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Thursday, March 28, 2013

{REVIEW} Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford

Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Mental Health, Humor
Published: January 25, 2011 by HarperTeen (first published October 1st 2008)
I'm not crazy. I don't see what the big deal is about what happened. But apparently someone does think it's a big deal because here I am. I bet it was my mother. She always overreacts.

Fifteen-year-old Jeff wakes up on New Year's Day to find himself in the hospital. Make that the psychiatric ward. With the nutjobs. Clearly, this is all a huge mistake. Forget about the bandages on his wrists and the notes on his chart. Forget about his problems with his best friend, Allie, and her boyfriend, Burke. Jeff's perfectly fine, perfectly normal, not like the other kids in the hospital with him. Now they've got problems. But a funny thing happens as his forty-five-day sentence drags on—the crazies start to seem less crazy.

Compelling, witty, and refreshingly real, Suicide Notes is a darkly humorous novel from award-winning author Michael Thomas Ford that examines that fuzzy line between "normal" and the rest of us.
Totally funny. I loved the main character, Jeff. I loved his sarcasm, his denial, his guts to try to kill himself, his hidden courage. You can tell that Jeff is a smart person, although he made not-so-smart decisions in the past. He's funny and witty and sarcastic. He's struggling and going through a lot but he still manages to be sassy. It was hilarious every time he talks to his doctor, it makes me crack up. You would expect him to be depressed and down, considering he just woke up from a failed suicide attempt. But no. He manages to get up on his feet and deal with everything in his own ridiculous way. But despite all this humor, Jeff also has a deep side. I enjoyed reading his thoughts and arguments with himself. It was fun reading the book in Jeff's perspective.

I thought at first that it would be a light read and yes, in the beginning, it was. But then when the story develops, it sort of sneaks up on you, showing you the ugly sides of everyone. And I loved it for that. The story was serious but the way it's written was quirky and funny. It came out as a light read, wherein you don't have to feel bad and sorry about everyone and everything because there's always a funny side to it.

My favorite character was Amanda though she wasn't really thoroughly introduced, at least not as much as I would have liked. But still. She matches her brother's wit and humor. And I love that they get along well because sibling rivalry is almost common in YA fiction. I'm glad they're different.

Would I recommend it? DEFINITELY. I think what it taught me was that we often underestimate teenage problems. People don't usually realize that these problems are serious. Teenagers go through a lot and sometimes everything just piles up and boom! Before we know it, they just explode. Believe me, I know.

"How come someone always saves the people who try to kill themselves and makes them tell everyone how sorry they are for ruining their evenings? I keep feeling like everyone wants me to apologize for something. But I'm not going to. I don't have anything to apologize for. They're the ones who screwed everything up. Not me. I didn't ask to be saved."

"...sometimes forgetting how much things hurt makes you do them again."

"What's love anyway? I think it's just something greeting-card makers made up and try to get us to believe in. Between you and me, I'd rather have an Xbox."

"No one ever tells you that when your heart breaks, you can feel it. But you can. It feels like something has crumbled inside you and the pieces are falling into your stomach. It hurts more than any punch ever could. You stop breathing, and for a while you can't remember how. When you finally do, it feels like your throat has closed up, like you're trying to suck air through a straw."

"I read once that a third of gay kids try to kill themselves. They say it's because being gay is so hard in this world. They say that we won't stop trying to kill ourselves until we live in a world where it's okay for a guy to love another guy. That's probably true. But there will never be a world where it's okay to fall in love with your bestfriend's boyfriend."

"...when people hurt us, the best thing to do isn't to ask why they did it but to remind ourselves that it wasn't our fault."

"Isn't falling in love a lot like losing your head?"

“That sounds so weird: “kill yourself.” It makes it sound like you tried to murder someone, only that someone is you. But killing someone is wrong, and I don’t think suicide is. It’s my life, right? I should be able to end it if I want to. I don’t think it’s a sin.”

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Julie @ Books and Insomnia

Julie is a Filipina blogger who pretends she has insomnia so she can stay up late reading. When she's not buried in books, she can be found watching anime, drinking chocolate-flavored instant coffee, lurking on the internet, daydreaming and talking about herself in third person. She loves purple and anything sweet!


  1. I am now your newest follower. Follow back please.
    I hope you will like my page on facebook too.

    Thanks so much! ~Lauren

  2. Thanks for the review! I added it to my TBR pile.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Kay! I hope you enjoy it. :)


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