Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Great Jellicoe Road Reread

Ally's ridiculous amount of notes

Ally: I decided I wanted to reread Jellicoe Road. I've been building up to it for awhile, feeling that Jellicoe itch.  I know that this was at least my third read, maybe even my fourth.  I love this book, y'all.  It's...my favorite YA. Ever.  And now, I knew what was happening, and I understood the plot ver well and I just wanted to revel in Marchetta's artistry.  Liz agreed to come along for the ride this time!

Liz:  I read Jellicoe Road at the beginning of last year.  As soon as I finished it, I knew I liked it a lot.  However, I also Googled a plot summary.  I thought I knew what had happened, but still felt a little confused.  I wanted to read this book again with a better understanding of the story so I could let all of the emotions hit me.

So we decided to reread it together.  We read about three chapters a week for several weeks, and then Ally got impatient and Liz indulged her and we decided to finish the back half all in one evening last week, livetexting each other.  SO FUN. This won't be the last time we read things together.  Let's move on and discuss quotes from the book each of us loved

"I stare at her and as usual I hate her for not working out what I need from her."

"I feel hunted, with no place to hide. No solace, no belonging.  Just an empty need to keep moving away from whatever or whoever it is that's after me."

"'What do you want from me?' What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him. More."

"You are very scary sometimes."

Liz :
“If you weren't driving, I'd kiss you senseless," I tell him.
He swerves to the side of the road and stops the car abruptly.
"Not driving any more.”

"Do you know what?" I ask both of them.  "If you don't build a bridge and get over it, I'll never forgive either of you."

Random texts from the livetexting event:
Ally:"I'm gonna take a lap around the house. So much emooooooootion."

Liz: "I feel like I'm watching Taylor learn to be human."

"I love Melina so so so so much, Liz." "I know. *pats*"

Liz: "Finnikin in January?" Ally: "YES"

Final Thoughts:

Liz: I loved the opportunity to enjoy this book without stressing about trying to figure out the plot.  What really struck me during this read is how desperately these characters needed the territory wars.  A lot of them have unconventional families or have experienced a lot of loss. Even if they don't admit it (like Taylor does), they want to be a part something.  For Taylor especially, the territory war forms bonds that helps gives her that as and after she searches for closure with her mother.  She thinks she has to pretend to be strong, but in reality she spends the book learning how to let people in, and I love that about her.  Taylor aside, the story and writing are still stunning.  Marchetta is a master when it comes to creating tension and knows how to wring me out emotionally.  Despite all that, I still feel ready to read this masterpiece all over again.

Ally: I feel like any opportunity to read Marchetta is lovely.  This time, I was really able to focus on the emotional impact.  This is a 400-page book, and she really runs Taylor through the wringer in a lot of ways.  But--and this one of my favorite things about Marchetta--it's never, never unrealistic.  Taylor was dealing with adult situations and responsibilities and some very adult emotions.  She is tired, she is haunted, she is angry, she is resigned, she is filled with longing, she despairs over her situation, she is frustrated, she is guarded.  She runs the emotional gamut!  These are things that your average 17-year-old isn't going to deal with--but it never rings untrue.  Taylor's story and Taylor's voice are entirely true.  Often painfully so.  She feels that she has been let down by everyone in her life, and learning to deal with that and move past it is stunning to watch.  The way the plot weaves together is obviously brilliant.  I've said it before and I'll say it again: if Melina Marchetta wrote ingredients lists on cereal boxes, I'd have them shipped over form Australia.  The woman's a genius.  I sobbed through the last 15 pages, just like I always do. Brilliant.

Source: YALSA

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