Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

April 28, 2011
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There is an invisible, metaphorical line that most young adult fiction chooses not to cross for fear of being overly explicit. This, however, is not true for Suicide Notes. The book draws the reader in immediately despite the unconventional subject matter.

Suicide Notes opens by introducing the world to the protagonist, a teenager named Jeff, who has been admitted to a mental hospital for attempting suicide on New Year's Eve. Ford takes the reader on a whirlwind journey through Jeff's eyes as he meets other kids with similar issues and deals with the psychiatrist who is trying to help him (whether Jeff realizes it or not).

The prose has the elegant-yet-aloof tone of a teenage boy and is a breath of fresh air in a literary world where all the characters are stamped from the same mold. Jeff's voice rings true and clear. It's entertaining to read the events through his mind. He has a unique way of looking at the world.

The novel, however, not only deals with the topic of teenage suicide, but also with the ­difficult, complex subject of sexuality. Ford depicts homosexuality, which Jeff struggles to come to terms with, as something normal and accepted, instead of unthinkable and foreign. Suicide Notes is able to make something beautiful from something normally regarded with hesitation or ­disdain.

Ford chose not to candycoat things most authors would. ­Instead, he shows them in their complex, awkward, taboo glory. This alone sets Suicide Notes apart from the majority of young adult fiction.

Suicide Notes is a ground-breaking, inspirational, gorgeously composed novel. While it's not intended for younger audiences, and though it contains the occasional bout of harsh language, I feel mature-minded people should give it a shot. It shows love and perfection, despite all faults, no matter who, or what, you are.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

Lindsey_Joyner said...
Sept. 25, 2014 at 10:34 am
I Love this book! Favorite yet.
mickeymouseclubhouse replied...
May 10, 2016 at 9:15 am
me too I can totally relate !!!!!!!$$$$$@@@$
guardian2013 said...
Sept. 8, 2014 at 9:43 pm
the book is just amazing how it hlds you there throu jeff's perspective and the surprises brought tears
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