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.
So many people have been telling me that I have to read this book and now I finally have. I wasn’t sure what to expect going in since I’ve seen such praise for it and I didn’t want to be let down. It ended up being an entertaining read and I really liked the characters, but I wasn’t as absorbed into the territory wars as I would have liked to have been.
Taylor, newly appointed leader of the kids who attend Jellicoe school, was the main character and one that was both intriguing and frustrating. She was going through a lot and trying to deal with it on her own, which led her to passing her responsibilities as leader off on other people. It left a lot of room for growth and she did obviously care about the school and the kids under her care.
At first, the plot was a little confusing. It took a few chapters to fully understand who was who and what was going on. Once that was dealt with, it made reading a lot easier. There was a lot of discussion about the territory wars, which was Taylor’s boarders vs the townies vs the cadets and each group ‘owned’ part of the land. There were ways to get more land, to lose land, etc but it never felt like a huge plot detail to me, even though there was a lot about it in the book.
What I was more excited about was to find out what had happened to Taylor’s guardian, Hannah, who’d disappeared and why the story of five kids from eighteen years old was so important. It did take a few chapters to get used to the switching between the story of those kids and Taylor’s group but once I did, it worked really well. The more that was revealed in the story, the more it connected to the present.
The writing was absolutely beautiful. There were so many quotable passages. The interactions between characters were all over the place, in a good way. There was fighting and laughter and misery and support and love. It was great and they were my favourite part of the book.