Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me by Gae Polisner
Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me follows Jean Louise Markham, J.L., a fifteen-year-old girl who is obsessed with butterflies and just trying to figure out her life. Currently her father is on an extended business trip in California, and her mother is suffering with a dissociative disorder. Her best friend Aubrey has two new best friends and is pulling away from her. The only one seemingly on her side is her boyfriend Max, a senior who plans to drive across the country to California on his motorcycle when he graduates. As they get closer to the end of the school year, J.L. decides to join Max on his cross-country, throwing caution to the wind, and risking everything.
Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me is told entirely in the first person from J.L.’s perspective. I really liked her character. She is such a dynamic character. I especially enjoyed listening to her talk about the different types of butterflies she is raising, their lifecycles more or less corresponding to her life.
I liked Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me, but I didn’t love it. I enjoyed how it handled the themes of loneliness and abandonment and I really liked the main character, J.L.. However, I found the plot a bit confusing. It didn’t really seem to be going in any particular direction and felt rather scattered.
Thank you to Netgalley and Wednesday Books for my review copy! All opinions are my own.