As a child of the 90’s, I have very strong memories of the songs from Alanis Morrissette’s smash record Jagged Little Pill. I remember the music video with Alanis singing Ironic in her car. I also remember Alanis in the rooftop that eventually led to a pie fight in You Learn. And I may have a little too young to fully understand You Oughta Know but that didn’t mean I didn’t love rocking out to it. In 2018, all of this started coming together in the form of a musical. And now in 2022, this is written record of the Jagged Little Pill story.
Jagged Little Pill is an angst fueled look into a suburb in Connecticut. It is told in multiple perspectives and all very interconnected. This story holds discussions on sexuality, race, drugs, alcohol, broken family, adoption, illness, and other important topics. Each character has their own personalities and experiences which leads to varying levels of growth or even lack of growth. These characters had so many challenges, they often struggled to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Eric Smith loves to drop easter eggs in his books and this one is no exception. Finding the Alanis related easter eggs brought me joy while reading. They are just so well placed that if you were more unfamiliar with certain song lyrics, you could miss it and think it was just part of the story. Not having them interrupt the story allowed the story to keep flowing and the anger to keep building.
With so much angst, there were times when the characters frustrated me. I think that this was a good thing as it reminded me that these for the most part were teenage characters who were still growing up. And for those non-teenagers it was a reminder that people are evolving throughout their entire lives. That and the fact that life can get complicated pretty quickly; and it is not always fixed up perfectly either. The tone of the book was filled with ease which I think made the deep topics it covers easier to absorb. The tone made the story even more important.
Jagged Little Pill is targeted as a young adult book but it contains topics which are important for all ages. There are lessons within these pages. Lessons which if put in the right hands could be life saving making someone realize they are not alone. Through this story the legacy that is Alanis Morrissette will be continued with future generations as they will forever be learning.
Rating: 4 Stars
**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**