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 struggling with her mental illness, JL takes solace 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?
Gae Polisner’s Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me is a story about the fragility of female friendship, of falling in love and wondering if you are ready for more, and of the glimmers of hope we find by taking stock in ourselves.
Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me by Gae Polisner is a beautiful and emotional coming-of-age story about two childhood friends who have grown apart over the years. Both JL and Aubrey are each attempting to overcome their circumstances in order to feel some kind of semblance to happiness. JL's struggles with her absentee parents while trying to maintain a connection with her grandmother, the giver of JL's beloved butterflies, and Max,
This book is beautifully written and brings back distant feelings that one can really only experience as a young teenager. The reader feels the ups and downs of growing up right along with JL - especially the estrangement she feels in regards to Aubrey. Polisner portrays the emotions of those emerging years in such a beautiful and tragic way.