Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me: A Novel
"Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me is an absolutely real, raw and emotional read, and it's a book that touched my heart with every page." - Katie McGarry, critically acclaimed author of Only a Breath Apart
Fifteen-year-old JL Markhams life used to be filled with carnival nights and hot summer days spent giggling with her forever best friend Aubrey about their families and boys....more
I don't think I can give this book the proper justice it deserves, but here we go. Jack Kerouac Is Dead to Me reminded me exactly why I adore a well written YA contemporary novel. Gae Polisner's latest story truly transcends age boundaries by giving teens content that is relevant ...more
I recommend this extremely compelling story to ages 14+ due to some sexual content.
*Many thanks to NetGalley and publishers for the advanced readers copy of this book in exchange for my honest review . ...more
This book made me feel so many emotions all at once.
It left me conflicted, hurt, betrayed, and wanting more. This novel is a raw and gritty portrayal of a teens life, and the struggles they have to face each day. The conflicts that arose in this book left me feeling inexplicably sad, and questioning everything.
I honestly cant find the words to explain my fascination with this book. Some topics that were mentioned and issues portrayed hit me like a train, and gave me nostalgia and ...more
First, you should know that this book isn't for everyone. It's dark and deals with hard topics and it will break your heart. It's more Cameron Crowe than John Hughes, and when I say that, I mean great Cameron Crowe (Fast Times at Ridgemont High or Say Anything Cameron Crowe, not Aloha Cameron Crowe).
I love everything about this book. ...more
Jack Kerouac is the center of JL's (Jean Louise's) mother's obsession, his imposition in their lives is a barrier in their relationship. Leaving JL to find her way through a tangle of emotions, as she navigates her first serious relationship and sexual identity. The story was interesting and realistic. The writing was a joy to read, very fluid and clear. Butterflies are incorporated into the story a reflection of the transformation from a child to metamorphosis into adulthood.
JL learns ...more
The blurb on the front cover of the ARC uses the words "real, raw, emotional" and I agree completely.
If you grew up in the 80s you grew up reading Judy Blume. And while there was the Judy Blume of the middle grade years, there was the next step up of Judy Blume - Tiger Eyes and Forever. Both of those books gave readers a window or a mirror into their lives. A mirror of what existed, maybe in the darkest corners of minds and thoughts, ...more
And I couldn't put this book down.
It's gritty, raw, and deals with some important and tough issues like betrayal (friends/boyfriends/parents), mental illness, adulting/parenting - or the lack of - and finding the strength to face a crisis and make decisions that are empowering and "right" for you.
This may very well be Gae's best book. The writing is nuanced, emotional, and will leave you pondering the choices the characters' make ...more
"I liked how it felt to be out of control, a moth on a carnival ride, ready to be swept off by the wind, every tenuous hair, every ...more
Trigger warnings: mentions of underage sex, attempted coercive sex, mental illness, butterfly deaths.
I always debate whether to give a book I rate 4.5/5 stars four or five stars on here. I'm erring towards 5, because I really loved it and the more I thought about all the elements of it, the more ...more
I tried to like this book, I really did. The cover is beautiful and I loved the idea of a coming of age story about a main character whose mother struggles with mental health as my own did growing up. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations and I had to really push myself to ...more
OK, sometimes I just need to sit on a book (not literally) before I can put my thoughts into words.
First, I LOVE Gae Polisner books. Every. Single. One. And Jack Kerouac Is Dead to Me is no exception. Polisner paints a word picture that gets me every time. There are times I just have to stop and re-read a sentence to appreciate her word craft. One of my favorite things about her writing is that every story is a stand alone, and so different ...more
JL (Jean Louise) Markham is 15 years old, and shes having a tough year. Her father is on a business trip, which keeps getting extended, and her mother has retreated into her own world. JLs best friend Aubrey doesnt seem to have much time for JL anymore: she has made new friends. If it wasnt for the tropical butterflies that JL raises (thanks to her grandmother) life would be bleak. Except for Max.
Max Gordon is JLs 19-year-old boyfriend. Hes about ...more
With JLs father working across country and her mother lost to mental illness, her friendship with Aubrey grounds JL. Puberty and high school and boys draw a wedge between the girls. Now Max has replaced Aubrey as JLs go-to person. Max is graduating and taking the road for LA, and JL wants in.
JACK KERAOUSC IS DEAD TO ME is my first, but certainly not my ...more
Through JL's letter to Aubrey, ...more
When her father sold his business, things were supposed to get better, not worse. But, when his contract took him to California for an extended period of time, JL's mother began to slip deeper and deeper into her depression. Not only did JL have to deal with her dissociative mother, she was also losing her best friend, and being judged harshly for her mother's behavior and for dating an older boy. Though her boyfriend was often her quiet in the storm, he was also a source of ...more
But the story overall doesnt work for me. The teen and adult characters choices are hard to stomach. The plot, pacing and structure read as off-kilter.
Although this particular books a miss for me, I do hope to read more from author Gae Polisner.
Thanks to Gae Polisner, Wednesday Books (St. Martins Press) and Goodreads Giveaways for my ARC.
This is a real coming of age novel. JL makes some questionable decisions along the way and I found myself willing the adults in her life to notice what was going in and ...more
This isn't an easy book to read. As you turn the pages you become immersed in the feelings and confusion of a fifteen-year-old girl and her navigation of the strengths and ...more
Please note that, although I originally tried to assign star-ratings to my book reviews (and, thus, you will see some of my favorite books with stars), I have stopped doing so. A 3-star review, for example, can mean such different things to readers and reviewers, some rarely give more, so 3 means pretty great, to others 3 is ...more