Suicide Notes
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Suicide Notes

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  6,686 ratings  ·  545 reviews

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 band

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Unknown Binding, 295 pages
Published October 14th 2008 by HarperTeen (first published October 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

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Stephen
This book is an stealthy, cat-like emotional NINJA...

The story started off all whistling and nonchalant like it was going to be a light dose of fluffy teenage angst. Then, halfway through, it crept up behind me, tapped me gently on the feelings and slipped silently into my core to snuggle...Ninja style.

We start off meeting 15 year old Jeff who has just awoken on New Year’s Day after a botched suicide attempt to find himself involuntarily committed to a mental treatment facility for 45 days. Of...more
Wendy Darling
Believe it or not, this is actually a really funny book. You wouldn't think so based on the title and the subject, but 15-year-old Jeff will have you laughing out loud throughout his story. He's in a mental hospital because he tried to slit his wrists on New Year's Eve, he's surrounded by kids who are clearly crazier than he is, and his doctor (nicknamed "Cat Poop") doesn't seem to understand that there's nothing wrong with him and won't leave him alone. Neither will the various patients who com...more
Nancy
Suicide Notes has 45 chapters, each one representing a day in the life of 15-year-old Jeff, who is in the psychiatric ward of a hospital after his suicide attempt on New Year’s Eve.

Trust me; this story is not nearly as depressing as it sounds.

Jeff is quick, witty, sarcastic, and absolutely hilarious as he manages to evade any “real” discussion with his psychiatrist, Dr. Katzrupus, also known as Cat Poop, about what made him try to kill himself.

During his 45-day “sentence”, Jeff learns more ab...more
Circus Princess
"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 playing in the zoo;
One jerked himself too much and then there were two.
Two little crazy kids playing in the sun;
...more
Lisa O.
What struck me most about this book - and unsettled me, to be honest - is the brutality of it, sugarcoated by Jeff's self-deprecating irony, witticism and sarcastic outlook on adolescence. He is one of those characters I particularly appreciate in teen lit for their no-nonsense attitude, for just telling things how they are. An honest, non-emo voice.

The themes approached in this book are not light, despite seemingly narrated in a light-hearted way: teen suicide, familial dysfunctions, personal...more
Flannery
It feels a little weird to say that I felt a book about a 45-day program in a juvenile psychiatric unit was really funny. But it was—in parts. This book, written in journal entries from day one of the program until the last day, focuses on Jeff’s evaluation of why he tried to kill himself. His voice is reminiscent of Holden Caulfield, only he doesn’t call everyone phonies—just whackjobs.

Jeff introduces us to the other young adults in the unit, some of whom come and go during his stay. He also h...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 2.5* of five

All the points are for the ending, which is entirely worth the long, tedious, acne-inducing slog to get there.

Seriously...does the world NEED to hear about adolescence anymore? Is there something we missed, as adults, while going through that training ground for evil demons called "junior high" (that's middle school for the under-fifty set)? If so, is it something that we actually *need*?

Basically...no more. No no no. Poke me with a fork, I'm done.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under...more
Catie
Aug 30, 2011 Catie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Catie by: Maja, Flannery, Jo
Shelves: read-in-2011, ya, lgbt
This is a very successful and fully realized first person point of view. Jeff’s feelings and experiences are enveloping. In some ways I feel like the major themes in this book need to be spoiled, because it will attract more readers. But on the other hand, I think that it was a real stroke of genius for the author to leave us in the dark. Jeff would rather forget and reject himself, and so by extension, do we. We only come to realize what Jeff is going through in small degrees, which perfectly m...more
Nina
I used to think this was sort of a contemporary YA cult, for some reason, but I just realised that not many of my friends have read it. In any case, it should be a cult, if nothing else because it's a book that can help. It can help teens understand themselves and others and it can help adults understand teens.

It's divided in 45 chapters, one for each day Jeff spends in the psychiatric ward of a hospital following his failed (duh) suicide attempt, but it feels like 45 minutes. I gobbled it up in...more
Thomas
Jeff isn't crazy. He isn't like all the nut jobs in the psych ward he finds himself in. He doesn't use drugs to get high, and he doesn't have an eating disorder that makes him throw up his latest meal every ten seconds. However, he does have bandages covering his wrists like a mummy and he does recall getting into an argument with his best friend Allie, and he's pretty sure it had something to do with her boyfriend Burke. While Jeff spends the next forty-five days in the hospital under a special...more
Jo
Jul 20, 2011 Jo rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jo by: MaWen
4.5 stars.

“It’s a really crappy feeling to realize that your entire outlook on your life can be controlled by some little pill that looks like a Pez, and that some weird combination of drugs can make your brain think it’s on a holiday somewhere really sweet when actually you’re standing naked in the middle of the school cafeteria while everyone is takes pictures of you. Metaphorically. Or whatever.”

High Points.
I actually choked with laughter on my panad at approximately 90% of this book. The oth...more
Brooke

Let me tell you something, seeing your name and psychiatric ward on the same piece of paper isn’t the best way to start your day.


Suicide Notes was a quick, witty, funny yet raw novel about Jeff, a 15 year old boy who attempted to commit suicide. After being admitted to a psychiatric hospital, Jeff has been told he will be completing a 45 day program to help understand and treat his mental health 'issues' and get his life back on track.

Jeff was sarcastic and straight forward, his thoughts were no...more
Kat (Le Pauvre Cœur)
Jul 20, 2013 Kat (Le Pauvre Cœur) rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: People who aren't squeamish with major teenage issues
Recommended to Kat (Le Pauvre Cœur) by: Circus Princess

Jeff wakes up one morning to find himself in a mental health clinic with his wrists bandaged. As it turns out, he's been put into a 45-day program at the clinic after he attempted to commit suicide.
Jeff meets the other patients, who he finds all to be crazy and totally not like him. I mean, he's not crazy, right? According to what he tells his doctor, he didn't even have a reason to kill himself.
As the weeks pass, he grows to like the other crazies in the clinic and realizes thing about himsel...more
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susanne
Jeff is not crazy. Or that’s what he tells himself when he finds himself in the psychiatric ward of the hospital. He tried to kill himself by slitting his wrists, only he doesn’t say why. Jeff encounters the world of the ward, and watches himself and other teenagers in his group therapy sessions grow…or fall apart. He borders the fine line of crazy and just confused. You get to watch as Jeff struggles to admit why he tried to kill himself, and why Jeff is troubled. Along the way you meet a lot o...more
Wigs
May 02, 2013 Wigs rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: queer
It's a really quick read, written as a diary of a suicidal boy's stay in a psychiatric ward rehab program. I'm not sure if this is a spoiler or not seeing as it doesn't come up til about halfway through but if you notice by the genres on goodreads, this is a queer themed book. I was pleasantly surprised by the sex scenes, it was a bit more than I expect from YA so I was like "oh my" when I was there reading it on public transportation and that was enjoyable, haha. What I didn't like was the fact...more
Rachael
I'll say it flat out: I detested this book. If I had read it ten or fifteen years ago, I may have thought it was okay, but this isn't the early nineties anymore. Gay kids don't always have to hate themselves and try to commit suicide. Even if it does actually happen sometimes in real life, isn't it better to STOP writing books about how troubled and messed up gay kids are, and focus instead on writing books about how gay kids lead, I don't know, happy and productive lives? Think Alex Sanchez, Da...more
Whitney
I chose this book because it got my attition. The genre of this book is Realaistic. Suicide notes take place in a metal hospital. Jeff tried to kill himself and his mom found him almost dead in his bathroom because there was blood all over the floor and outside the door and so his mom went and found him... he was put into the mental hospital for 45 days. Jeff is very friendly toward everyone. On new years jeff had drank at a party and did something really bad and so he went home and tried to kil...more
Lottie Eve
4.5 Stars!

Oh, Suicide Notes... This novel was like a little box filled with all kinds of different emotions. Laughter, anger, sadness, heartbreak, confusion, laughter, and more. Suicide Notes was able to bring out so many different emotions. And yes, I know that I wrote laughter twice, but seriously, this book is hilarious. You really wouldn't think that a story with such sad things in it could be so funny, but Ford managed to form a meaningful story that is as funny as it is full of impact.

"Ma...more
Abby Johnson
On New Year's Day Jeff is taken to a psychiatric ward because he tries to kill himself. Jeff insists that he's not crazy - he doesn't see why everyone can't just get over it and leave him alone - but he's enrolled in a 45-day program at the hospital. He has to endure group therapy and sessions with Dr. Katzrupus (whom he nicknames Cat Poop). Jeff keeps insisting there's nothing wrong, but as his stay progresses and he gets to know some of the other kids on the ward Jeff just might start to figur...more
Cindi
4.5 stars


Full review can be found at Greedy Bug Book Reviews.


Suicide Notes is told in first person from Jeff's point of view. Jeff has been placed in a psychiatric facility for forty-five days after a suicide attempt. Each day at the facility is chronicled in Jeff's own words. While the subject of the book is quite serious (and should be taken as such) there are a few humorous parts as well. Jeff is a typical fifteen-year-old boy and his words and actions prove this. There is an interesting cas...more
Eric
Think, "Boy, Interrupted." Jeff slit his wrists, and now he's in the psych ward. He's got 45 days to process what he's going through, along with all the other whacked out kids that are in the ward with him.

Knowing the author, and the recommended blurbs on the back I could guess from the title what Jeff's motivation was to commit suicide. When I was his age I felt much the same thing. It's not very preachy, though the ending was a little too neat and tidy for me. You don't always just walk away...more
mrsj
This is not what I had expected.
This is funny, interesting and heartwarming.
The author did a great job keeping us glued to the book, going on by it's day-by-day entry by our 15 y/o male protagonist, Jeff.
And the people Jeff met at the hospital after his new year's fiasco.

I thought I knew better, but I was proven otherwise.
People are not just mad because they are mad. Not because their fuse had blown.
They are not depressed because they are depressed. Not because they had ran out of happy juices.
T...more
Emma Sea
Just not my book. I couldn't connect with the MC. Not the author's fault, I'm hardly the target market. At least I found the writing lovely: beautiful rhythms in his words, and I really dug his short sentence structure.
G
This is a great, great read with some sadness lurking below the dark humor. I thought it was killer!
Zabet The Dark Empress of Dark Chocolate

This and other reviews can be found on Reading Between Classes

Cover Impressions: The cover is simple, clean and to the point. It isn't something that would normally attract me to pick up a book, but after having read it, I like it.

The Gist: Jeff has been sentenced to 45 days in a psych ward following an attempted suicide. Despite his insistence that he is not a "nut job", he must endure therapy and group with other kids that society has deemed disturbed. As time goes on the patients start to se...more
S
I'm not a huge fan of books that talk right to the reader--the ones where the narration is straight out of the character's head. Mostly because that approach generally isn't done well. However, in this instance, it was well enough done that it wasn't that distracting to me (although I kept realizing how much my way of thinking has changed since I was the main character's age, and that's...odd). That alone merits one whole thumb up.

I've read plenty of teen-almost-suicides novels before and I did...more
Aaron
The novel opens with 15-year-old Jeff waking up and finding himself in the hospital. He is in the psychiatric ward, where he must stay for the next 45 days, because his parents found him after he tried to commit suicide by slitting his wrists. The hope is that the stay will allow him to be stabilized enough to go home.

Jeff is a fun and snarky character, who brings the reader into the setting with fresh eyes. The novel is written in the form of a journal, where each chapter is a daily entry in wh...more
Tânia
The “Suicide Notes” are journal entries from Jeff, a 15 year old boy who tries to commit suicide on New Year’s Eve and wakes up on New Year’s Day in a psychiatric ward to learn that he’ll be spending the next 45 day programm enduring group therapy and counselling with Dr. Katzrupus, aka Cat Poop, often alternated by sessions with his family. Everyone acts seriously but Jeff only wants to get it over with so they can finally realize it’s all a big misunderstanding. He’s not crazy, right?

Resemblin...more
Leslie Nicoll
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Michael Thomas Ford is the author of more than fifty books, for both young readers and adults, in genres ranging from humor to horror, literary fiction to nonfiction. As a writer for young adults he is the author of the popular "Circle of Three" series (writing as Isobel Bird); nonfiction books about spirituality (Paths of Faith), the AIDS crisis (Voices of AIDS), and the gay community (The World...more
More about Michael Thomas Ford...
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“That's what people do. Kill the things they're afraid of.” 111 likes
“So now I'm thinking about it. I'm imagining sitting down with my parents and actually saying, "I'm gay." And you know what? It makes me a little mad. I mean, straight guys don't have to sit their parents down and tell them they like girls.” 108 likes
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