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Suicide Notes

de Michael Thomas Ford

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7103327,069 (3.74)13
Brimming with sarcasm, fifteen-year-old Jeff describes his stay in a psychiatric ward after attempting to commit suicide.
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Es mostren 1-5 de 31 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Trying to figure out how you feel while under pressure to meet your parent's expectations is a pain. Add in losing your only support system and, suddenly, life can feel overwhelming.

When Jeff wakes up in a long-term mental health treatment center, it takes him almost 3 months to figure out what's really behind his sarcastic defense mechanisms.

Michael Thomas Ford threads together sensitive issues facing young adults today with compassion, humor and pathos. Suicide Notes is written to be easily accessible to young readers and old and should be mandatory reading for all families. ( )
  Windyone1 | May 10, 2022 |
When I selected Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford to read, I am not sure that I recalled or ever knew that it was a YA-LGBT novel. Having now devoured it, I repeat my belief that some of the best writing out there today can be found in YA novels.
Fifteen-year-old Jeff finds himself in the psychiatric ward of a hospital, uncertain at first of why he is there.
He soon discovers that he has attempted suicide by cutting his wrists. After finding his nearly lifeless body and getting him to the hospital, Jeff’s parents placed him in the psych ward for 45 days of follow-up treatment. Jeff’s psychiatrist works to identify what led to Jeff’s suicide attempt in the hopes of correcting the situation that led to the attempt. For most of the 45 days, Jeff enters into a sparring match with the doctor, Dr. Katzurpus, whom Jeff refers to as “Dr. Cat Poop,” in which Jeff steadfastly denies that there had been anything wrong leading to his suicide attempt. He claims that he did not know why he had done it and even claims that it was just something to do.
Jeff becomes a part of a small circle of other teens also undergoing treatment for a variety of mental issues. The members of this group change from time to time as some have reached their 45 day limit and others enter the program.
The book’s chapters are brief day-by-day summaries of what Jeff had experienced each day. Over time, he develops relationships of sorts with other group members and each contributes unwittingly to the recovery of the others. Not all of the group members do recover and some end their 45 days with treatment incomplete or unsuccessful at identifying the underlying mental issues of each teenager.
The backgrounds of most of the characters are presented and it is clear that each had faced an enormous demon of one kind or another. Unfortunately, as harrowing as each scenario was, each could well have been a story drawn from real-life.
Predictably, there comes a point at which Jeff begins to actually explore the causes of his suicide attempt and also accept his self-image which had so long been denied. Only then, when better aware of his true nature, does Jeff begin to recover, accepting his sexuality, the underlying cause of his attempted suicide.
Goodreads’ star system bothers me because it asks only that a person assign ratings based on whether or not they liked the book. This system offers no real help to a potential reader. Not every book is for every reader nor will every reader love a book just because others did.
When I rate books, I try to combine liking a book with being impressed with the quality of the writing. Generally, I expect impressive text and perhaps memorable insights combined with lucid, quotable writing.
This book, as a YA novel, did not offer the soaringly beautiful text that I would want in an adult novel. What I did admire in the writing, and why I gave it 5 stars, centered around how the author peeled the onion skins one-by-one quite slowly until the turning point of the novel was reached. That alone, however, would not earn 5 stars. A book of this nature could not succeed without taking the layer-by-layer approach.
What impressed me in the writing was the subtlety of the small, almost unnoticed clues readers get as they encounter each new counseling session between Jeff and Dr. Cat Poop. By the time Jeff has realized his situation and begun to deal with it, the small clues let readers know what Jeff would soon learn. In this sense, the book worked as a very sophisticated mystery novel.
While this novel was a YA novel, its quality and its ability to sustain my interest convinced me that I will be equally impressed with other writing by author Michael Thomas Ford.
( )
  PaulLoesch | Apr 2, 2022 |
Really good book - went a direction I didn't think it was going to go - but knowing the author I should have guessed.

Good book, Michael - I look forward to reading more of your stuff! ( )
  donhazelwood | Mar 11, 2022 |
"You're right," I said trying to sound like I meant it, which was harder than you might think. "I guess I'm just scared."
Cat Poop picked up the notebook again. His finger went right for his glasses and I could tell he thought we were having a breakthrough. "What are you scared of?" he asked me.
I sighed really deeply, like it was totally hard for me to let my feelings out. "Everything," I told him. "I'm scared of everything."
That really got him going. His pencil flew across the paper, and he was nodding like crazy. "What are you most afraid of?" he said.
"I guess being alone," I said. "You know, having no understand me."
He looked up. "You think no one understands you?"
"People THINK they do," I said, "but they don't. There's this whole different me in here, and nobody sees it." I touched my chest and kind of sighed.
The look on his face was priceless. I wish I'd had a camera. He totally bought the whole thing. He didn't know I was basically acting out a scene from a made-for-TV movie I'd seen once. Although in fairness to me, I was putting in some of my own stuff. I mean, I didn't totally rip off The Problem With Nicole.
"Who's inside you, Jeff?" Cat Poop asked.
I waited a while before I answered him. I wanted him to think I was revealing some big secret that only he knew. Then I leaned forward. "A ballerina" I whispered.
"I'm sorry," Cat Poop said. " A what?"
"A ballerina," I said, a little bit louder. "There's a ballerina inside of me."
He sat back in his chair and looked at me. I started talking really fast. "Yeah, see, when i was five or six, my parents took me to see The Nutcracker. It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen."

In case any of you were wondering, that was my favorite part of the book. Well, one of many! I rarely EVER write reviews because no book has really made me sit and think about it for an hour after finishing it. This beautiful piece of literature has so much life and substance, and I could see the characters in the book play out like it was a movie. I was laughing and crying and everything in between through the entire book. All the people who say this book is humorous and funny were RIGHT.I would recommend this to EVERYONE, friends and family, even strangers. It's mix of tragedy and humor came in just the right doses and at just the right moments.

My favorite character in the novel (Guess who?) is Jeff. Jeff's sarcasm and wit had me on edge while reading this book, waiting for his next snarky comment or hilarious thought. I honestly felt that Jeff could be a real person instead of some bland character in a book. At first i honestly thought he was just some sarcastic A-Hole who didn't care about anything (WHAT?? I know!) but as the book carried I started seeing double meaning behind the things he was saying, relating back to an old memory or his situation. Especially when he forms a bond with the young girl Martha. The way he's just THERE for her shines a beautiful light on him and that's when my perspective of him changed. When it was finally revealed that Jeff was gay I wasn't surprised. The author gave a few hints too it when things got hot-n-heavy with Rankin, and when things didn't work out with Sadie.

My second favorite character in this novel is Sadie, a seemingly carefree happy girl with a troubled past. I was incredible sad when she killed herself. Sad for Jeff and mostly for her because she felt that being saved was something that she didn't need. I felt that in this novel Sadie was the back-bone for Jeff, always there to talk and to lighten things up. And at that time, that was what Jeff really needed, especially dealing with the fact that his best-friend wasn't there for him during this crucial part of his life.

Anywhoo, I loved, loved, LOVED this book and I'm glad I found it. If i could i would rate this book 1,000,000 stars because it's just THAT amazing. Thank you Mister Ford for creating a wonderful piece of literature!


Rating: 1 out of 5 stars.
Recommended to: EVERYONE
( )
  krisa_lynn | Dec 14, 2021 |
I get that maybe this is supposed to be progressive, and I see why people praise it, but I don't think that "character who tried to kill himself and won't admit why gets raped at least twice and finally admits that he tried to kill himself because he's gay" is necessarily the greatest plot twist in the world. ( )
  mateoj | Jun 2, 2021 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 31 (següent | mostra-les totes)
afegit per gsc55 | editaGreedy Bug Book Reviews, Cindi (Jul 31, 2013)

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Brimming with sarcasm, fifteen-year-old Jeff describes his stay in a psychiatric ward after attempting to commit suicide.

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Mitjana: (3.74)
1 4
2 13
2.5 4
3 28
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4 48
4.5 6
5 35

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