Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Taylor Markham was abandoned by her mother when she was 11 and taken in to a boarding school. In her final year at school, she becomes the leader of her school's six houses in the territory wars that take place every year with the kids from town (the Townies) and the military school kids (the Cadets), but she also must deal with the mysterious disappearance of someone else very close to her, and how that might be connected with her mother. Also, this book is set in Australia, so I'll give it extra points for that!
All that being said, there are two other stories woven in and out of our modern day one that quite frankly confused me to no end. By the time I was three-quarters of the way through the book, I figured out the gist of it, but it still wasn't clear to me. It also took me a big chunk of the book to figure out what exactly the "territory wars" entail. At first I got the feeling that they were really serious, and kids might actually die, but as it turned out, that was not the case - kids from opposing sides date and occasionally someone gets beat up or kidnapped for a few hours. I just couldn't put my finger on what the intention was.
I have heard many, many, many wonderful things about this book, and I did find it compelling and rather heartbreaking, but I spent too much time being mildly confused about who was who and what was what to really enjoy it to its full extent. Also, maybe I would be less confused if I didn't read books while sitting on the street all night in 36 degree rain waiting for SNL tickets.
It's been awhile since I read a book that really grabbed me from the get-go so I couldn't put it down. Looking forward to having that reading experience again! Any suggestions? Here are all the books I've read the past couple of years.