A Stunning YA Contemporary | Review: Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me by Gae Polisner

6:30 AM

What an impressive novel--Gae Polisner really did THAT. And it goes without saying... I loved Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me.

Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me 
by Gae Polisner 

Fifteen-year-old JL Markham's 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. Together, they were unstoppable. But they aren't the friends they once were.

With JL's father gone on long term business, and her mother suffering from dissociative disorder, JL takes solace in the in the tropical butterflies she raises, and in her new, older boyfriend, Max Gordon. Max may be rough on the outside, but he has the soul of a poet (something Aubrey will never understand). Only, Max is about to graduate, and he's going to hit the road - with or without JL.

JL can't bear being left behind again. But what if devoting herself to Max not only means betraying her parents, but permanently losing the love of her best friend? What becomes of loyalty, when no one is loyal to you?

Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me by Gae Polisner 
Rating: ★★★★    
As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my participation in the blog tour/my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. 

First thing's first: Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me is one of my favourite YA contemporary releases of the year so far. Just wanted to get that out of the way, first. Because, truly, I was blown away with this one. Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me is more than your standard contemporary and even more than just another pretty cover. This is one of those coming in age stories that will surely leave a mark on readers of all ages for one way or another.

Something about Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me pulled me from the start.

Perhaps it was the magnetic need for something that felt real. Or, perhaps it was my own personal brand of nostalgia. Whatever the cause, whatever the reason, I felt as though this novel had an almost hypnotic quality to it. I didn't want something super fluffy, though I didn't want something that was overly harsh. I wanted something striking and emotional and real.

And, boy, did Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me deliver.

There was this buzzing quality to the prose that felt strikingly familiar. Almost like the haze of summertime or the brush of that time of life where everything is in screaming colour. This was not a novel that glossed over anything and, of course, tackled a variety of real life topics. Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me packed a serious punch and left me feeling as if I'd read something truly special. Which, frankly, I did.

Not only was this a compelling story that felt true to life and painted an honest portrayal of its cast of characters, it was truly beautifully written. This should definitely be at the top of your YA reading list this spring and summer: I cannot sing Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me's praises enough. Gae Polisner is definitely somebody I will be looking out for in the future and you should be, too.

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