The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

I basically read this because I wanted to add it to the school collection. Tabby was also reading it. I really liked this and will definitely recommend it to people who like Olive’s Ocean, Summer of the Gypsy Moths, Love Aubrey, and other books of that ilk.
Suzanne’s friend dies by drowning over the summer. Since school started Suzanne hasn’t spoken and is, of course, in therapy. In flashbacks we find out that it’s not just that she is grieving Franny’s death-she’s also grieving Franny’s friendship. Before Franny died things were not good between the two of them. In fact, I was pretty shocked at how awful Franny turned out to be. And equally shocked by Suzanne’s response. But Suzanne was more understandable-she’s a quirky girl and that does not go over well with mean girl types. My heart was truly breaking for Suzanne. There are definitely some typical story elements here–the kind understanding teacher, the other outsider who turns into a friend, etc. What I liked so much in this story were the slightly different elements-Suzanne’s fixation on jellyfish, her research, and her ultimate (misguided, sad) plan.

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