The Thing About Jellyfish
Ali Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish is an intriguing story about a 7th grade girl named Suzy who has an unusual perspective on the world. This story takes place in a normal town. Most of the story concerns Suzy’s house and her school. Suzy likes to think about the more important things in life; like her education, rather than makeup and hair products that popular girls in her class enjoy, like Aubree and her friends. Aubree has gone to school with Suzy and Franny since kindergarten and has always been popular and full of herself. Suzy has big, frizzy red hair that knots every second of her life. Everyone has encouraged Suzy her whole life to get more friends but Suzy is happy with her one friend Franny. Franny is also in 7th grade and has long sandy blonde hair with bangs. But unexpectedly, in the 6th grade, Franny becomes friends with the cool girls; like Aubree, Jenna, Anna, and Molly. Soon enough, Suzy and Franny drift apart and Suzy is abandoned with no friends at all. Then, disaster strikes when Franny is found dead in the ocean in Maryland during her summer vacation. Everyone believes that Franny drowned but Suzy has other ideas and is determined to prove that she was not the villain in Franny’s short life.
I found the way that this book was organized to be unique. Each chapter started with a different memory Suzy has of Franny, starting when they met moving forward. Each memory helps the reader understand important events in the story. For example, one memory was of Franny and Suzy when they were in 4th grade thinking about how self-centered Aubree was. They thought about the time Aubree announced she was the most pretty and popular girl in school. Franny had told Suzy to send her a secret hand message if Franny ever became like Aubree. Later in the book, during a different memory, Franny does become like Aubree but Suzy doesn’t know what kind of hand message to send her. I liked the setup of this book because it keeps you wondering what happened to separate Suzy and Franny as friends. I would recommend this book to people who like realistic fiction books with a bit of mystery in them. I was fully engaged in the book the whole time I read it and couldn’t wait to turn the page to see what happened next.