Book Review #16: Suicide Notes- Michael Thomas Ford


Title: Suicide Notes
Author: Michael Thomas Ford
Publication: October 14th 2008, Harperteen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 295
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0060737557 / 9780060737559

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I’m not crazy. I don’t see what the big deal is about what happened. But apparently someone does think it’s a big deal because here I am. I bet it was my mother. She always overreacts.

Fifteen-year-old Jeff wakes up on New Year’s Day to find himself in the hospital. Make that the psychiatric ward. With the nutjobs. Clearly, this is all a huge mistake. Forget about the bandages on his wrists and the notes on his chart. Forget about his problems with his best friend, Allie, and her boyfriend, Burke. Jeff’s perfectly fine, perfectly normal, not like the other kids in the hospital with him. Now they’ve got problems. But a funny thing happens as his forty-five-day sentence drags on: the crazies start to seem less crazy. 

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“Seven little crazy kids chopping up sticks;
One burnt her daddy up and then there were six.
Six little crazy kids playing with a hive;
One tattooed himself to death and then there were five.
Five little crazy kids on a cellar door;
One went all schizo and then there were four.
Four little crazy kids going out to sea;
One wouldn’t say a word and then there were three.
Three little crazy kids walking to the zoo;
One jerked himself too much and then there were two.
Two little crazy kids sitting in the sun;
One a took a bunch of pills and then there was one.
One little crazy kid left all alone;
He went and slit his wrists, and then there were none.”

Still deciding if I’d give this book a 3 or a 4-star. Let’s stay in 3 stars as of now.

Suicide Notes is a story of a guy, named Jeff who tried to end his life by slitting his wrist in New Year’s Eve and ends up in a psychiatric ward for 45 days. There, he met other patients- crazy patients (as what Jeff thought) who some turned out to be friends and some are foes. And during his stay in the ward, he uncovered secrets not only on other patients, but on himself as well.

“I’m still kind of a mess. But I think we all are. No one’s got it all together. I don’t think you ever do get it totally together. Probably if you did manage to do it you’d spontaneously combust. I think that’s a law of nature. If you ever manage to become perfect, you have to die instantly before you ruin things for everyone else.”

First and foremost, I bought this book because I really have a thing for suicidal topics. Not because I want to try it or anything, but I just want to understand what thoughts were running inside a suicidal patient. Anyway, this book turned out to be funny. And hilarious. 🙂 It’s actually the opposite of what I thought as thrilling and mysterious. During the first days, it started as easy and light, nothing special- just normal days. And when I was half through the book, that’s when the dots were finally connecting; where some parts make sense and makes the story more indulging. The reasons why all those patients in that ward end up there were slowly revealed, and somehow, Jeff was able to face his fears as well. And I can totally relate with Jeff since there are parts of me which I don’t want people to know, and I just like keeping things to myself.

However, there are parts that I wished were further explained, specifically the Rankin-part. It left me confused but thank God that he exits the story because I can’t stand his character at all. He’s a guy whose brain is located at the wrong head, seriously. Nevertheless, I like how some of the parts turned out to be unpredictable. It left me with hanging jaw and bulging eyes. *hihi* Also, the unique and funny characters makes this book a lot more interesting.

“That’s what people do. Kill the things they’re afraid of.”

This book taught about lots of things- family, friends, self-worth, and such, but I’ve learned most that if we need help, there are always people who are willing to lend their hands, and sometimes all we need to do is to ask. After all, asking for help wouldn’t cost you anything.

By the way, I’d like to thank this book for helping me get over my reading slump. At last, after 1 1/2 months, I was able to finish a book again. Yay! 🙂 🙂





Michael Thomas Ford is an American author of primarily of gay-themed books, and he is an author of more than fifty books both for young and adult readers. He is best known for his “My Queer Life” series of humorous essay collections and for his award-winning novels Last SummerLooking for It, Full Circle, Changing Tides and What We Remember. To know more about him, head on to his website.


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