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Posts Tagged ‘Jack Kerouac Is Dead To Me’

There was a time, when I went through a YA phase and read many YA books. Then one day, suddenly, like a switch was flipped off, my YA phase got over. I still read a YA book occasionally, but such occasions are rare. I make an exception, when one of my favourite YA writers, Gae Polisner, publishes a new book. A new book from her comes out once every two years, and it is a time I look forward to. Gae Polisner’s new book ‘Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me‘ came out recently and I was excited to read it.

The story is narrated by fifteen year old JL. She talks about her life, her parents, and her best friend Aubrey. At some point it looks like something happened between her and Aubrey and things are not the same now. The story moves back and forth between multiple time periods as we discover how JL and Aubrey become close friends and how things get complicated. At one point, JL meets Max, who is tall, dark and handsome, and they both are deeply attracted to each other. Max is older than JL, doesn’t care much about school, reads a lot, and quotes poetry. He is cool and sophisticated. He makes us think of Jesse from ‘Gilmore Girls’, whom, many of us, TV show addicts, fell in love with. While JL and Max are going strong, there is trouble brewing at home, as JL’s mother’s health keeps deteriorating and her father is not around. How all these strands come together and what happens in the end, forms the rest of the story.

Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me‘ is about navigating a complex life as a teenager, about friendship and love and heartbreak. It is also about the relationship between parents and children. It is also about butterflies. One of the things I loved about the book is when JL talks about how she raises different kinds of butterflies in her home. It is one of the most beautiful parts of the book. There is a Jezebel butterfly which is one of the cool characters in the book. Another beautiful thing about the book is the gorgeous cover. I wish I had got the hardback edition to see that cover in person. But unfortunately, because of the times we are living in, with the mail system suspended, I had to settle for the Kindle edition. The ending of the book was surprising, even heartbreaking, and I didn’t see that coming, but there was also a ray of sunshine in the end.

I enjoyed reading ‘Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me‘. Have you read it? What do you think about it?

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