Rating: High Three
Who I'd Recommend to: Fans of Lost in the Sun, the Honest Truth, and Fish in a Tree.
Synopsis (from Amazon):
After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting-things don't just happen for no reason. 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.
The Thing About Jellyfish is one of those books that you don’t really know what to think. At first, I was a little disinterested, too, as my friend had been. But as we began to dive into the story and I grew to know more about Suzy, the main character, my heart reached out to it. I was hooked. Suzy is a twelve year-old girl who’s been having struggles with her best friend lately. The last time she ever sees her friend is when the friend is crying - because of something Suzy did to her. Days later, Suzy receives a phone call telling her that her friend drowned. Suzy goes into instant denial, because she believes her friend was an excellent swimmer and never could have drowned. Then, she learns about a certain kind of jellyfish - a fatal one, that is - that lurks in the exact waters her friend drowned in. Suzy begins to research this jellyfish, believing that it was responsible for her friend’s death, with a sort of crazy obsession.
Suzy was likable and easy to relate with, but also easy to sympathize with. You feel bad for her. She’s in mourning, and she makes some decisions she probably wouldn’t usually make. This, however, is what makes the story interesting. Suzy feels ready to travel all around the world, alone, to prove her jellyfish theory, and you respect her - and pity her - for it. The writing was beautiful, but I especially loved the “flashbacks” to before Suzy’s friend dies. They help build the story, while showing the reader the meaning behind Suzy’s pain. It’s a very poetic book, one that will have readers hanging on to every word until the end, even though, like I’ve mentioned, it was a little slow at times.
I was a teensy bit disappointed with the story - I have no idea why, there just was a little feeling of dissatisfaction at the end. Book Scavenger and Lost in the Sun had the same feeling, a feeling that there wasn’t enough closure, I guess.
Overall, however, I really liked this heartwarming, beautiful story, and would recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat.