Friday, October 4, 2013

Suicide Notes - Michael Thomas Ford Review (Nikki)

Book: Suicide Notes

Author: Michael Thomas Ford

Genre: YA, realistic fiction, GLBT, contemporary, mental illness

Book 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.

Book Review: 
There’s a fine line between “normal” people and the people who end up in psych wards. Suicide Notes dives into that line, examining it by following Jeff through his visit. Honestly, this is a book I really wish I’d bought instead of getting from the library (though I did keep it far longer than I should have, oops). The characters entranced me in a way I could never imagine happening, particularly Sadie and Bone. But they were all lovable in their own, unique way. The story was so hauntingly beautiful, involving so much pain and so many broken hearts, but the ending was fitting. Maybe it wasn’t what you expect when you start the book, but it’s perfect, and it feels so real. Suicide Notes made me realize that maybe we aren’t meant to get back to who we were before a break, maybe we’re meant to heal, to move on with our lives and be better than the people we were before. It wasn’t what I expected when I plucked it off the shelf, but it was such a beautiful book that I’m glad I did.

Favorite Quotes: 
“So now I'm thinking about it. I'm imagining sitting down with my parents and actually saying, "I'm gay." And you know what? It makes me a little mad. I mean, straight guys don't have to sit their parents down and tell them they like girls.”

“That's what people do. Kill the things they're afraid of.”

“I'm still kind of a mess. But I think we all are. No one's got it all together. I don't think you ever do get it totally together. Probably if you did manage to do it you'd spontaneously combust. I think that's a law of nature. If you ever manage to become perfect, you have to die instantly before you ruin things for everyone else.” 

“I’ve been thinking about that ever since. Am I lucky? Am I lucky that I didn’t die? Am I lucky that, compared to the other kids here, my life doesn’t seem so bad? Maybe I am, but I have to say, I don’t feel lucky. For one thing, I’m stuck in this pit. 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 didn’t ask to be saved.”

“Anyone can be crazy. That's usually just because there's something screwed up in your wiring, you know? But suicide is a whole different thing. I mean, how much do you have to hate yourself to want to just wipe yourself out?” 

“It will go away... The stuff in your head. Little by little.” 

“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.” 

“Now I just have these reddish scars there. I guess I always will, although Goody says they’ll fade over time. I don’t know if I want them to fade. That probably sounds totally freaky, but part of me doesn’t want to forget what it felt like, even though it hurt. If I forget about the pain, I might also forget that it was a really stupid idea to do it in the first place.” 

“Seven little crazy kids chopping up sticks;
One burnt her daddy up and then there were six.
Six little crazy kids playing with a hive;
One tattooed himself to death and then there were five.
Five little crazy kids on a cellar door;
One went all schizo and then there were four.
Four little crazy kids going out to sea;
One wouldn't say a word and then there were three.
Three little crazy kids walking to the zoo;
One jerked himself too much and then there were two.
Two little crazy kids sitting in the sun;
One a took a bunch of pills and then there was one.
One little crazy kid left all alone;
He went and slit his wrists, and then there were none.” 

All in All: 
I had to limit myself with the quotes I selected for this book. If you knew me, you’d know how rarely that happens. But if you see this book on a shelf somewhere, you find it in a store, you find it on amazon or ebooks, grab it quick. This the best book I’ve ever read and I highly advise that you read it.

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