Author: Lynn Weingarten
Publish Date: 7 July 2015
Audience: Young adult
(N.B. This book deals with heavy and potentially upsetting issues such as suicide and sexual harassment)
I discovered ‘Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls’ when it was first released last year, promoted as a best-seller in Waterstones, and the blurb immediately captured my attention. Ever since I have been excited to delve into this novel and after finishing yet another classic, a young adult story was greatly needed.
Unfortunately, I was not as impressed with ‘Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls’ as I was anticipating. The first fault that stood out to me was the writing style; it is occasionally convoluted, in the ironic sense that it aspires to be a little too simplistic. Maybe this is because I have become accustomed to the works of Austen and Bronte, but regardless it definitely took something away from my experience.
The first half of the novel features countless mini cliff-hangers which undoubtedly left me wanting more, but were extremely anticlimactic; solutions to these problems were either disappointingly trivial or very cliché. Contrastingly, the second half bombards the reader with reveal after reveal, which were undeniably surprising, but often over-dramatic and occasionally confusing. To tell the truth, I am still perplexed by the events of the last two chapters, and unfortunately not in the pleasantly ambiguous sense – it didn’t keep me guessing, it simply bemused me.
That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed the plot as a whole. It is complex, and the grandest plot twists are unusual and unique for a young adult novel. Surprisingly for myself, I read the whole book in a mere 3 days, proving that it is a true page turner.
Despite the short(-ish) length, it is easy to develop a strong connection with the main characters. Their captivating back stories and prominent personalities are the most interesting feature of the novel, reinforced by the flashbacks and alternate points of view which help to really get inside the characters’ heads. Delia is a delight of a protagonist, and the constant metaphor connecting her with fire is truly wonderful.
In summary, ‘Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls’ was a bit of a disappointment. I desperately wanted to like it more than I did as it is evidently packed with potential, but the latter half was far too complex to understand. Having said that, I still managed to develop an emotional attachment to both the compelling characters and the idea of the plot, which is truly what got me through this otherwise disenchanting novel.
Next read: ‘It’s Not Me, It’s You’ by Jon Richardson