Thursday, May 7, 2009

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta


This Australian young adult title won the Printz Award which is given to the best YA book published in the U.S. in a given year. So, of course, I had to read it to see what the fuss was about. I know from reading other librarians' blogs that this winner came out of left field. And I have to agree with them. To me, this title is a lot like The Book Thief. It's a mature book, but not because it's full of "adult" topics. It's written like an adult book--flashbacks, lots of secondary characters, and winding plots and innuendos.

I had to force myself to finish it. I didn't get sucked into the book until the last third of it, when I had to stay up until 1 am to finish. However, I don't think my teenagers will enjoy it. It's another boarding school book and the mystery doesn't grab the reader like it should. The italicized flashbacks are confusing until the readers gets to the last third of the book. I never really liked the main character, either, although she does seem witty. I didn't want to feel sorry for her because she isn't nice to her housemates. And when she finally was a good friend, I thought her actions seemed forced.

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