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 - This is a painfully compelling story about bullying, family and the changing nature of friendships as we grow up. It’s about learning to deal with death and how we grieve all of life’s losses and changes. Suzy is a very real though awkward and immature middle-schooler who finds out her best friend died. Their last encounters were less than friendly and, with her friend’s death, Suzy has lost the chance to ever make it right. Suzy must deal with that reality as she learns to accept her friend's death and all the changes in her life. Suzy as a character would appeal to anyone who has ever felt left out or like life is moving too fast for them. As an adult, I enjoyed this book, and I would recommend it to any middle/high school student. It deals with some pretty intense emotions, divorce and grief, it could definitely call for some guidance and support with younger readers. 4.5 stars ~M. Vannoni
The Thing About Jellyfish - Suzy is starting 7th grade in silence. Her best friend, Franny, died in a drowning accident while on vacation over the summer. To make things worse, Suzy and Franny had a falling out in the last several months of 6th grade. The last time Suzy saw her, Franny was very upset over something Suzy had done. In her grief, Suzy turns to silence, refusing to speak to anyone. On a school field trip, she learns about poisonous jellyfish. She becomes convinced that Franny must have been bitten by one of these jellyfish and decides that she will find a way to prove it, no matter what it takes. The story alternates between past and present, starting from when the two friends first met and Suzy's life after the loss of Franny. Suzy's quest to solve the mystery of Franny's death helps her work through her grief and enables her to better understand the complications of friendship. ~Donna DeLuca