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The Thing About Jellyfish

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  17,699 Ratings  ·  2,888 Reviews
This stunning debut novel about grief and wonder was an instant New York Times bestseller and captured widespread critical acclaim, including selection as a 2015 National Book Award finalist!

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.
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 22nd 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published August 18th 2015)
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Ana It's actually not for pre-teens so much as teens all the way to adults. The librarians at my school loved it and they all cried so...

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Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, death
Usually, I’m annoyed with books that present a dead character in a story and even make them part of the main cast, because WE don’t know them as well as the characters in the book do.

But Ali Benjamin succeeded to make me care about Suzy’s best friend who drowned and died, leaving her friendless and feeling alone.

Except Suzy was already friendless even before her best friend died.

In the story, there is the past and the present. The past focuses on the relationship between Suzy and her best frien
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites-recent
"If people were silent, they could hear the noise of their own lives better. If people were silent, it would make what they did say, whenever they chose to say it, more important. If people were silent, they could read one another's signals, the way underwater creatures flash lights at one another, or turn their skin different colors."

After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy refuses to speak, and she is determined to discover the true cause of why the unthinkable happened. As sh
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
If you want a book to feel uplifted and inspired ... this is a terrific choice... written by very bright talented author!'

Thank you 'Little Brown Young Readers', Netgalley, and a 'new favorite' author--
*Ali Benjamin* for the opportunity to read this.
Ali Benjamin wrote a book to be very proud about... she makes science come alive --and has us fall deeply in love with our young narrator.

Middle School years are challenging years for kids. My own 34year old d
Hannah Greendale
The Thing About Jellyfish is the heartrending tale of Suzy Swanson, a little girl who just encountered the Worst Thing: death. To make sense of her grief, Suzy turns to the wonders of the universe and the dazzling expanse of her imagination.

Suzy's take on the world is both academic and poetic, despite her young age. She has one of the most romantic worldviews yet encountered in a children's book:

I liked the way patterns repeated themselves in this universe, the way a solar system could resembl
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:


Palm Springs commercial photography

^^^That’s a boldface lie. I read this book months ago, but I suck at keeping up with reviews so I’m just now getting around to saying something about it. First things first – this is a MIDDLE GRADE novel. (In case you’re wondering – I rate books according to how I feel they hold up when compared with others in their genre.) That being said, this is a very important middle grade story and y’all can just color me imp
Wendy Darling
I liked the narrative voice, and at first I was intrigued by the connections drawn to jellyfish. But there were a LOT of jellyfishy facts, and I kept wondering why I didn't feel anything for this story of a girl who's so traumatized by her former best friend's death that she will no longer speak.

Then I finished it, and found the author's note at the end, which says that the story was born from "failure:" because it started out as a nonfiction essay about her fascination with jellyfish. That mad
Neil (or bleed)
"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."

The Thing About Jellyfish is a heartfelt and touching story of grief, acceptance, friendship, family and fitting in. A profound novel with a plausible voice of a girl who grieved of her loss and sought for the answers at the same time.

It is a middle-grade novel that centers to Suzy Swanson and her mission to unravel the mystery (or prove her theory) behin
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review also on

“But a person doesn’t always know the difference between a new beginning and a forever sort of ending.”

Suzy Swanson stopped talking when her best friend Franny died in a drowning accident. Channeling her lingering guilt over her last encounter with Franny and grief, Suzy turns to silence and science. Refusing to take her mother's stoic explanation that things just happen, Suzy shuts everybody out and obsessively works out a grandiose plan to prove that a jellyfish sting is the re
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it

دیشب رفتم پردیس کتابِ خیابون دانشگاهمون. اگه ساکن مشهد باشین، میدونین اینجا چقد جای محشریه. حداقل به چشم من. با وجودِ اینکه خیلی سرد بود و داشتم سگلرررررز میزدم، اینقد خوشال بودم که ریز ریز میخندیدم و بلند بلند با خودم حرف میزدم! و به شدت جلو خودمو میگرفتم که قِر ندم- به ویژه که چندروزه رگِ لگم بدجوری سرماخورده و گرفته- بدون توجه نسبت به عابرهای بندهخدایی که مجبور بودن صدای جنونآمیزمو تحمل کنن و آوازخوندنای بداهه و دیوونهوارمو :)) این کتاب برام عجین شده با کلی خاطرهی خوب. از دیشب و خلبازیام و دی
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Thing About Jellyfish, Ali Benjamin
عنوانها: شاید عروس دریایی؛ عروس دریایی؛ گناه عروس دریایی؛ نویسنده: الی بنجامین؛
عنوان: شاید عروس دریایی؛ نویسنده: الی بنجامین؛ مترجم: آرزو قلیزاده؛ تهران، نشر پرتقال، 1395؛ در 288 ص؛ شابک: 9786008111474؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی - قرن 21 م
عنوان: عروس دریایی؛ نویسنده: الی بنجامین؛ مترجم: کیوان عبیدی آشتیانی؛ تهران، افق، 1395؛ در 264 ص؛ شابک: 9786003532380؛
عنوان: گناه عروس دریایی؛ نویسنده: الی بنجامین؛ مترجم: شهناز صاعلی؛ تهران، پیدایش، 1395؛ در 3
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
The thing about this book, The Thing About Jellyfish, is that it didn't quite turn out to be as good as I expected it to be. The story was not original, that is one thing for sure. There are several other novels which I've read belonging to the same brotherhood, blindly following the same storyline, the central character working on some sort of a science project, dealing with death and dark demons and yada yada.

Initially, I felt that the facts about jelly fish weren't properly stitched into the
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Thing About Jellyfish is a beautifully written middle grade novel about the evolving nature of friendship, the labyrinth of discovering one's true identity, and the search for explanations to the mysteries of life. Being a science nerd wannabe, I relished all of the scientific facts in this book and how the book's parts were divided into the parts of the scientific method. I also enjoyed the author's anecdote in the acknowledgment section about how this book was born from the failure to get ...more
Korrina  (OwlCrate)
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. This book was everything.
Julie Christine
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
On a Sunday evening a couple of weeks ago I met three friends for drinks and tapas at a favorite wine bar in town. We're writers, the three of us, one with nearly two dozen novels published—she and I are launching our next releases together in September, her 19th, my 2nd. Another will celebrate her debut, a literary fiction psychological thriller, in early 2018. And the third friend is in the agent query trenches with a novel that could be adult literary fiction or YA, depending on the spin and ...more
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 /5
Kitap daha doğrusu Suzy o kadar içime işledi ki. 12 yaşında bir çocuk nasıl böyle bir kederin içinde olabilir aklım almadı. Ama kitabın en başında Suzy'nin diğer çocuklar gibi olmadığını anlıyorsunuz. Arkadaşını kaybetmiş olmanın onun üzerinde yarattığı etki o kadar güzel işlenmişti ki, kalbinin kırıklığını ben kalbimde hissettim.
Suzy, Franny öldükten sonra geçmişi telafi etmek için onun asıl ölüm sebebini bulmaya kafayı takıyor ve peşine düşüyor. Franny'nin boğulduğuna bir türlü inanmay
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Thing About Jellyfish is a touching tale about a young girl whose best (and only) friend drowns while on holiday. As the story progresses we discover that Suzy’s grief is much more than just the loss of her friend, but frustration at something happening without apparent reason, and regret about the things that took place between them before her friend died. Such a lot for a young soul to carry. I finished this last night, but I’m still feeling emotional about it. I’m so pleased I discovered ...more
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ah Suzy... Sen ne kadar naif, ne kadar tatlı bir çocuksun. O kadar içime işledin ki.. Hayata, arkadaşlığa bakışın,düşüncelerin çok güzel. Kesinlikle okunması gereken bir kitap bence. Aşktan fantastik olmaktan uzak çok gerçekçi bir roman. Bu tarz bir romana ihtiyacım varmış gerçekten. Çok severek okudum...
Jun 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Çok şey öğrendim. Tüm genç okurlara tavsiye ederim!
“It's peculiar how no-words can be better than words. Silence can say more than noise, in the same way that a person's absence can occupy even more space than their presence did."

The Thing about Jellyfish reminded me of my love for middle grade books, and why no matter how old I get, I will always return to them.

Check out my buddy Neil's glowing review for this amazingly heartfelt novel! I wanted to write a review, but his sums it up far better than I could do it justice.

“In the end, it's a
Vitor Martins
"Talvez seja isso que acontece quando uma pessoa cresce. Talvez o espaço entre você e as outras pessoas da sua vida fique tão grande que você pode enchê-lo com todo tipo de mentiras."

Eu sou apaixonado por histórias que mostram o mundo a partir da visão de uma criança, então, comecei essa leituras cheio de expectativas. E não me decepcionei <3

Suzy e as águas-vivas é uma história sobre família, perda e amizades que não duram para sempre. E a autora consegue falar sobre tudo isso com muita sen
Maria Espadinha
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amor-Ódio e Medusas

A amizade , quando íntima, não raras vezes funciona como uma balança amor-ódio:
Há períodos rosa, com tudo a flutuar à nossa volta, em alternância contínua com outros mais negros. Partilha-se o Céu! Partilha-se o Inferno!...É assim agora e sempre, amen!...

Imagine-se agora um caso de perda que sucede num desses períodos mais obscuros.
Duas jovens são melhores amigas e uma delas perece num acidente, numa fase mais assanhada da sua relação. Como reagirá aquela que fica?...

É uma sit
Victor Almeida
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Que livro lindo, singelo e profundo!

Não tinha expectativas altas e não esperava me sentir da forma como me senti durante a leitura. Amei ser surpreendido pela escrita e pelos personagens. Mas vamos enaltecer, primeiramente, a escrita. Ela é simples, mas TÃO sensível. A autora consegue pegar pequenas coisas e transformar em conceitos e frases que te deixam olhando para o infinito e pensando por um minuto inteiro. Eu fiquei apaixonado pela linha de pensamento dela, e em como ela encontrava essas s
Rebecca McNutt
This frankly very strange yet wonderful middle-grade novel focuses on several themes, including grief, science and social isolation. How much is too much when it comes to mourning? When does loss become an obsession? How far should kids be pushed to say goodbye and let go of the past? These questioned are all addressed whilst Suzy tries her best to cling onto something she can understand. With the help of a caring teacher, she finds solace in science and starts learning how to move on.
One of the best middle grade novels I've ever read. "The Thing About Jellyfish" by Ali Benjamin beautifully deals with the tragic aftermath of grief and loss. Suzy is a very unique and slightly eccentric 12 year-old who stops talking after the death of her best friend, Franny (who perished in a drowning accident). As she tries to process her grief, she becomes fascinated with jellyfish after a class trip to the aquarium. Suzy starts to ponder if maybe Franny could've been stung by a deadly jelly ...more
This book should be sold with a pack of kleenex. At least when it's being purchased by an adult. Kids will do just fine I suspect.

It is a warm and wonderful blend of healing from loss, dealing with being in middle school and not fitting in, learning that you have the power to hurt someone and you won't always have the chance to make it up to them. It's about the beauty of science, the ecology of our planet. It's about the nature of bravery and heroism and family and love. So, I guess it's about
Anna Taylor
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
LOVE. And am now spewing out jellyfish facts at the brunch table like a boss.
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a lovely YA book about a child's first encounter with the mourning process. Bereavement is never easy, but for children it seems to be particularly confusing. Benjamin tells us the story of a young teenage girl who loses her best friend and the difficulties she encounters coming to terms with this loss.

It may be that I have not been a teenager for a while, but some of the passages seemed unnecessarily long to me. But when I asked my students about the pacing of this book they all liked i
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
اثری جالب و قابل توجه در بخش نوجوان که بچه ها از خوندنش لذت میبرن و بزرگترا درکش میکنن
این کتاب کاملا بر اساس نظریه ی معروف پنج مرحله ی اندوه ساخته شده و فک میکنم در آخر به خوبی میتونه به نتیجه برسه و منظور خودش رو برسونه
داستان اصلش یه مقداری کلیشه ای بود ولی خب با وارد کردن عروس دریایی ها به داستان یه حس جذابی بش داده بپد
در مجموع داستان لذت بخش و جذابی بود و من خیلی دوسش داشام
Bu kitabı yıldızlarla sınırlandırmak istemedim. Onun yerine okuyup kendiniz hissedin istiyorum. Özellikle arkadaşlıklarının anlatıldığı her sahnede gerçekten orda olduğumu, Suzy'nin hislerini tamamen paylaştığımı hissettim.
Her türlü kitapta mutlaka aşk geçen popüler edebiyatta bu saf hikayeyi okumanızı isterim.
Colby Sharp
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fans of Jennifer L. Holm's The Fourteenth Goldfish are going to love this one. It makes me happy to know that my daughters are growing up in a world where books show girl characters falling in love with science.
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Ali Benjamin has written for the Boston Globe Magazine, Martha Stewart's Whole Living, and Sesame Street. She is the co-writer for HIV+ teen Paige Rawl's coming-of-age memoir, Positive, which will be a lead title for Harper Teen this coming Fall, and which will feature an introduction by Jay Asher. She is a member of the New England Science Writers. - See more at: ...more
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“Sometimes you want things to change so badly, you can’t even stand to be in the same room with the way things actually are.” 65 likes
“If people were silent, they could hear the noise of their own lives better. If people were silent, it would make what they did say, whenever they chose to say it, more important. If people were silent, they could read one another's signals, the way underwater creatures flash lights at one another, or turn their skin different colors.” 52 likes
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