“Suicide Notes” by Michael Thomas Ford
Publisher’s Synopsis: 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.
5 out of 5 stars
(Warning – could be triggering. i.e. self harm, suicide)
Suicide Notes is a wickedly funny, sarcastic, and heartbreaking sad story about a 15 year old boy who attempts suicide on New Year’s Eve. He is found unconscious by his parents and admitted to a 45 day inpatient program in a psyche ward.
The book is 45 chapters long, each chapter representing one day of Jeff’s treatment. He’s not sure why he is there as there is absolutely nothing wrong with him. He was bored is the answer when asked about the bandages on his wrists, nothing else. Jeff spends much of his day in therapy with the other kids in the ward, and hates doing all the forced stuff with the “crazies”. His therapy sessions with Dr. Cat Poop are useless as there is nothing wrong with him.
Jeff’s sarcasm and humor are his defense mechanism and his safety net. He doesn’t let anyone get too close and in that respect is the average 15 year old boy. As his time passes in the ward, he is forced to look at himself and his truths and why he tried to kill himself.
There are some graphic sex scenes and details about the other characters that I feel move this book out of the YA category. My favorite passage in the book is, “And just because your life isn’t as awful as someone else’s, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck. You can’t compare how you feel to the way other people feel. It just doesn’t work. What might look like the perfect life – or even an okay life – to you might not be so okay for the person living it.”
I love this book. Love, love, love this book. The writing is so believable and real. The pain is just as real and left me in tears at the end of the book. I also love the fact that is book supports the Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis intervention to LGBTQ youth.
Go. Read this. Right now.