Name: The Thing About Jellyfish
Author: Ali Benjamin
Song: Changes by David Bowie
It was always Suzy and Franny, Franny and Suzy: they were best friends, inseparable. But, one day, it was just Suzy.
Suzy Swanson stopped speaking the day her best friend drowned. She didn’t understand how it could have happened – Franny was an excellent swimmer. So, she sets off on a mission that will take her to the deepest, darkest corners of the ocean and her memory.
Written in a graceful and innocent tone, The Thing About Jellyfish is incredibly moving. It’s heart warming and heart breaking, all about growing up and growing apart. Inspired by her Year 8 science teacher, the book is written as Suzy’s scientific study about jellyfish, including an introduction and end. However, this doesn’t affect the storyline or fictional basis but adds a new, unique level to the novel. The entire thing is comprised of short chapters and is quite easy to read – I read it in literally 3 sittings!
My favourite part? The friendships – and loss of friendship. Franny wasn’t always not Suzy’s friend – in fact, they only draw apart after moving to high school. The author includes short snippets of their happy childhood between chapters which contrast dramatically with their current situation as the girls gradually draw more and more apart. The Thing About Jellyfish isn’t a primarily happy book, but is beautiful and well crafted.
Have you read this book? Did you also cry your heart out? Or do you have a book recommendation? Let me know in the comments!