The Thing About Jellyfish

  • by Ali Benjamin
  • Narrated by Sarah Franco
  • 5 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A stunning debut about how grief can open the world in magical ways.
After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy was a rare jellyfish sting. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory - even if it means traveling the globe alone. Suzy's achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe...and the potential for love and hope right next door.

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What the Critics Say

"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)
"A painful story smartly told, Benjamin's first solo novel has appeal well beyond a middle school audience." (Kirkus Reviews)
"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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Highly Disappointed

This book throws in the gay agenda several times and it does not add anything to the story. It was completely unnecessary to introduce Suzy's brother, Aaron, and his partner, Rocco, into the storyline. Some examples of the gay references with affectionate phrases include: "rustled each others' hair and then kissed" while they were in the car driving off or reference to a note in their apartment that said "I loved you before I knew you. XOXO".

This book also had a sad, depressing tone throughout the book. It was hard to finish and does not promote healthy ways for youth to deal with hard situations. Suzy stated that "sad is dangerous" and she felt like she could only solve her problems through science. She also felt that "it is much easier to keep a secret when you don't use words at all". Her coping skills were to refuse to speak to anyone. Stealing credit card information from her dad and cash from her mom to leave the country. Hmmm...not exactly the coping strategies I want middle school/junior high kids to read about.
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- Book Girl

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-22-2015
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio