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The Thing About Jellyfish Paperback – April 4, 2017
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*"Reminiscent of works by Jennifer L. Holm and Sharon Creech, Benjamin's novel is a shining example of the highs and lows of early adolescence."―Publishers Weekly, starred review
*"Benjamin's sense of timing and delivery is extraordinary, as she blends the visceral experiences of Suzy's journey with an internal dialogue that is authentic and poignant....readers...will fully immerse themselves in this superbly written, heartfelt novel."―School Library Journal, starred review
*"Benjamin's involving novel features clean, fluid writing that is highly accessible, yet rich with possibilities for discussion.... Her highly individual, first-person narrative makes compelling reading.... An uncommonly fine first novel."―Booklist, starred review
*"This novel has it all: just-right pacing, authentic voices and characters, beautifully crafted plot, and superb writing. Readers will find that this story lingers with them after the book is closed."―VOYA, starred review
"There are...a lot of children who might not only benefit from this book but also find themselves deeply moved by it."―New York Times Book Review
"Seventh-grade narrator Suzy Swanson will win readers' hearts as she silently struggles to come to terms with her complex emotions over the death of her former best friend."―Shelf Awareness
"A heartfelt read for kids and adults."
―First for Women Magazine
About the Author
Ali Benjamin is a National Book Award Finalist for The Thing About Jellyfish, and the co-writer for HIV-positive teen Paige Rawl's coming-of-age memoir Positive as well as Tim Howard's New York Times bestseller The Keeper. She is a member of New England Science Writers and has written for The Boston Globe Magazine, Martha Stewart's Whole Living, and Sesame Street. She lives in Massachusetts.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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Yes, it's a Young Adult novel, but it kept my attention throughout. I read that Reese Witherspoon plans to make a movie based on this and hope she is successful as I would love to see it on the big screen too.
The first few pages sucked me in right away and brought me back to my middle school days. The words were expressive, raw, and made me feel like I was experiencing them in real life and not just on the page. There were many times throughout the novel where I had to stop and re-read paragraphs because they were so touching. I can't say that I've read such an honest and captivating book in a very long time.
Throughout the novel, the reader follows Suzy on a journey of self discovery as well as her journey to figure out why her best friend died and what caused the downfall of their friendship. Suzy attempts to study and pick apart the days leading up to the "accident" in order to truly figure out why it happened. She seems to believe the cause of her friend's death is by a lethal jellyfish, so she throws herself into research in order to find an answer. Suzy is an incredible young lady who does the best she can navigating through some of the toughest years of her life. There is much to be learned from this young lady and this great novel.
All in all, The Thing About Jellyfish is a fantastic read, not just for middle-aged readers! There were so many wonderful quotes that I will continue to read over and over. I would highly recommend this book to readers 12 and up.
However overall it was a wonderful story and I would recommend for people 10+!