My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Title: The Thing About Jellyfish
Author: Ali Benjamin
Publisher: Pan Macmillan UK
Num. of pages: 343 pages
Published date: September 2015
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.
A jellyfish, if you watch it long enough, begins to look like a heart beating. (page 1)
"The Thing About Jellyfish" follows the story of Suzy Swanson, a Grade 7 student, who doesn't speak anymore after the death of her best friend, Franny. A visit to the aquarium gives her an inspiration. Is it possible that Franny's death was caused by a jellyfish sting?
The book I bought when I went to 'Books & Beyond' Surabaya.
First of all, I love the cover. The blue gradation is beautiful and I love how there is a giant jellyfish and several fishes in the sky as if it was the ocean.
I was intrigued by how the author tied the story between grief and lost with jellyfish. Yes, a creature that I bet not many people spend, let's say 5 minutes a day, to think about. The result was a quirky, yet familiar story.
There are many things that I love from this novel. I love how Suzy's parents work together to help her, even though they were divorced. I love Mrs. Turton, the science teacher, who was helpful and understanding. I love how Suzy's brother and his boyfriend (yeah, a boyfriend) in this novel were shown as just a normal couple. Let's not forget the jellies. I also love how they were put into the story to give color and propel the story.
"Not everything makes sense, Zu. Sometimes things just happened." (page 17)
So, with that many love I had, why did I only give 3 stars? Well, for starter, I felt so emotionally disconnected on so many occasions. The story should have been painful and sad, but I couldn't capture this. The friendship between Suzy and Franny felt so matter-of-fact. They did this, they did that, they grew apart, etc. I just wasn't emotionally invested on their friendship.
The supporting characters were underwhelm. Everyone had the hints of more complex stories, but none of them were explored. At the end, I wanted more from them, but I never got it.
Overall, "The Thing About Jellyfish" was an interesting book. An easy read with a lot of meat in it. Although I did expect more when I finished.
"There's no single right way to say goodbye to someone you love. But the most important thing is that you keep some part of them inside you." (page 248)
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