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Alexis Hall

AJH diligently fails to get to grips with yet more social media.


On the Jellicoe Road - Melina Marchetta Dear God, this is the most heartbreakingly beautiful and wonderful book in the universe.

I, uhh, cried. I actually cried.

Here's how it opens:

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.

And if that doesn't have you running buy it then, frankly, you have no soul. I know it sounds like it's a deeply harrowing tissue-fest but, as much as it's a book about grief and pain, it's also a book about hope and love. Despite this, it's non-mushy on the subject (I'm not a particularly mushy person) - and the heroine, Taylor, has a strong, snarky narrative voice that goes along way to stop the emotion of all it just getting too much.

I'm not going to detail the plot because you can Google it, but it starts with two storylines, one from the past, one from the present, running in parallel. And as the novel progresses, you start to understand just how intricately they're connected.

And, honestly, it's just complicated, and painful, and beautiful. And you should read it.