crushed, torn, but sometimes I laughed too at occasional humor this book brought.

After having Saving Francesca and The Piper's Son read, I've slowly begun to recognize Marchetta's novel theme pattern. She is one of the few authors I've encountered this far, to have the courage to take up such dark and heavy themes for young adult, which is inevitable that we need to examine such restricted matter, and Ms. Marchetta was flawless in doing it.

Marchetta applied the first person point of view which is of Taylor. As a seventeen year old teenager, Taylor is moulded in such a way that she's not a common young girl character you find in a novel. She is tough, has been through much predicament which uncommon to teenager like her and not what you think as the oldest in the orphanage, that is always expected to be responsible in her role.

In this book, you will also find the novel draft written by Hannah, which leads to clues that can reveal Taylor's past. Will Taylor reconnect with her long lost mother at the end? You should find out further in this masterpiece.

[Teaser Tuesdays]: January 6

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros is a weekly meme hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea. It lets us share the first paragraph or (a few) of a book we are reading or thinking about reading soon. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015, lovely people! How were the very first days in 2015? For me, it's tiring. So much to do this January, even from the beginning. Many has written bookish resolutions for this year, but I don't think I can follow you, guys. I'm afraid I'll be reading less books in 2015. I even set the Goodreads' goal onto only 50 books this year. What a shame :( Hope you have much better resolutions than me!

Below is my teaser for this week.

The first paragraph and teaser:

First paragraph:

From the prologue:

My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die.
I counted. 
It happened on the Jellicoe Road. The prettiest road I'd ever seen, where trees made breezy canopies like a tunnel to Shangri-La. We were going to the ocean, hundreds of miles away, because I wanted to see the ocean and my father said that it was about time the four of us made that journey. I remember asking, "What's the difference between a trip and a journey?" and my father said, "Narnie, my love, when we get there, you'll understand," and that was the last thing he ever said.

From the first chapter:

-Twenty-two years later-
I'm dreaming of the boy in the tree and at the exact moment I'm about to hear the answer that I've been waiting for, the flashlights yank me out of what could have been one of those perfect moments of clarity people talk about for the rest of their lives. If I was prone to dramatics, I could imagine my sighs would have been heard from the boundaries of the school to the town down below.

Random teaser:

I realise, after a moment or two, that I am not alone. Slowly I look up, beyond the tree trunk, higher than the branches, to the very top. There, in broad daylight, is the boy in my dream staring down at me.

~p. 126, "On the Jellicoe Road" by Melina Marchetta.

Please put down your links to your first chapter, first paragraph and Teaser Tuesday below, so that I can visit yours back :)

[Book Review]: The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta

7417780Book Title: The Piper's Son
Author: Melina Marchetta
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: Purchased
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Year: 2010
Page Count: 328
ISBN: 9780763660628
Add to your Goodreads shelf.
My Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

Goodreads' Blurb:
The award-winning author of Finnikin of the Rock and Jellicoe Road pens a raw, compelling novel about a family's hard-won healing on the other side of trauma.

Award-winning author Melina Marchetta reopens the story of the group of friends from her acclaimed novel Saving Francesca - but five years have passed, and now it's Thomas Mackee who needs saving. After his favorite uncle was blown to bits on his way to work in a foreign city, Tom watched his family implode. He quit school and turned his back on his music and everyone that mattered, including the girl he can't forget. Shooting for oblivion, he's hit rock bottom, forced to live with his single, pregnant aunt, work at the Union pub with his former friends, and reckon with his grieving, alcoholic father. Tom's in no shape to mend what's broken. But what if no one else is either? An unflinching look at family, forgiveness, and the fierce inner workings of love and friendship, The Piper's Son redefines what it means to go home again.

I'm in love with Melina Marchetta. Totally.

The Piper's Son is another contemporary work from her and, it's like a spin-off of Saving Francesca, only this time the main characters are Thomas Mackee, Francesca's friend; and Georgie Finch, his aunt. While Saving Francesca applies first person naration, The Piper's Son uses third-person one and Marchetta has proven that she is the author who can handle everything perfectly.

There are several themes this novel raises. The relationship between Tom and his father, who is an ex-alcoholic; the friendship with his so-called ex friends who never give up on him, the girl Tom betrayed; the long grief of Tom's family towards the sudden death of Tom's beloved uncle; and Georgie's unexpected pregnancy and her strange relationship with her unborn child.

Seeing those considerable themes, one is likely to doubt the capability of the author to handle it. But once again, it's Melina Marchetta! No need for such thought.

Just like what it was with Saving Francesca, the author writes the first hundred pages of the novel in such way it's full of mystery. You might find yourself puzzled with what's really going on in the novel, but that was what kept me going, the author's inexplicable way to reveal one by one like peeling an orange.

And now I'd like to talk about the cover. Actually what I got is the other version of the cover:


It's really indie, but I don't get the feeling that the man in the cover is Tom, which I think the major character among the others. Instead I think it's Tom's father, Dominic. Since the texture of the figure says it doesn't belong to someone below twenties. I much prefer the Australian version (on the preface of this post) than this one. It really resembles Tom in such way.

This novel is one of those which I won't forget as long as I live. It brought me sadness, warmth feeling on how a family unites to fight the grief despite all their broken relationship, and what a truly friend is like.

Thank you very much, Ms. Marchetta for such a warm book.