Tag Archives: suicide

The Mothers, by Brit Bennett

The MothersThe Mothers by Brit Bennett

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Mothers was an enjoyable read with a disappointing ending. The lack of a complete narrative arc left me wondering what the point of the story was, and in fact I wondered whether it was written as a cautionary tale for those considering abortion. Though the message was not actively anti-abortion, the teenaged abortion in this story seems to have left an indelible mark on the prospective mother, father, grandparents, friends and an entire church for years to come. Then again, the protagonist’s mother, who was apparently depressed over her fate which was decided at a young age due to an unplanned pregnancy, committed suicide. Maybe the message is just not to risk an unplanned pregnancy because you’re damned either way. The story was well-written, but felt unfinished. ~ Ms Dimmick

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Student Review: Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher (reviewed by Tiffany W.)

Thirteen Reasons WhyThirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY by Jay Asher is a tragic story about Hannah Baker, a girl who commits suicide and leaves behind 7 cassette tapes for thirteen people to listen to. Hannah threatens that if these tapes aren’t sent to each person in chronological order, she’ll have someone release a second set of tapes to the public. Within these tapes, she explains how these thirteen people are the thirteen reasons why she took her own life. She explains how she was used and tormented by horrible people. The story follows Clay Jensen, one of Hannah’s reasons, and his reaction to hearing her story from her perspective. When Clay first gets the tapes, he’s shocked that he’s listening to Hannah’s last words on tape. Through the night, Clay listens to the tapes on his friend’s walkman. He strolls around the city to the various places marked on the map that was given to him with the tapes. There are very serious topics discussed in this book, such as rape, suicide, and depression. People should definitely read this novel just for the experience. Depression and suicide aren’t really topics that are openly talked about, especially if one experiences it firsthand. The book also talks about signs of suicide that one could apply to everyday life. Reading this would give someone that doesn’t suffer from suicidal thoughts insight on the real hardships some people go through. On the other hand, this book probably isn’t suited for people that are easily triggered by these topics. ~ Student: Tiffany W.

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Filed under *Student Review, Contemporary Realistic Fiction, Mystery

Student Review: For One More Day, by Mitch Albom (reviewed by Julia C.)

For One More DayFor One More Day by Mitch Albom

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What would you do if you could spend a day with a loved one that has passed? Well, in Mitch Albom’s For One More Day, the main character Charlie takes you through the moment that changed his life forever, the reunion with his dead mother. This book is an extravagant story about the relationship between a mother and son. This book illustrates the importance of family and how family can be someone’s key to happiness. When Charlie was a child he made a mistake to be a father’s boy instead of a mother’s boy, only to realize that his father was going to leave him. Several years later when he is a grown man, his daughter does not allow him to come to her wedding. All the events and mistakes he made in his life lead to him taking his own life. A failed attempt of suicide leads to him finding his long gone mother, Posey, alone in his house, alive! With his mother being back, he gets a second chance for a better childhood to make up for his regretful mistakes. As their relationship grows throughout the one day they are together, she urges him to get his life back on track and gain a better relationship with his daughter. Charlie expresses to his mother that he, “made the wrong choice.” Referring to his choice between his mother and father. Posey responds to her son saying, “A child should never have to choose.” Charlie finally realizes that his mother was always the one that he loved and admired, as Posey knows that he was pressured into the choice between mother and father. Charlie finally comes to a conclusion that the relationship with his mother is the most important thing, for it was the one thing that could give Charlie a better life. I would highly recommend this book to anyone. It is sad, a little bit funny, and a beautiful story about the relationship between a mother and her son. ~ Student: Julia C.

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Student Review: For One More Day, by Mitch Albom (reviewed by Carly A.)

For One More DayFor One More Day by Mitch Albom

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Over the course of Charlie’s life he never knew how lucky he was until it was all gone. He had a mother who loved him dearly and a father who pushed him to play baseball. Being like any other kid, he pushed his parents away. The bad habits of taking things for granted pushed over into his adult life. While trying to pursue a baseball career, Charlie’s mother dies from a heart attack. Soon after her death Charlie’s wife and daughter leave him. He found out about his daughters wedding “in a brief letter which arrived at my apartment a few weeks after the event” (6). He is left depressed, addicted to alcohol, lonely and thinks about suicide. After struggling with these issues, Charlie decides it is time to end his life. He goes back to his hometown to end his life where it all began. After a suicide attempt not ending according to plan, Charlie is left with one more chance to reconnect with his mother. Reconnecting with his mom shows him that it is important to always have a relationship with your family because at the end of the day they are the ones that care for you most. It was interesting to read a book that deals with adult suicide because I usually read suicide books that deal with kids. I would completely recommend this book because like I said before I have only read books about teen suicide, so it was interesting to read about adult suicide. ~ Student: Carly A.

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Student Review: Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes (reviewed by Tema S.)

Me Before YouMe Before You by Jojo Moyes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How do you persuade someone to keep living over the course of six months? Maybe through adventure, or love, or force… This is the challenge that Louisa Clark takes on in the beginning of JoJo Moyes’ Me Before You. With both a comedic and captivating storyline, Me Before You is a wonderfully written book about finding ways to move past one’s restrictions and escape or embrace the frustrations of life.

After losing her stable and long-lived job at a café in Britain, Louisa takes on a new one that ends up affecting not just the six months she’s been hired, but ultimately, the rest of her life. While trying to dissuade Will Traynor from settling on assisted suicide, Louisa looks at the world from a new angle and comes to understand what it’s like to live without access to all four limbs. Determined to show Will, a stubborn and bitter quadriplegic, the many activities that he can still take part in, Louisa goes on an internal journey, overcoming obstacles and learning to let go. Meanwhile, Will also educates her about all of the things and places she’s been missing out on. Conclusively, he teaches her to broaden her mind, while she teaches him to alleviate his pent-up pain and anger.

Using Louisa’s, Will’s parents, and a few other perspectives, Moyes manages to make each character accessible and easy to empathize with. Not only is switching between the characters an interesting writing technique, but it also enables the reader to comprehend more of the tangled emotions they are all feeling, which makes each character’s actions more apprehensible.

Overall, JoJo Moyes’ witty and heart-numbing Me Before You is most definitely worth reading. With the combination of laughable dialogue and tear-worthy scenes, this book deserves to be read by all. ~ Student: Tema S.

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Student Review: Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie, by David Lubar (review by Roee G.)

Sleeping Freshmen Never LieSleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

When I saw the cover and title, the only thing I wanted to do was to read the book. Now the only thing I want to do is warn other people not to read the book. David Lubar’s Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie successfully bored me to death with its magnificently dull plot. Firstly, the author’s style is horrendous. The main character, Scott Hudson, is an average kid with nothing special about him. Dedicated solely to depict Scott’s journey throughout freshmen year, this book is terrible. I personally despised how the book consisted of multiple diary entries, all of which are addressed to Scott’s unborn sibling. The author tried too hard to recreate a teenager and ended up creating a mess. Secondly, Scott writes his diary entries with an unbelievable and unmatchable level of immaturity. Scott consistently greets his sibling with stupid names and references like when Scott says, “Hey, toe sucker” (199). It is even more humiliating when Scott says, “Hey, you fluid-dwelling piece of protoplasm” (55). This book is supposed to be humorous but instead it’s one of the worst reads I’ve ever had. Referring to his unborn sibling as a “fluid-dwelling piece of protoplasm” (55), Scott merely embarrasses himself over and over. Is that supposed to be funny? Grow up, Scott! Why did he refer to his sibling as a “toe sucker”? It was phrases like these that made me lose respect for Scott and this book. At home, my eyes closed as I write this review, I realized that the bottom line is that it is better to get hit by a truck than to read this book.–Student: Roee G.

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Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons WhyThirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was really hesitant to read this book. After all, thirteen reasons seems like a lot to grapple with when you’re talking about teen suicide. Once you start, however, there’s no stopping. That’s what happened to Clay when he got the tapes. The thirteen audio tapes Hannah Baker recorded before she killed herself (yes, tapes, but don’t worry, this is a current story. Tapes are all Hannah could find to record her reasons on. All thirteen sides). Once the shoebox of tapes arrives in the mail, and Clay starts to listen, he can’t stop. He needs to figure out why he’s on the list of 13 people Hannah sent the tapes to. What did he do? The story is an told as an interwoven narrative between Hannah’s recorded voice and Clay’s reaction and the flashback memories that the tape triggers. The more we learn about Clay through his reactions, the more we hope that there is some mistake. He seems too nice to be be “a reason,” especially compared with the cruel and thoughtless characters revealed on each side of the tape. Plus, he liked Hannah. A lot.

Now you have to read it to, without stopping. Just like Clay. That’s the only way you’ll find out.

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The Burn Journals, by Brent Runyon

Book cover image of The Burn Journals from goodreads.com

book cover image from goodreads.com

Shocking, true story of a failed suicide attempt that ends with 85% of Brent Runyon’s eighth grade body burned. A tale of his struggle to understand and recover. Hard to read, but compelling.

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Filed under Biography/memoir, Nonfiction