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3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,203 ratings  ·  159 reviews
Jersey Hatch can't remember if he rammed the car into his parents' house.
He can't remember why his best friend won't speak to him.
He can't remember the right words to have a real conversation. And he can't remember why he tried to shoot his own head off.

Broken in both mind and body, Jersey must piece his life back together, step by painful step. He must re-learn to tie his
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens (first published August 22nd 2006)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,203 ratings  ·  159 reviews

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Jay G
Sep 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my youtube channel:

3.5/5 Stars

Jersey Hatch tried to commit suicide by shooting him in the head. Now, half his body is left useless and he can't remember a lot of things. He doesn't remember why his best friend won't talk to him, he doesn't know why he can't control the things that come out of his mouth and he can't remember why he tried to commit suicide in the first place.

I enjoyed this a lot more than I
Kynthos-the-Archer (Kyn)

Suicide victims often times are misunderstood by others. Many tends to be judgemental of them, calling them selfish, attention seeker or even mad. Suicides account for twice as many deaths as AIDS and over half of suicide deaths are by firearm.

Jersey Hatch is the voice of all those vulnerable, troubled teens out there. Vaught has crafted him based on her experience of working with young people as a practising neuropsychologist.

Jersey suffered permanent physical and neurological impairment after
Jul 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult-lit
Whoa! Interesting premise for a book: a boy attempts suicide by shooting himself, but survives. The books begins as he comes home for the first time after a year of rehab. He barely believes he tried to kill himself and spends the whole book figuring out why he pulled the trigger (hence the title). He also has to reconcile with his extremely upset parents and angry friends. On top of all this, he is now severely physically handicapped and can barely think or speak coherently. The enire book is n ...more
Kimberly Nicole

****5 Moving, Inspirational, and Captivating Stars***
I haven't written a review in a while. Nothing really worth the time recently, until I came across this gem!!! I really step out of my box with this one, not being a fan of young adult. From the first chapter your dragged into the damaged mind of Jersey Hatch, and you don't want to leave.

Without giving to much away, Jersey is a young man who tried to commit sucide, but fails. He now has to live with the reprucions of his actions. Going through
Aug 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been a while since I've read a YA novel & I'm glad I picked this one up. While not a YA full of romance & relationship angst, it was full of real emotional depth & dealt with the subject of suicide in a thoughtful & poignant manner. Jersey was a great character & I felt quite a lot of empathy for him as he tried to figure out what led him to the fateful moment when he attempted suicide. I was on pins & needles with him as he made lists, asked people about himself before & he and his parents ...more
Jun 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cassie R.
Sep 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Susan Vaught
New York: Bloomsbury USA, 2008
292 pp. $8.95

Suicide can ruin a teenager's life, as well as affect everyone else's around that person. In Trigger, the author Susan Vaught, portrays this aspect very clearly. She also uses other tactics to put the reader into the mindset of 17-year-old Jersey Hatch, who attempted suicide and is now dealing with random outbursts and scars all over his body. The last trait of the novel is how much science is lying beneath the story
sweet liss
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the fence between 3.5 and 4 stars...
Excellent, excellent book. It gets better each time I read it. I believe this is the third time I've read it. Told from Jersey's pov, it is really an eye opening way to look at how all people suffer a suicide attempt, including the person who attempted suicide. This review does contain SPOILERS, so if you don't want to know ahead of time of some events in the book, don't continue reading this review.
Jersey may have seemed like he lived the perfect life to everyone on the outside, but the pressu
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
4 of 5 stars

TRIGGER is told from the POV of high school senior Jersey, who has just been released from a rehabilitation facility, recovering from severe brain injuries from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He doesn't remember the incident, or know why he would attempt suicide. What he does know is that his parents are walking on eggshells, his ex-best friend hates him, he's bullied at school, and the harder he tries to speak and make sense of things, the more jumbled his thoughts and speech. With
Jun 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mature readers
We first meet Jersey Hatch on the day he comes home after a year in the hospital. Jersey tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head. Not only does he not remember pulling the trigger, but he has also forgotten the year leading up to the event. Jersey, who had once been a star athlete and honor student, now struggles with physical and mental difficulties. His old friends shun him and his parents don't want to talk about anything important.

With the help of the outspoken, no-nonsense
Kolden Baehman
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Personal Response:
At first this book was very confusing and dull.l, but towards the end it got really good. I really liked it, because I didn't imagine the climax to have such an impact on the book.

Plot Summary:
At the start of the book, Jersey woke up in a mental center. He eventually got to leave the center and return home. For weeks. he has been trying to figure out why he was different than most people and why he had a massive scar on his head. He figures out that he attempted suicide in his
Sep 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-juv
"...maybe the way I break people, they can't ever be fixed."

"Volcanoes. Hot inside. Way, way down inside, flying up, trying to get out...More hot, flying up, about to blow out, about to cover everything in red."

"Fast like a finger-snap, everything went away. Snap. Poof. No insides, no outsides. No hurts or happy or tears or anything. Just nothing. Empty and cold and ice and nothing."

"I'm a ruiner."


I am oddly always amazed at the emotional effects a book has on me simply because of how I w
Edwin Sun
Feb 27, 2015 rated it liked it
This book was very interesting compared to anything that I've ever read before. I found it really interesting how I almost lived in the mind of a brain damaged genius and experienced everything he went through. It was just at some points I found myself easily lost in what was going on and the book spent too much time on some little topics that I found very boring. I felt like it did this briefly for every chapter and it really slowed down the pace of the book. If u disregard that though I really ...more
Jul 03, 2008 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book was about a teen who attempts to commit suicide and fails. The book had a lot of promise but just didn't deliver. I started skipping paragraphs and was losing nothing important.

Jan 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Read it in French, would've been better if I'd read it in English. ...more
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic Book!!!!

I'd definitely read more titles by this author. She has such a compassionate take on what it must be like to be a troubled teen. Why do so many teenagers feel that they want to end their lives? This book is about a boy who is unsuccessful in his attempt to kill himself. Throughout the book he is trying to find answers to what happened the year before because his memory of everything surrounding the incident is not clear. Many of the chapters start with a recurring dream about w
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Vaught, Susan Trigger 290 p. - Language: PG; Sexual Content: G, Violence: G -

This book is about a kid who shot himself but did not succeed in his attempted suicide. He has major brain damage, and most of the kids at school see him as the new "freak." The book is about his struggle and journey to go back to school for his senior year and trying to figure out why he did it. I enjoyed reading this book. It was really well written considering it is in first person. It might be a little harder for s
Bethany Jennings
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Due to some personal experience with suicide in the family and brain "damage" in the family, this book was a brutal read for me. It tore me up and made me so frustrated, but at the same time I couldn't put it down because it was really compelling. The characterization, mystery, and storytelling were all A++, and Jersey is so lovable (also, I loved how the story put us inside the head of someone with brain damage and helped us see what it's like to be that "odd" person who sort of startles and al ...more
If you're looking for a thriller: this book ain't one. If you're looking for a book about the aftermath of a failed suicide including the topic of living with a severe brain injury: this is the one.
It felt partly painfully slow but so is the reality of recovering from such an event. There are some lovely characters, some prejudices, parents in pain, some riddles. It's a mess as it should be.
Only two stars because I've personally had a hard time continuing to read it because it moves s o s l o w
Jackie Mullins
Oct 17, 2017 rated it liked it
I thought that this was a good book and that it offered an interesting and unique perspective for a really specific type of person. It was cool to go through and figure out what the character found out and that was the whole purpose of the book. It is a little boring and the end was kind of a let down but otherwise an interesting read.
Feb 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
Overall I think that this book is good. You get to see a perspective of someone going through a mental illness and what it’s like going through daily life as that person. In the end it has made me think about my support system and whether or not it could support me should I ever go through a mental health disorder that would make me suicidal like how Jersey had experienced.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-my-shelf
I read this book MANY years ago (i.e. over 10 at this point), and while I don't remember a ton about the plot, I remember being enraptured in this book. I was hooked. I needed to know what happened and why his best friend hated him. It's obviously also a very tender subject for many being centered around a suicide attempt, and I think most people can relate to this in some way. I would not recommend this if you are not in the right state of mind to be reading such triggering material (sorry for ...more
Courtney (courtneyjo_reads)
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book a lot more than I expected. This was one of the books that had been sitting on my bookshelf that I kept putting off to read. This was a quick read, but Susan Vaught did a great job of touching upon the hard subjects to discuss with others but also including lighter moments and laughter.
Dark stories like this can be hard to read, but the message was important. Jersey attempted suicide by shooting himself in the head. Throughout the story you see Jersey's journey of acceptance
Jun 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young people struggling with emotional issues, Parents, Teachers
Recommended to Brittany by: A readplease member
How I Came To Read This Book: A member of the LiveJournal community readplease said she'd never cried as much as she did when reading this book. I decided to test that theory.

The Plot: Jersey Hatch is being released from a hospital he's spent the past year at. One of his eyes is partially blind, one side of his body is pretty decrepit, and his brain feels like an uncontrollable mush of words and ideas. Now that he's out, Jersey is faced with some tough questions, most notably...why did he try to
This book was about a teen who tried to commit suicide and survived with resulting brain damage. I thought the brain damage part was well done. It was so interesting being able to read from the perspective of someone with a head injury. The main character, Jersey Hatch, felt like a realistic character. My only criticism about this aspect of the story is that some of Hatch's rambling thoughts could have been edited out. There were times where I was tempted to skip ahead as the story stalled.

I mai
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
MissWhite White
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
WOW! I COULD NOT put this book down! Jersey is coming home 1 year and five hospitals after an event that gives him a traumatic brain injuring. While he's trying to focus enough to not yell-out random words and complete simple tasks like pulling up his zipper, he's also trying to put the pieces together of what led up to the event, and why everyone seems so angry with him.
You will be shocked as the story unfolds, and the true delicacy of life is revealed.
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