When I first saw the author’s name on this book, I thought, “There is no way it’s the same Michael Thomas Ford.”‘  I have known about Michael Thomas Ford’s (very) adult works for years, but I didn’t think he would ever write a young adult novel.’  He has, and I have to say, I was pretty impressed.

Suicide Notes is narrated by Jeff, who we soon find out is narrating from the psychiatric ward of a local hospital.’  As far as Jeff is concerned he’s fine, just fine, despite the bandages from where he tried to slit his wrists.’  Obviously, Jeff is not fine, but he’s also quite reluctant to talk about or even acknowledge the events that landed him in the hospital in the first place. He’s much more interested in telling the reader about his fellow patients and their day-to-day dramas.’  The hospital’s tough yet sympathetic psychiatrist, Dr. K., isn’t as willing to let Jeff ignore the course of events that drove him to suicide; before Jeff can go home he will have to face a part of himself he’s buried and denied.’  Jeff is ready to keep denying everything until some’  late-night encounters with another patient make him see that he can’t, not unless he wants to be suicidal forever.

Jeff’s narrative is both funny and heartbreaking.’  Although Jeff is close to his sister, his parents’ ignorance of Jeff’s problems will make the reader feel bad for him and wonder how love can be so ignorant.’  The content here is most definitely for older teens, showcasing Ford’s experience and talent in writing erotica.’  The start of this book is a little slow, but readers who stick with Jeff will find themselves rooting for him, wanting him to get better, face up to his problems, and move back into his life.’  It’s a good next-read for those who liked Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern.

About Carlie Webber

YA Services Librarian for the Bergen County Cooperative Library System in Hackensack, NJ. Devoted to classic rock, vintage jewelry, and two adorable cats.

4 Thoughts on “Books to Watch Out For: Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford

  1. Rena on May 26, 2009 at 10:37 pm said:

    I read the first paragraph of this book and I was hooked. My heart racing and my brain not being able to process the reading fast enough. I am desperate to ge this book, and read it to the end. Even though suicide is a touchy topic for me, within the first few pages I read I was trying to repress my smile and giggleing.

  2. Eric on May 28, 2009 at 5:50 pm said:

    Every young adult should be required to read this book! Amazing!

  3. i loved the book. it is definately my all time favorite. ive never read a book better. :0 jeffs personality absolutley kept me reading from day to day, class period to class period, i never wanted to put the book down. ive read it a total of 4 times, i love it so much.
    to anybody who hasnt read the book. i suggest reading it, and youll fall in love with jeff, and the other characters in the book.
    sadie seems like a very cheerful person, but it was a real tragedy when she killed herself.
    i enjoyed the poem she wrote, though. it was very contradictory, in a way. how she watched everyone, and their actions, and the way they felt.
    she watched it all, and wrote them and their problems down into a poem, that i love very much.

  4. i absolutly love this book! i am 13 and i have gone through about atleast 95% of what all of the characters went through.i felt like i had friends when i picked up this book i never wanted to put it down and i never wanted it to end i cryed when sady died…

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